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FIRST LOOK: Vauxhall Zafira – due July 2005



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Vauxhall has won many plaudits for its innovative Zafira – and rightly so. The Flex7 multi-choice seating with fold-flat options made rival car designers scratch their heads in disbelief: now they’re all doing it.

With the next generation Zafira due in July, Vauxhall has focused on quality, safety, style and performance. Flex7 remains the focal point, but in come improved engines, IDS chassis (Interactive Driving System), higher quality interior materials, more room and new overhead storage with panoramic roof.

Sales are expected to hover around last year’s 51,000 with the buyer base remaining families with two or three children. Vauxhall claims the car has one of its highest loyalty ratings but will now also appeal to people who want something “stylish and with improved interior quality”.

Buyers choose from three 1.9-litre diesels, developing 100, 120 and 150bhp, and a range of petrols, from 1.6-litre to 2.2-litre, plus two 2.0-litre turbos – 170bhp and 200bhp. Vauxhall has yet to decide whether to take the 200bhp unit because there’s a VXR Zafira due in October.

This 2.0-litre 240bhp range topper will be the fourth model branded with the VXR mark, joining Monaro, 220 and forthcoming Astra.

Driven: Vauxhall Astra GTC 2.0 CDTi SRi

Two door handles and a roof aerial are the only bodywork items the GTC has in common with other Vauxhall Astras.

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