By Dumi Xaba

I have been invited to sample two bigger people’s movers after my last piece. It seems the Koreans wanted to cement their place as the people’s movers of choice with the Hyundai Staria, which will be our follow-up issue next week. But the Germans also want to claim their stake. We all remember the Opel Zafira, there were quite a few of them around 2003 and the OPC, which was the flagship, became popular around 2006. Full leather interior, 177 kw turbo engine. She pulled like a dragon and will easily shame any eight-seater at that time. As soon as they appeared, they also disappeared into thin air just like their sister product, the Chevrolet Cruize. I must admit that I haven’t seen one on the road for more than three years. That might give an indication of their reliability. Like most people’s movers Opel also went underground. The petrol price has significantly gone up, as such, individual daily trips to and from work are no longer viable. Most buyers opt for people’s movers as they are cheaper for group travels. Almost all vehicle launches for the past six months have a seven-seater product as their main focus or an SUV of some sorts.
I have been invited on a short drive on two products – one from Korea which I must admit, is beginning to dominate in terms of the product launch and one from Germany. My current view of these products is based on short tests and not extensive long-term tests.

2022 Opel Zafira 2L TD
Although our current market trends have been more favourable to the SUVs, Opel decided to gamble with the launch of the fourth-generation Zafira.
I was given an opportunity to sample the top specs and elegance. There is no visible special feature that differentiates the base edition from the top spec elegance from outside. I must admit, this is really a step forward from its predecessor. Entering this model, you are greeted by a luxurious leather interior. The base model has cloth seats. A seven-inch infotainment and as per the current trends with some manufactures, the gear lever has been ditched in favour of a winding nob. Press the start button and the 2-litre oil-burner comes alive. This model is a seven-seater and the base is fitted with a bench seat that makes it a proper eight-seater. You are treated to retractable plane-like trays on the second row of the Elegance model. And a folding table in the middle. I couldn’t help but feel like I am inside an expensive VW Caravella model, especially with those rotating seats, the panoramic sunroof and electric-powered sliding doors. Indeed, this might just be a good alternative to those expensive models like the Caravelle and the V class which cost almost double the price of Zafira. The 10-speaker system and cooled glove box, Dual-Zone aircon, height-adjustable heated front seats make the argument for this baby.
The ivory colour suited it quite well. This is a highly contested segment with the likes of the VW Caravelle, the Ford Tourneo Custom and the new kid on the block, the Hyundai Staria. After testing an SUV recently, I immediately realised how generous the boot space was in the Opel Zafira. This is the kind of a vehicle you can use as a transporter for luxury touring and comfortably carry those tons of bags and luggage with ease. The shorter bonnet means you don’t need a special garage to park this family mover, neither do you need a special licence to drive. This can easily be used as a mommy taxi and also a daily commuter due to its low fuel consumption. Opel claims around 6 litres per 100kms but I was mostly just shy of 9 litres per 100kms most of the time.
The ZF automatic box is well-suited to the 2L diesel engine. Gone are the days of an agile swift Zafira OPC. This is a people’s mover. I have noticed a bit of turbo lag on the 2L engine which really doesn’t matter much. South Africans are seriously looking for good-looking MPV and the cloth version without a sunroof and some family necessities that you find on the Elegance trim might struggle in the face of the strong SUV and the UTE competition.
Most South Africans buy with their eyes and heart, and surely the Elegance is equipped to pass that acid test in the SUV era. Only time will tell.
● This model will sell from R749,900.
● The Elegance starting price is R869,900.
● Both models are powered by 2L oil burner with a decent 110kw and 370KwNm.
● All comes standard with five-year warranty or 150,000km mechanical peace of mind.
● A five-year or a 100,000km service plan.
If you are planning to partake in an e-hailing luxury business or a large family mover, this will be your companion.

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