Some interesting facts of the Vauxhall Zafira A

The Vauxhall Zafira is not the biggest eye catcher around and will therefore not excite most people, right? Actually, you might be wrong, that is why we listed the most interesting facts of this compact MPV.

The Vauxhall Zafira has been made in collaboration with Porsche

Probably the most remarkable fact. Did you know that most of the Vauxhall Zafira has been engineered by Porsche. Yes, you read that correctly! Even though this is not a commonly known fact you could possibly say that this should actually be called a Porsche Zafira. Vauxhall just delivered the design and the platform that the car should be manufactured on (the T-platform of the new Astra). After that the majority was up to Porsche to design to a high standard. Together with Vauxhall, Porsche designed the Vauxhall Flex 7 system that is characteristic of the Zafira.

One of the unique features of this design was that it is possible to pull two extra seats out of the floor in the boot, which turned the MPV in to a 7 seater people carrier. Porsche commitment to this project shows in the fact that that Porsche took the responsibility for the quality control in the first series of the Zafira. The first generation Zafira was presented at the IAA in Frankfurt in 1997 to be produced from fall 1998. The production had to be postponed until 1999 due to the unexpected success of the Vauxhall Astra G (that was introduced in 1997), Vauxhall sold 1.7 million Astra models in Europe.

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This success resulted in a Japanese brother of the Zafira A

It is not news that car models are taken over by different manufacturers. Think for example of the Peugeot 107 and the Citroen C1 or the Volkswagen Sharan and the Seat Alhambra, both models that are under the VAG name. A less known fact is that the same has happened for the Vauxhall Zafira A. The parent company General Motors owned brands like Chevrolet, Holden and Opel, referred to as Vauxhall in the UK. No surprise here then.


After the introduction of the Zafira it showed quickly that this would be a popular model for the Vauxhall brand. In 2000, the first full production year of the Zafira over 204 thousand models were sold in Europe and in the two following years more than 242 thousand models were sold. Because of this success other co-operations with other brand names, less commonly associated with the General Motors developed. Subaru, the brand behind the off road legends like the Impreza and Forester, co-operated with General Motors between 2000 and 2005. One of the products of this collaboration was the Subaru Traviq.

A "Subaru Zafira" for the Japanese market

Even though the compact MPV was quite popular in Japan at the time and Subaru had a previous five seater model (the Sambar Domingo) this was still a remarkable model. Subaru is commonly associated with the characteristic boxer engines, while the Traviq was only available as an in-line 4 cylinder engine. Neither was the Traviq an All Wheel Drive, another characteristic for Subaru at the time. The Traviq was just outside the rules of a Japanese "Compact Car", which meant that their was a added purchase tax that was not required on similar cars. The Traviq did not sell well. Between 2001 and 2015 Subaru only sold 12 thousand Traviqs.

Other cars responsible for the success

As said the Zafira performed better than the Traviq. This is partly because of the success of MPVs at the end of the nineties. Following the Renault Espace, that debuted in 1984 as first MPV on the European market, came the Renault Scenic introduced in 1997. This compact-MPV was a bit smaller than the Espace and therefore easier to manoeuvre. Just like the Espace, the Scenic created it's own market. The Scenic was a success with Renault's target group. In 1998, the first full sales year, Reanult sold more than 252 thousand of the Scenic models in Europe. With the introduction of the Scenic a market was created for the Zafira as well. The Zafira with it's Flex 7 system created seven seats where the Scenic "only" had 5 seats. This made the Zafira unique while it was able to compete in the same market as the Scenic.

Engines Opel Zafira A.

Mo­del Engine ­code In pro­duction Fu­el Cyl­in­ders Engine ­cap­acity Po­wer
1.6 16V X16XEL 1999-2005 Benzine 4 1.598 cc 100 pk
1.8 16V X18XE1 1999-2001 Benzine 4 1.796 cc 115 pk
1.8 16V Z18XE 2001-2005 Benzine 4 1.796 cc 125 pk
2.0 16V OPC Z20LET 2003-2005 Benzine 4 1.998 cc 192 pk
2.0 16V OPC Z20LET 2003-2005 Benzine 4 1.998 cc 200 pk
2.2 16V Z22SE 1999-2005 Benzine 4 2.198 cc 147 pk
1.6 cng Z16YNG 2001-2005 Benzine 4 1.598 cc 97 pk
2.0 DI 16V X20DTL 1999-2000 Diesel 4 1.995 cc 82 pk
2.0 DTI 16V Y20DTH 2000-2005 Diesel 4 1.995 cc 100 pk
2.2 DTI 16V Y22DTR 2000-2005 Diesel 4 2.172 cc 125 pk

Electrical problems

Was the Zafira without any faults? Even though technically built very intelligently, it had some short comings with the electronics. Not a specific Zafira problem, more a common fault in Vauxhalls from this period. Especially the ECUs in these models failed frequently. The Delphi Delco Multec that is used in the X16XEL/Z16XE engines is the most remanufactured ECU!

New Zafira's not as successful as the first generation

opel-zafira-c

After serving for six years, the first generation Zafira was replaced by the new model, introduced in 2005. Even though the new model followed the same recipe as the old one, it never saw the success of the first generation. The third generation, sold between 2011 and 2019 did not even sell more than 100 thousand models. Partly because of the growth in the SUV market, the MPV lost customer interest. Vauxhall noted that something had to change. After 20 years of service as MPV , Vauxhall transformed the Zafira in 2019 to the Zafira Life and is now sold as a mini-van. We are interested to see if Vauxhall will be able to recreate the succes of the old Zafira with the Zafira 2.0

1rd generation Opel Zafira A (1999-2005)

ABS-unit

Bosch 5.3 Bosch 5.3

ABS ECU

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Bosch 5.4 Bosch 5.4

ABS ECU

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ECUs

Delphi Delco Multec HSFI-2.x / HDRC Delphi Delco Multec HSFI-2.x / HDRC

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Siemens Simtec 70-serie Siemens Simtec 70-serie

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Siemens Simtec 71-serie Siemens Simtec 71-serie

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Bosch PSG 5 (EDU from VP44) Bosch PSG 5 (EDU from VP44)

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Throttle Bodies

Opel - Pierburg (2310) NEW Opel - Pierburg (2310) NEW

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Opel - Bosch DV-E (0084) Opel - Bosch DV-E (0084)

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Opel - Pierburg (6084) Opel - Pierburg (6084)

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Opel - Delphi / Pierburg (7983) Opel - Delphi / Pierburg (7983)

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Opel - Pierburg (8518) Opel - Pierburg (8518)

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Opel - Pierburg (9501) NEW Opel - Pierburg (9501) NEW

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Opel - Pierburg (8518) NEW Opel - Pierburg (8518) NEW

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Opel - Delphi / Pierburg (7983) NEW Opel - Delphi / Pierburg (7983) NEW

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Instrument cluster

Instrument cluster Opel Zafira A 1999-2005 Instrument cluster Opel Zafira A 1999-2005

Instrument cluster

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2rd generation Opel Zafira B (2005 - 2011)

ABS-unit

ATE MK60 Hydraulic unit (with internal pressure sensor) ATE MK60 Hydraulic unit (with internal pressure sensor)

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ATE MK60 (ECU only) ATE MK60 (ECU only)

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ATE MK70 ATE MK70

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ECU

Bosch EDC16C9 Bosch EDC16C9

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Delphi Delco MT35E Delphi Delco MT35E

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Throttle bodies

Opel - Delphi / Pierburg (7983) NEW Opel - Delphi / Pierburg (7983) NEW

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Opel - Bosch DV-E (0084) Opel - Bosch DV-E (0084)

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Opel - VDO ETV (0398) Opel - VDO ETV (0398)

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Opel - Delphi / Pierburg (7983) Opel - Delphi / Pierburg (7983)

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Opel - Magneti Marelli 48CPD1 Opel - Magneti Marelli 48CPD1

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Opel - Bosch DV-E (0084) Opel - Bosch DV-E (0084)

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Opel - Bosch DV-E (0236) Opel - Bosch DV-E (0236)

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Opel - Pierburg (1626) Opel - Pierburg (1626)

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Opel - Pierburg (1626) NEW Opel - Pierburg (1626) NEW

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Opel - Pierburg (2101) NEW Opel - Pierburg (2101) NEW

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Opel - VDO ETV (2380) Opel - VDO ETV (2380)

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Opel - VDO ETV (3801) Opel - VDO ETV (3801)

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Opel - Magneti Marelli 48CPD4 Opel - Magneti Marelli 48CPD4

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Opel - Bosch DV-E (0238) Opel - Bosch DV-E (0238)

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Instrument cluster

Instrument cluster Opel Zafira B 2005-2011 Instrument cluster Opel Zafira B 2005-2011

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TCU

Easytronic (F13 MTA/F17+MTA) Easytronic (F13 MTA/F17+MTA)

TCU

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3rd generation Opel Zafira C (2011 - 2019)

ABS-unit

ATE MK61 ATE MK61

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Throttle bodies

Opel - Bosch DV-E (0238) Opel - Bosch DV-E (0238)

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