2001 Vauxhall Zafira Comfort 2.0 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


A weird sound has recently developed, it's intermittent, but annoying. It sounds like a cat screeching (or Diamanda Gallas) and tends to increase in intensity, although in common with another reviewer, it reduces quite markedly when the brakes are applied. The noise tends to disappear as mysteriously as it appeared.

The engine management light appears and turns off randomly. I haven't bothered to find out why.

The paint chips very easily, annoyingly so.

I'm also the proud owner of a buzzing noise just above the glove compartment, that appears again randomly, but to be honest I'm used to it.

The problems outlined above would I suppose be serious, but as I bought the car used, I'm rather philosophical about their seriousness, really there's more to life than worrying about niggles.

Oh yes, one more niggle, you can't put a child safety seat in the middle row of seats, then expect them to collapse to allow people into the third row of seats, as most if not all child seats do not collapse. This means if you want seven people seated, the child seat either has to be in the rear or front passenger seats. This is an issue for me because it's an absolute pain to constantly take out then replace the child seat, if you haven't got kids yet thank your lucky stars!

General Comments:

Having said that we love the car. It's practical, I can haul the whole family, wife plus three kids and the grandparents with ease.

The turbo diesel is very useful, god knows what 2.0 diesel owners have to endure, because on motorways it's absolutely essential, especially up even slight inclines. Engine noise is surprisingly muted in the cabin, it only feels "tractor-like" in 1st and 2nd, and since the car is low geared, you spend the majority of the time in 3rd or above, so it really doesn't come into the equation.

Great car, in that it admirably fulfills my expectations of it, although it does suffer from minor annoying niggles, my kids dub it "Super Zafira". At 48 mpg I call it super too.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th September, 2004

14th Aug 2005, 17:16

Since recently fitting new car radio car alarm has started to go off on its own for no apparent reason - has anyone else had this problem? Have now replaced original radio system, but problem persists - does anyone know what this problem is and knows how to solve it? Is this maybe due to a battery problem?

7th Jun 2014, 16:12

The problem is almost certainly the batteries in the alarm power sender that is in the front wheel arch. They can be replaced or repaired if competent at DIY.

2001 Vauxhall Zafira DTi 2.0 diesel from UK and Ireland


I'm reluctant to recommend it and will replace it (with a different make) as soon as possible!


The high oil consumption was a concern initially and before I realised it was a problem I came very close to losing the engine completely! Since then oil consumption seems to have become less, but it is still a factor. Indeed recently a puddle of oil has appeared on the drive and initial investigations indicate that it might be a leak from the cylinder head gasket! This is still being investigated.

The mud flaps have rubbed off the paint underneath - a potential design fault and issue for me in future years.

The windscreen wipers seem to be designed with a left hand drive in mind.

Last summer when the car was 2.5 years old (2003) the engine management light started to come on shortly after start up. It went out after the engine had been revved. When I took it to my local garage and they plugged it into the fault finding machine, they could not find anything wrong with it. In the end I left it with them so that they could start it in the morning. Sure enough they saw the light come on, but they could not identify the fault (good old CPU's).

Some time later, whilst driving home down country lanes, the drive belt snapped. This caused a loss of power steering amongst other things that was almost fatal on the country lane that I was on. The car is incredibly heavy without power steering and virtually impossible to steer without it (so I found anyway). I was towed to my nearest garage where they slowly and painstakingly removed the remains of the drive belt from the various pulleys etc. They fitted a new belt and tensioner.

A number of months passed by before the car developed an irritating rattling/grating noise in the engine compartment. The noise was not there at start up in a morning, but as I made my way to work (15 miles) it slowly got louder. By the time I got to work, it was making quite a lot of noise and people started looking around to find out where the noise was coming from (hopefully a good advert for Vauxhall Zafira). When I took it to the garage (Feb '04) they checked all the pulley alignments, put a new belt on it and replaced the tensioner yet again. This did have the effect of stopping the engine management light from illuminating after start up (but then again the bulb in the warning light has probably blown).

The noise stopped at first, but then it started up again in June '04. This time a new water pump, water pump pulley and drive belt was fitted. However the noise has just returned once more (July '04) and I'm getting to the stage where I've had enough of the miserable machine, as it's getting very expensive to maintain. The noise starts off quietly, but then gets louder. It seems to change in tone with the speed of the engine, so if the car is revved it speeds up as well and whilst the car is parked it seems to get slower (but not quieter). It is definitely coming from the auxiliary drive belt side of the engine. I'm off to a different garage tomorrow to see if they can work it out.

Carpet mats have worn through in places.

General Comments:

I bought my Zafira Diesel 2.0 in Jan 2001. It is now July 2004 and it has 46000 miles on the clock. I would highly recommend that people consider carefully before buying one of these cars, as mine seems to be turning into a bit of a money drain! The advantages of the increased mileage associated with the diesel seemed a good idea at the time, but now with various garage bills etc, I'm not sure it was such a good buy after all.

The driving position is excellent and long journeys are relatively comfortable.

Good visibility for all passengers.

I went for an upgrade to the radio when I bought the car so that it had a CD player in it. However this must be the most basic CD player I've ever possessed, as all it does is play and flick between tracks. There is no fast-forward through individual tracks or random selection function. For the price of it, I would have expected it to do a little more than it does. My daughter has a CD player that she paid £20 for, and it does more than the CD player in my Zafira.

Has anyone else had any experiences like mine?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th July, 2004

4th Aug 2005, 07:39

I agree with this review in every aspect as I too own the same model. I have also noticed that the paint is now starting to bubble up which is rather worrying on such a modern car... The truth be told; a Zafira is just a van with extra seats and windows... and probably overpriced at that.

Great review and honest. The one thing the Zafira does have going for it is... it does go rather fast...

Steve Ralphs.