Sector: LPG

Opel Zafira Tourer Turbo LPG - 7 times cheaper

We prefer to fuel this car than to learn how to say its name properly. Thanks to an ex-factory autogas system, the family van from Rüsselsheim drives for half the price, although the conversion process has not been conducted with half the usual quality. The system has been well integrated into the car and looks like a regular equipment option, not an aftermarket one. What other aces has the large Opel got up its sleeve?
Opel Zafira Tourer Turbo LPG - a complex name for a simple matter© OpelThe 140 PS engine provides performance, the autogas system provides savings

The Zafira Tourer is the fifth model in Opel's range sporting a dedicated, tailor-made LPGTEC autogas injection system. The Tourer is the latest iteration of the firm's compact seven-seater van, currently available along its predecessor, renamed Zafira Family. The LPG system effectively cuts fuel bills (by approx. 40%) and CO2 emissions (from 156 to 139 g/km), which means all seven people onboard travel cheaper and with clear conscience.

However, the car itself is not exactly cheap. The money-saving Zafira, equipped with a 140 PS, 1,4-litre turbo engine (with hardened valves and valve seats plus a tuned ECU) means spending at least 97750 zlotys (approx. 24000 euros at current exchange rates), which is quite attractive a price anyway thanks to a bonus offered on 2013 model year cars manufactured in 2012. Unfortunately, a brief look at the price sheet shows that the LPG system is priced at 7500 zlotys (over 1800 euros – quite hefty in Polish conditions), so a lot of kilometres will pass before the investment pays back. Definitely it is nowhere near no time at all.

Every factory conversion should look like this© OpelThe petrol-to-LPG switch has been nicely integrated into the centre console, where it is easily accessible

Every cloud has a silver lining, as they say. Or do they? As Opel claims, the engine's performance is the same on LPG as it is on petrol. We have mentioned the power already (140 PS regardless of the fuel you use), whereas the torque is also constant at 200 Nm and available in a wide range of engine speeds – from 1850 up to 4900 rpm, so effectively it has been „spread” over the entire useful rpm range. Together with the 6-speed manual gearbox, this translates to decent road performance and equally decent fuel consumption – according to Opel, as little as 8,6 l LPG per 100 km on average. With an approximately 60 l tank on board (located in the spare wheel well, beneath the boot floor, and filled through a valve fitted next to the petrol filler, under the same flap), the car has nearly 700 km of range on a single fill-up. For the sake of monitoring the level of the cheaper fuel left, a single dual-function indicator has been used instead of the usual diode instrument, which can sometimes be only arbitrarily precise. The LPG switch – with an inbuilt diode signaling that the autogas system has been activated – is composed into the centre console, where it does not stand out aesthetically or functionally among other buttons.

Just like all the other LPG-powered Opels, the Zafira Tourer is converted at the Opel Special Vehicles facility in Rüsselsheim. The entire car (autogas included) has a 2-year warranty, exactly like any other Opel, regardless of the fuel it uses. Hopefully we will be able to look closer at the autogas Zafira Tourer and describe it in more detail. Meanwhile, we wish the van lots of interest from buyers!


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Robert Markowski
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