- Comfort levels
- Safety kit
- Bland styling
The all-new Vauxhall Combo is a triumph
The all-new Vauxhall Combo delivers decent economy, driver enjoyment and a range of innovative assistance systems to be an impressive light commercial vehicle. There’s a lot to like about the new offering, and the new platform delivers nice handling and it is a decent performer on multi-drops around town. But is it really different from the Peugeot and Citroen offerings which use the same platform and share many parts? Probably – it’s distinctive enough to stand on its own and Vauxhall fans will be delighted.
The Vauxhall Combo has already picked up the 2019 International Van of the Year award, so it’s not just CommercialVehicle.com recommending this impressive small van but a group of experienced international motoring journalists as well.
Essentially, for any Vauxhall fans who feared that the Peugeot-Citroen takeover would diminish the firm’s offering will have their fears are allayed because in a head-to-head, the Combo is probably the best small van being produced by the new owners.
Reasons to buy
Apart from the prestige of being the International Van of the Year 2019, the all-new Vauxhall Combo delivers something that’s not just different for a competitive segment, but different from its Peugeot-Citroen siblings as well.
In many ways, the Combo sets the standard for what a modern compact van should be with a fresh approach to its design and the fit and finish that is on a par with compact cars. The end result is a well-designed cabin that is a pleasant place to spend time in.
If you like the Vauxhall Combo then have a look at the Peugeot Partner and the Citroen Berlingo (Obviously).
The engines for the Vauxhall combo include two 1.6 litre diesel units, producing either 75 PS or 100 PS plus two 1.5 litre units producing 130 PS. There are also two petrol engines, both are 1.2 litres producing either 110 PS or 130 ES. Fuel economy ranges from 52 mpg for the 110 PS petrol unit to 67 mpg for the 1.6 litre diesel unit producing 100 PS. The service intervals for the petrol units are one year or 12,500 miles and for the diesel units it is one year or 16,000 miles for the 1.6 litre diesel engine and a more impressive two years and 25,000 miles for the 1.5 litre diesel unit.
The all-new Vauxhall Combo is available as the standard version, which is 4.4 m long, and the Combo XL which is 4.75 metres in length with a spacious five seat crew cabin and two sliding doors fitted as standard. The load volume is up to 4.4 m³ with a payload of up to 1,000 kg plus a loading length of up to 3,440 mm for work material and other objects.
The load space has been cleverly designed and it is wide enough for fitting up to two Euro pallets – even in the standard Combo. There’s the optional roof hatch available, so for those needing to carry long item such as wooden planks or pipes, then these can be stowed at an angle and carried safely.
Technology & Safety
The all-new Vauxhall Combo scores highly in technology and safety with some very impressive assistance systems on board. For example, the sensor-based overload indicator will prove useful. And there’s really good all-round visibility – some models come with a second camera located in the passenger side mirror which helps eliminate the blindspot of that side of the compact van though many will find the rear view camera is excellent and effectively acts as a digital rear view mirror.
As with all the latest vans, the all-new Vauxhall Combo delivers the latest infotainment and on-board connectivity. Drivers can use Android Auto and Apple CarPlay using the 8-inch colour touchscreen. There’s also an integrated satnav system with traffic updates, along with a heated steering wheel and front seats so when the temperature drops, there’s an added level of comfort.
If you are your drivers tend to hit objects while turning at low speeds, the Combo has a Flank Guard sensor system to help support you with a warning that the vehicle is about to collide with an obstacle. There’s also electronic traction control, which Vauxhall calls Intelligrip, and is quite impressive, delivering better grip across a range of surfaces including mud and snow.
Other safety kit includes speed sign recognition, driver drowsiness alert, intelligent speed adaptation and hill descent control.
The engines are geared to performing well around town and on long motorway journeys. More importantly, they help deliver real driving pleasure with strong performance and economy. Behind the wheel, the Vauxhall Combo delivers what other manufacturers may claim but don’t deliver and that’s a real car-like experience with comfort levels and car-like handling. This is an important issue for small vans today with the cabin easy to get in and out of and the sliding load space doors proving to be a boon. The Combo is nice to drive in heavy traffic and at ease on long motorway journeys at speed. Though one reason for why it’s a comfortable van to drive is probably down to the fact that Vauxhall also offers this as a passenger vehicle called the Vauxhall Combo Life.