Vauxhall Combo Van Review

Vauxhall Combo

Vauxhall Combo

The original Vauxhall Combo was released in 1997. It was based on the platform of the Corsa hatchback and came with a boxy load area behind the driver’s seat. In order to take on competitors like the Renault Kangoo and Citroen Berlingo, which were designed as vans from the start, Vauxhall launched an all-new Combo in 2001 with 1.7 litre diesel power. Although the front end is still shared with the Corsa, the new design has a more integrated look

2005-2011 Model Vauxhall Combos

In 2005 more modern common-rail diesel engines were introduced in the Combo, bringing more power and better refinement to the van. The smaller 1.3 litre unit only has 70bhp, but its 125lb-ft of torque makes it feel much more powerful than you’d expect from an engine this size. The larger 1.7 litre CDTi engine delivers 99bhp and 177lb-ft of torque, giving it decent performance and making it a good choice for those who do a lot of motorway work. There are 1.4 litre 16-valve Twinport petrol versions too, but these are relatively rare on the used market.

In the cab there are comfortable seats, and the driver’s seat is set quite high, making for easy access - useful for those who are in and out of the vehicle all day. The steering column is adjustable, so finding a comfortable driving position should be straightforward. All models come with a radio/cassette and a power socket. Driver and passenger air bags are standard; anti-lock brakes are standard on more powerful models and an option on smaller engined ones. Central locking and an immobiliser keep the van secure, and an alarm is available as an option.

In the back there’s 2.8 cubic metres of load space with 1,787mm of length and a payload capacity up to 613kgs. The floor is low and flat, and along with twin rear doors this makes loading and unloading easy. Sliding side doors are a commonly specified option on Combos, making for even easier access to the load area. Anchorage points are fitted to keep the load in place. A swinging bulkhead is an option too, and this increases the load space to 3.2 cubic metres. Five-seater crew van versions are available which have a rear seat fitted but still retain metal sides and so qualify as a van for VAT purposes.

The Combo scores well on running costs, with the latest CDTi models having 30,000-mile service intervals and economy in the mid to high 40s for mpg. There’s a big dealer network, and Vauxhall’s parts are usually competitively priced.

The current model was launched in 2012.

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