Fleet World Fleet: Vauxhall Combo Life Energy XL 7-seater 1.5 Turbo D
An extended stay, due in part to coronavirus, saw the Combo Life spend some nine months with me, giving me a chance to really put it to the test before it headed back to Vauxhall.
It’s shown me how, ungainly looks aside, the Combo Life is a highly practical car, able to transport seven in vast space or five with a vast boot load and manual sliding doors.
Its abilities are particularly key for taxi companies and chauffeur fleets as well as a Motability – it was absolutely perfect for transporting my disabled mum and her wheelchair/s with absolutely no fuss or bother. But it’s also great for those with kids and the many assets in the optional child pack on ours were also much appreciated. As lockdown conditions eased, it also came into its own as a lifestyle-orientated vehicle, easy for transporting kayaks or surfboards. Heck, with the amount of space onboard, you could even sleep in it!
It was surprisingly nimble for city use and those sliding doors were a godsend in tight carparks; I’m already missing them. And given that it’s also sold in van form, ride is more supple than you might expect for, thanks to being built on the PSA Group’s ‘EMP2’ model platform also used for models such as the 3008.
Motorway performance was acceptable, bar some quite intrusive wind and road noise, and the 100hp 1.5-litre diesel could hold its own but it’s not a car you’d want to test the limits of. Holiday usage also saw it start to feel more inhibited, and I reckon anyone regularly travelling with a full load would want to explore the larger diesel.