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Fleet World Fleet: Vauxhall Combo Life Energy XL 7-seater 1.5 Turbo D

Natalie Middleton on lockdown motoring – or a lack of it – in the Combo Life.

Heading out further afield as lockdown conditions ease

Like so many people, I didn’t do much driving during the first few weeks of lockdown; not least having to cancel planned Mother’s Day/birthday trips to the Isle of Wight and Clacton to see family, which would have put the Combo Life’s passenger and luggage abilities on our seven-seat XL version to test.

There were still some trips I needed to make – supermarket delivery collection slots and doorstep grocery swaps with my mum and, later, pick-ups of hardcopy school work to supplement online working. So I never needed to worry about maintenance issues for a laid-up car as the Combo Life was only ever stationary for a few days at a time.

And while this is a big car (we have the XL version) to just have one person rumbling around in sometimes, it was only temporary and it didn’t feel unwieldy or ungainly in city/urban use. It was also great knowing I had space onboard for as and when needed – like the time I (socially distanced) borrowed a family air walker to give the kids some exercise. It was a spur-of-the-moment move but the Combo Life’s boot was able to accommodate it without issue. And while you do need a lot of room for the Combo Life’s boot to swing out – the top section of glass opens independently, giving another option for when space is tight.

Gradually we stretched our wings – heading out a few miles to enable some much more socially distanced dog walks in the local countryside, as allowed under the Government’s guidance. Later on, there was a day trip out with the kids that was combined with collection of a new cabinet, which the Combo Life managed to accommodate with no issues.

Quite frankly, the Combo Life has made living through difficult times much easier for the Middleton household. And there’s a lot to be said for that.

P11D (BiK): £22,400 (31%) MPG/CO2 (WLTP): 49.5-51.4mpg / 144-148g/km Test MPG: 43.4mpg

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006.