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Vauxhall Combo Cargo

SPACE CADET (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

Vauxhall's Combo cargo is a panel van with the one thing operators really need: serious carrying capacity of up to 4.4m3. Jonathan Crouch reports on the fourth generation version.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 49

With their fourth generation Combo, Vauxhall fields a very class-competitive compact van, with both short and long wheelbase body styles that together should be able to satisfy almost every buyer in this segment. With frugal running costs, smart design and strong practicality, it's everything a small LCV should be.

Backgroundword count: 116

When the time came to develop this fourth generation Combo van, the Combo Cargo, Vauxhall grabbed the opportunity to design something from a clean sheet of paper that would tackle both the LCV market's major small van sectors. Whether you want something spacious yet small (like a Citroen Nemo or a Peugeot Bipper). Or compact but a little bigger (like a Ford Transit Connect or a Renault Kangoo), Vauxhall hopes that this Combo will appeal. The previous generation version used Fiat underpinnings, but this time round, the Combo borrows its platform from two of its closest rivals, the PSA Group Citroen Berlingo and Peugeot Partner models. But adds some really clever tech touches of its own.

Driving Experienceword count: 242

These days, van drivers are well used to a car-like response from LCVs, especially small ones. That doesn't necessarily mean an enjoyable driving experience though and in the old third generation Combo with its Fiat Doblo-derived underpinnings, you didn't get one. This fourth generation Combo uses a lighter Peugeot / Citroen Group platform system clever enough to provide supple ride comfort, yet firm enough to resist body roll and support heavy loads. It's a much better compromise. Can the same be said of the engines on offer? Well, the line-up certainly seems effective on paper. There's a 1.2-litre 110PS petrol unit. Or a 1.5-litre CDTi diesel, developing either 100 or 130PS. The units are combined with five and six-speed manual transmissions. In addition, in a segment first, a low-friction eight-speed automatic with Quickshift technology can be ordered in combination with the top-of-the-range 1.5-litre 130PS diesel. Whichever variant you choose - standard or long - you'll find that the driving position pretty good, with the steeply raked windscreen and low bonnet combining to give great visibility. Couple that with big panoramic door mirrors and the result is a vehicle you can be confident about driving even the most congested city streets where the light steering facilitates a tight turning circle, 11.2m in the short wheelbase version and 12.5m for the long wheelbase model. As for refinement, well, the slightly clattery note at start-up settles down quite acceptably once you get up to speed.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

Boot capacity min (litres):

1

4

CO2 (g/km):

126

Extra urban mpg:

47.9

67.3

Height (mm):

1845

2100

Insurance group:

3

Length (mm):

4390

4740

... and 4 other stats available

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Vans

Performance
70%
Handling
70%
Comfort
60%
Space
80%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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