Vauxhall Combo Life long-term review

Could Vauxhall’s van-based people carrier be the perfect lifestyle vehicle? We’ve got three months to find out...

Vauxhall Combo Life long-term review

The car: Vauxhall Combo Life 1.5 (100PS) Turbo D S/S Energy XL 7-Seater Run by: Alan Taylor-Jones, new cars editor

Why it’s here: To see if the Combo Life is a sensible alternative to a modern SUV

Needs to: Offer plenty of space, provide a comfortable ride on long journeys and have a raft of equipment and modern safety tech

Price £23,765 Price as tested £26,735 Miles covered 1267 Official economy 42.2-50.8mpg (WLTP combined) Test economy 40.0mpg Options fitted Multimedia Navi Pro (£450); Parking Pack (£400); Winter Pack (£200); Child Pack (£250); Dark-tinted rear windows (£110); Opening tailgate with tints (£305); Roof rails (£150); Spare wheel (£110); Head-up display (£355); Electronic climate control (£200); 230V socket (£50); Wireless charging (£105); Brilliant Paint (£285)

20th June 2019 – Multi-storey manoeuvres 

There’s no getting around the fact that my Combo Life is a big car. It’s substantially taller than the Audi Q7 or Bentley Bentayga and has a longer footprint than the Range Rover. You might imagine, then, that getting such a vehicle into the What Car? multi-storey car park – a building that already bears the scuffs and scars of many a kerbed wheel and scraped bumper – would be difficult. 

Thankfully, it’s not, because Energy versions of the Combo Life come with front and rear parking sensors as standard, plus the optional Parking Pack I added brings a multitude of cameras. I can choose from multiple angles, including a bird's eye view and a 180deg wide-angle view, or simply let the system decide itself which is the most helpful.

This, combined with light steering, makes manoeuvring the Combo Life into my preferred spot several floors up no more stressful than in any other car.

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