It’s not often that you are given the keys to a panel van that has won a number of international awards, namely, International van of the year. Ladies and Gentlemen, my recent experiences of the Opel brand have been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride, first the Grandland X, Crossland X, the feisty Opel Adam, the invigorating Corsa GSI and recently the Combo.
As expected, the Combo is not a stunner, I don’t think I have ever come across a Van that stands out and shouts, hey!, I am beautiful. In this segment, aesthetics is not a priority. As you introduce yourself to the Combo you begin to see the cues that prompted the prestigious award. The cabin has ample storage space, a modern gauge cluster and the ever-necessary climate control. The entertainment sphere is covered by a Bluetooth enabled audio system that provides ample audio through the four-speaker setup which pack a surprising punch, however, you do need to lower your expectations as this is not a luxury bahnstorming vehicle with plenty of creature comforts. Its task is to transport goods whilst providing safety and superior fuel economy, as much as 20 percent less consumption to be exact.
The load bay is accessible in the form of a wide double door, and a sliding door located on the passenger’s side. With a maximum storage capacity of 3800 litres in the short wheelbase and a mammoth 4440 litres in the long-wheelbase version, you are sure to pack in almost all that you can imagine in the trendy Combo.
The one challenge I had with the Combo is the lack of rearward visibility, the lack of a rear window in the model I had on test proved to be a constant thorn in my side. I really struggled to place surrounding traffic on the bustling N12 highway, disappointments aside, the side mirrors are reasonably sized which help claw back some sort of visibility. It is unfortunate that the Combo is not fitted with a rearview camera. If you are planning to conduct a number of reverse parking manoeuvres, you will struggle to keep the paintwork and bumpers in optimal shape.
The Combo is filled to the brim with safety and technology you would often find on premium sedans. The Combo comes standard with ABS, stability control, electronic brake-force distribution, stability control, hill start assist and to top it off, airbags both for the driver and passenger.
The Combo is powered by a 1.6L turbo-diesel that produces 68kW and a strong 230 Nm of torque. Acceleration is steady, yet strong, 0 – 100 Km/h is dispatched in 12.1 seconds and will run out of steam at a top speed of 147 km/h, this is way more than our legal speed limit and will satisfy fleet owners. The gearbox is a standout feature, the ratios are set just right to punch you off the line and provide you with ample grunt during overtaking manoeuvres.
The benefits of having a diesel motor is the frugality that they possess, the Combo returned a combined figure of 5.6L/100 Km’s during my test tenure, this was achieved during a 700 km commute, all this without a single stop at the filling station, I am still in shock at how I even managed to cover so much ground without being concerned of my next fuel stop. To date, I have never had a test vehicle that is so practical yet frugal.
My time with the Opel Combo has rejuvenated my secret love for panel vans, yes, it may not be the fanciest or most stylish mode of transport one can opt for, however, the practicality is what sets this segment apart from the rest. The Opel Combo really does put up a strong case for itself and if you are a small business that is looking at implementing a strong fleet that will provide you with peace of mind, then the Combo is for you. I also made it a point to test out its load-carrying ability during my week-long test by paying a visit to a thriving business called the Innovation Hub Group, we were able to load up the Combo and show off its carrying capacity prowess.
The Innovation Hub Group provides many tailor-made business solutions that cater to any business, big or small and their friendly staff are always willing to assist in any matter pertinent to improving your business. I’d like to thank the Innovation Hub Group for allowing me to take time out of their busy schedules to accommodate the Opel Combo.
As a token of my appreciation, I have listed their website details below.
- R 315 675
- 3-year/120 000 km warranty.
- 3-year / 60 000 km service plan.
8.5 / 10