Van-based MPV majors on space, not style
- Masses of interior space
- Majors on practicality
- Should be inexpensive to run
- Citroen, Peugeot versions look more stylish
While the Vauxhall Combo Life won’t be one of the most exciting cars to be launched in 2018, if it’s anything like its sister cars – the Citroen Berlingo Multispace and Partner Tepee-replacing Peugeot Rifter – then this new MPV will doubtless gain a loyal following.
The Combo Life’s perpendicular styling is indicative of its roots: this is a passenger car version of the fourth generation of Combo van.
Whereas the first two were based on contemporary Vauxhall Corsa hatchbacks, and the outgoing version a re-badged Fiat Doblo Cargo, this one is a derivative of the latest PSA Peugeot-Citroen small van. A change that follows PSA's recent acquition of the Vauxhall brand.
Huge amounts of space in the Vauxhall Combo Life
Those vertical body panels liberate an incredible amount of interior room, with space for up to seven people.
The middle-row seats are three individual chairs – all with Isofix child seat-mounting points, which may prove a strong selling point – while the side doors slide to avoid car park dings from over-enthusiastic kids getting in and out.
Two lengths of Combo Life will be available, measuring 4.40m and 4.75m nose to tail.
Even in five-seater mode, the shorter Combo Life will still swallow 597 litres of luggage, while the longer one has a maximum two-seater capacity of 2,693 litres.
Expect a wealth of storage facilities and a hinged rear screen to access the boot where there isn’t space to open the whole tailgate.
Vauxhall Combo Life: efficient petrol and diesel engines
While there’s yet to be official confirmation of exactly which turbocharged motors will propel the Combo Life, it’s probable that they will be a combination of three-cylinder PureTech petrols and four-cylinder BlueHDi diesels, that already see service in a variety of Citroen, DS, Peugeot and Vauxhall cars.
Three transmissions have been announced, though: five- and six-speed manuals will likely be the most popular, but an eight-speed automatic will also be available.
Vauxhall Combo Life: wealth of safety systems
In order to protect the Combo Life driver and their passengers, a wide range of safety equipment will be available, although which, if any, will be standard is yet to be revealed.
Lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control are among the highlighted features, but one that caught our attention is the Flank Guard.
Rather than a sacrificial, physical panel, the Flank Guard is a series of 12 sensors along the Vauxhall’s sides that monitor for obstacles such as low-height bollards that the driver might not have spotted.
Orders for the Vauxhall Combo Life will commence later in 2018, with customer deliveries beginning before the end of the year. Expect prices to be announced in the autumn.