The first generation of the Opel Combo was received with enthusiasm by the market, as it had an affordable price and a highly versatile and practical character.
The main faults of the Opel Combo are its engines which are a half step behind of what we’ll usually find in this segment. But despite this fact, the vehicle is still able to score nice figures when it comes to sales charts and continues to be sold together with the New Combo generation that was launched in 2008.
The Peugeot Combo price starts at $ 17.000 and has a maximum payload capacity of 600 kg while the engines lineup includes two diesels and one petrol.
The first generation of the [Opel-
As it was expected, the old age of the Combo left its marks on the exterior design. However, the Combo’s style isn’t that bad either and despite its lack of modern lines it still manages to offer pleasant appearance.
The Peugeot Combo features a typical van style with a bulky shape and a long hood. At the front we find a rudimentary grille which fails to give the truck an attractive look. The main headlights have a pretty rudimentary shape and don’t to anything to improve the dated look of the vehicle. The front bumper continues the rudimentary style and it’s fitted with a central air intake and two round fog lamps.
Despite its dull appearance, the Opel Combo features a drag coefficient of 0.35 which makes it one of the most streamlined delivery vans available on today’s market.
We like that the side windows are pulled down low and the large exterior mirrors are also helpful during maneuvering. The tail lights are smartly located outside of the impact zone along the frame of the tailgate aperture.
The Combo is 4.32 meters long and has a 2.71 meter wheelbase. The load area is 1.79 meters long, with a width ranging from 1.35 meters to a maximum of 1.45 meters (with two sliding doors). With the front passenger seat back folded down, the load area length can be increased to a best in class 2.70 meters.
A large rear aperture enables loading of Euro pallets through the wing doors in the panel van or tailgate in the passenger car variants.
While the exterior style is pretty far from today’s design standards, the interior looks pretty nice and the materials are surprisingly good. The fittings are also better than expected and the overall environment is welcoming and spacious. It’s true that the old Combo isn’t as refined as the new model, but the cabin ergonomy continues to be fairly good given the rugged nature of the vehicle.
Peugeot never had problems when it comes to controls emplacement and the Combo makes no exception. The center console is laid out in an intuitive manner and everything is within easy reach. Though, the controls and buttons feel cheap and aren’t as solid as other vehicles in the segment.
Above the twin central air intakes there is a convenient digital display which hosts information about various vehicle functions, while the instrument cluster feature four white faced gauges which are fairly easy to read.
You’ll find the Combo’s seats pretty comfortable, as they offer proper back support and also come with a fair amount of adjustments permitting you to get cozy behind the steering wheel in no time.
Talking about the steering wheel, it features an ergonomic design and offers a confidant grab. It’s also fitted with a series of useful controls to make your life on board easier and it can be adjusted for height.
Fortunately, the straight road visibility isn’t an issue either and you can also rely with confidence on the plate sized exterior mirrors.
The storage space is able to contain massive amounts of clutter and still allows you to find quickly what you need. Furthermore, there is also a useful overhead storage shelf which can host different things.
On the equipment list you’ll find items like electric windows, electric passenger door mirror, power steering and radio/CD player as standard, while air conditioning is available as an option. There are also included standard driver airbag and optional passenger airbags, so you won’t need to worry about safety either.
Engines and performance
There isn’t anything inherently wrong with the Opel Combo engines but the newer units available at some of its rivals are a whole lot better. There is offered a choice of three engines, including two diesels and one petrol. There is also one especially environmentally compatible natural gas unit. Naturally diesels are the preferred choice
The entry level unit is the 1.3-litre CDTi, which offers a peak torque of 170 Nm achieved at 1750 rpm and a maximum power of 69 hp available at 4000 rpm. The engine uses variable multiple direct injection and offers low fuel consumption while also being surprisingly smooth and refined.
The 1.7-litre CDTi is slightly more powerful and offers a generous torque of 240 Nm at 2300 rpm with 98 hp at 4400 rpm. The engine copes great with the utilitarian nature of the vehicle and offers a proper amount of torque low down in the rev range, being able to merge well with both city and highway driving.
Thanks to variable intake control and high rates of exhaust gas recirculation, the90 hp 1.4 TWINPORT petrol engine consumes just 6.3 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers.
The 1.6 CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) unit, features the monovalentplus concept was designed for maximum efficiency. With 19 kg of natural gas and a 14-liter gasoline reserve, the 94 hp CNG Combo has an operating range of approximately 550 kilometers and produces only 133 g/km CO2.
Ride and handling
The Peugeot Combo rides on front McPherson struts and torsion beam rear axle. Stiffer springs and special shock absorbers are also available for transporting especially heavy loads.
The standard ride is on the comfortable side of things and you won’t be annoyed by the various road imperfections. The downside is the significant body roll effect, but the overall handling it’s not affected and the steering is also able to keep up with almost anything you’ll ask of it offering a well balanced feel.
Thanks to its compact exterior dimensions and the tight turning circle, the Combo is a joy to be driven around town and the stopping power is also pretty sharp as it’s offered capable internally ventilated disk brakes (front) combined with ABS.
For a pretty long period of time, the Opel Combo wasn’t available with CDTi diesel engines and despite this disadvantage it was still able to put the sale charts on fire. Now the van’s lineup of engines is complete and offers both diesel and petrol engines which is a huge step forward for the Combo.
While it’s clear that the Combo isn’t the most modern model you’ll find around, it’s basic and solid construction works in its favor and the competitive price it’s also a big advantage that deserves to be considered.