When is a car, not a car?
When it is a “versatile leisure vehicle”
Last weekend we got to road test the Vauxhall Combo Life and it has given us another option in finding the perfect 7-seater car for our family.
I will start with the elephant in the room – it is not the prettiest vehicle to have ever graced the roads, but what it is, is practical in every sense.
It arrived on a miserable, wet summers day and our first trip out in it was to pick up Eliza and all her paraphernalia from cub camp in the New Forest.
The Combo Life is perfect for families fed up with doing battle with car doors in car parks as it has sliding back doors – no more banging into the neighbours car as you battle to strap the kids into their car seats.
It has my holy grail of three individual, full size seats in the second row, with isofix points, allowing for three car seats, or three large teenagers.
These seats also fold flat, to give you a huge amount of boot space, plus a sliding and fully removable pair of third-row seats and boot space too, even when the third row of seats are installed.
Because of the cars boxy shape, the third row of seats keeps the head height and can easily be used by adults.
The practicality doesn’t end there – there are cup holders aplenty, large door bins, under-seat and underfloor storage and a good-size roof storage bin up front, as well as a large glovebox with USB port.
There is even a built in base charger unit for compatible phones!
The Combo Life has an 8.0″ touchscreen infotainment system, similar to that used in Peugeot and Citroen which comes with a Sat Nav system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a DAB radio.
The Sat Nav instructions are also projected into the dashboard and there is also a viewing screen in front of the windscreen.
Other features we liked, were the driver and passenger temperature controls, heated steering wheel and seats for the colder months, two rear view mirrors, one for the kids and one for the road and lockable electric windows.
Drive wise, it felt like a van and performed like a van. If you need to pull away quickly, it didn’t really have oomph needed, but was comfortable to drive around both around town and on the motorway.
The only negative I really had with the Combo Life, is that the boot door is huge – you need a big space behind you to be able to open it and as someone who is on the short side, I struggled to reach to shut it again – an electric boot lock would be a good idea.
It is a brilliantly practical and versatile family car, which can be used to carry lots of people or equipment, and with prices starting from £19,610, it is more affordable than most other 7-seat vehicles on the market.
Do you like the look of the Combo Life?