Opel Combo-e review

When it comes to functionality, the Opel Combo-e is a superb package.

Pros: versatile interior, useful battery range

Cons: no seven-seat electric option, image

With a 50kWh battery the Opel Combo-e can travel up to 280 kilometres on a single charge, making it ideal for typical family life, but also perhaps as a taxi or as a people mover for businesses.

Opel Combo-e Design 

When it comes to kerbside appeal the Opel Combo-e can’t complete with the widespread desirability of SUVs, yet it is more practical in almost every sense. This is a vehicle that is designed to function both as a people mover and a panel van. Nevertheless, its friendly face reflects the honest functionality of its purpose.

With sliding doors on each side, it is a boon to parents when it comes to parking spaces. The raised seating position apes that of an SUV, so getting the little ones in and out can be easier. There is also a manageable step up or down from the rear. Although the tailgate is an unwieldy thing to open, the rear glass can be opened separately, which is useful for when you only need to put smaller items into the boot.

Opel Combo-e Interior 

With a five-seat layout there is no lack of passenger space, and the Combo-e is one of the few electric vehicles that can accommodate three child seats across the rear. Thanks to the use of individual seats the rear can be configured in different ways and the backs of the front seats also feature fold-up tray tables. With its tall roof and large side windows there is a great feeling of spaciousness. Overhead storage bins in the rear create even more places to stow items away, as does the central spine running along the glass panel roof.

In the front seats the elevated driving position is easily as good as what any SUV has to offer. The layout of the dashboard and centre console is that born of the need to be as functional for business users as the private buyer. A generous degree of adjustability for the driver’s seat and steering wheel makes it easy to find a comfortable driving position. Modern conveniences such as a head-up display and digital instrument cluster, combined with a large touchscreen display are all welcome. The hard-wearing plastics that dominate the interior are more function than form, however.

As the Combo-e comes only with a single-speed automatic transmission, it uses a simple toggle switch style drive selector. Deep door bins, cavernous storage areas between the front seats and cup holders placed atop the dashboard make up for the lack of soft-touch materials in the cabin. Aft of the rear seats there is a boot space that measures 597 litres and can be increased to a total of 2,216 litres.

Opel Combo-e Performance & Drive 

Opel only offers the Combo-e with a single battery option. That is a 50kWh item, similar to what is used in both the Corsa-e and Mokka-e. A 136hp (100kW) electric motor drives the front wheels and the Combo-e can reach 100km/h from a standing start in 11.7 seconds. The top speed is a modest 130km/h, though spending lengthy periods of time at the maximum permitted motorway speed will put a dent into the official 280-kilometre driving range. Thankfully, it can charge at up to 100kW.

The motor’s 260Nm of torque gives the Combo-e plenty of pulling power at urban speeds, making it an ideal people mover in towns and cities. Its smooth nature and single-speed gearbox takes the edge off what is, at times, a firm ride. Its steering is light and the great outward visibility makes it extremely easy to place on the road and see what’s going on around you.

Opel Combo-e Pricing 

Pricing for the Opel Combo-e starts at €32,578 after the applicable EV grants are taken into account. That puts it almost identical in price to the equivalent diesel-powered Combo. Opel is also reasonably generous with standard equipment, including a digital instrument display, eight-inch touchscreen, dual-zone climate control and a host of driver assistance systems.

Carzone Verdict: 4/5 

This is a car that you buy very much with your head rather than your heart. What it might lack is overall visual appeal, however, it more than makes up for in everyday usability and functionality. A decent battery range, healthy degree of performance and sensible pricing all go in its favour. If you’re brave enough to ditch the SUV trend, you’re unlikely to be disappointed.

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