The Vauxhall Combo Tour is a leftfield choice for family transport. We think it’s actually an extremely practical one. Being based on the Combo van, there’s a lot of space into a relatively small footprint, meaning you can pack in people and luggage in easily. Great if you don’t mind the stigma of driving around in a van.
Think of the Vauxhall Combo Tour as a bit like one of those former industrial buildings that’s been converted into flats. Once it was a compact tradesman’s vehicle and now it’s a family-friendly people mover. From the outside it still looks utilitarian. It’s what’s inside that counts, which we’ll get to in a moment.
The design is Corsa hatch-meets-postman’s van with big windows, sliding side doors and double rear doors in lieu of a tailgate.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We’d say Vauxhall definitely prioritised function over form.
What's it like to drive?
If you’re worried the Vauxhall Combo Tour will feel like a commercial vehicle to drive, you can relax. There’s still a lot of Corsa about the way the Combo Tour drives.
All the controls have a suitably light touch to them, and the vehicle’s compact size makes it quite easy to manoeuvre in town.
Power comes from a choice of 1.3-litre turbo diesel or 1.4-litre petrol engines, which are sprightly enough to keep up with traffic and there’s a certain cheeriness to driving it that may bring back memories of riding in the school minibus.
Like Dr Who’s Tardis, the Vauxhall Combo Tour seems to be bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. The big windows and high roofline make it feel super spacious inside. The driving position sets you up for great all-round visibility and, though the feeling of the materials used in the cabin is a little utilitarian, they’re hard-wearing and should stand up to the trials and tribulations of family life.
One thing the kids certainly won’t argue about is the space in the back. The bench seat is big enough for three, there’s tons of headroom and nobody will be fighting for the best view as there’s so much glass, everyone can see out clearly.
The Vauxhall Combo Tour is honest family transport so the basics such as electric windows, audio and air conditioning are covered. There’s not much more in the way of frills. There’s good interior storage space in the glovebox and door bins, however.
Practicality is where the Vauxhall Combo Tour excels. The rear sliding doors make it an absolute doddle for the kids to pile in and out on the school run and the wide access makes settling smaller children in their car seats easy too.
The boot is accessed by twin opening doors that reveal a wide opening and a really deep storage space. You’ll easily get the whole family’s suitcases in there with room on top of the luggage cover for a few more soft backs.
Throw the seats down and you’ve got a simply massive space – double mattress needs moving? This is the van for you. Just don’t tell your friends, as they’ll be on the phone asking you to help them move.
Reliability and running costs
If you want to have extra ice cream money on the family road trip, opt for the diesel. It will achieve around 45mpg, while the petrol version musters 35mpg.
Thanks to the commercial underpinnings, the Vauxhall Combo Tour has been designed for a rough life and reliability is accordingly good. Find some figures on the running costs (MPG) for the most common models.
If you want extra peace of mind, you might want to consider cinchCare.
What we love
There is a simple effectiveness to the Vauxhall Combo Tour that you can’t help but like. It’s a no-nonsense, down-to-earth approach to moving a family around at low cost. It’s exceptionally spacious for its size and light and airy inside.
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The Vauxhall Combo Tour is a car you buy with your head, not your heart. It’s pragmatic and practical, but there’s still a little charm about the way it goes about the business of faff-free family transportation.
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