Right in the “ludospace” trend, the Opel Combo-e Life draws on the strengths of the Combo-e utility to appeal to families on a daily basis. Successful operation ? We took the wheel of the electric family on his native land, in Rüsselsheim, to judge.
Off to Germany! Cradle of the brand, it is in Rüsselsheim that the historic Opel site is located where the new Combo-e Life and the entire LCV range with the Vivaro and Movano are produced. Presented at the start of the year, the electric MPV is none other than the little brother of the Opel Zafira-e Life van, in a more compact format and adapted to urban families, its favorite target. Let’s go for a day at the wheel of the Opel Combo-e Life, between Autobahn and downtown.
Opel Combo-e Life: automotive design
Like the other MPVs from the Stellantis group (ex-PSA), the Opel Combo-e Life is a nicely adapted version of an existing light commercial vehicle: the Opel Combo-e. Taking up the lines of the original model, our Life in its Elegance Pack finish is enhanced by 17-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels, a panoramic glass roof with storage, dark-tinted side windows and rear window, and “Copper metal” exterior paint. which sets it apart from its utilitarian counterpart, available only in more classic hues.
Available in 5 or 7 seats with the two body lengths L1 (4.40 m) and L2 (4.75 m), the Opel Combo-e Life is a versatile vehicle for families whether for trips for everyday life or for leisure. Only the absence of any exhaust outlet betrays the nature of the Combo-e, which makes it a modern but discreet MPV, which does not transpire 100% electric once in traffic. Moreover, the identity of the brand carried by the LED look evoking in particular that of the Opel Grandland is very present. Automotive design, and clean.
Motorization and autonomy
The underside of the Opel Combo-e Life is nothing new, since we find there identically the technical sheet of the other models of the group designed around the modular platform EMP2. Like the Peugeot e-Rifter and Citroën ë-Berlingo, the Combo-e Life relies on a 100 kW/136 hp electric motor with a maximum torque of 260 Nm. Electronically limited to 135 km/h, this one does the exercise from 0 to 100 km/h in 11.7 seconds.
If this value is of little importance in daily use, it still translates into sufficiently frank accelerations to fit on the Autobahn and overtake in complete safety. Needless to say, this will largely suit our French motorways. Announced at 280 km, autonomy is provided by a 50 kWh battery whose 216 cells divided into 18 modules display good performance on a fast charging station up to 100 kW: 30 minutes of charge for 80% autonomy !
For our part, we hit the road in two stages, with 100% battery and 266 km of autonomy displayed on the dashboard for each vehicle. On a first mainly urban journey, we “consumed” 28 km for 26 km actually traveled, which is indeed close to the autonomy announced in these conditions. The second journey with numerous sections of motorway was punctuated by overtaking and top speed (we reached 137 km/h on the speedometer!). There, the 266 km of autonomy increased to 88 km, for 79 km actually traveled. The observation is clear: the MPV is not a long-haul vehicle, and it is not made for it anyway. Fortunately for “leisure” journeys, the Opel Combo-e Life can count on stops at a fast terminal, time to take a break and have a bite to eat with the family and here we go again!
On-board comfort: ergonomics and technology
Inside, the Combo-e Life is true to the brand’s philosophy of practicality and simplicity. We find an ergonomic dashboard with easy access to the essential controls (air conditioning, driving mode, multimedia system), as well as numerous storage spaces both under the panoramic roof and in the central tunnel. Spaces that continue at the rear with a boot volume ranging from 597 to 2,126 liters for our L1 model and from 850 to 2,693 liters for the L2. Special mention to the three rear seats (ISOFIX) which fold individually and easily to create an optimal flat floor when transporting objects. An additional 36-litre roof box completes the intelligent storage space in the MPV.
The high-tech equipment of our Opel Combo-e Life consists of a 8-inch Multimedia Navi Pro touchscreen system compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as some welcome options such as the head-up display or the induction charger for smartphones. Only the presence of many hard plastic surfaces still sins for our taste, but this remains a detail, related to the comfortable and well-equipped environment of the vehicle. The various driving assistance systems (reversing camera, parking sensors, cruise control, automatic emergency braking, anti-collision alert, etc.) are present on call and do what they are asked to do very well .
At the wheel: agile MPV
On the road, the new Opel Combo e-Life proves to be as comfortable as its cousin e-Rifter. The power steering offers ease of steering worthy of a city car, a very important point in town and during parking manoeuvres. The suspensions, although a bit firm at low speed, are more comfortable at higher speeds on slightly more uneven paths. The very good handling coupled with the responsiveness and quiet operation of the MPV even makes us want to go well beyond 135 km/h on the unlimited portions of the Autobahn. But we must not forget its electric nature and its field of predilection: the urban journeys of everyday life. On this, there really isn’t much to say about this Opel Combo e-Life: it’s stable, agile, and safe.
Opel Combo-e Life: €35,300 excluding bonus
The Opel Combo-e Life is sold at a price (excluding bonuses) of €35,300 in its Edition version. You will have to opt for the Elegance trim level to have the choice between the L1 (€37,750) and L2 (€39,010) bodies. The high-end Elegance Pack finish is available from €38,850. The different lengths are available in five or seven-seater configuration depending on compatibility.
Electric Opel Combo Life – test results
- Neat design and finishes
- Electrical performance
- Urban comfort and ergonomics
- Quick charge
- Range on the highway
- Lots of hard plastics
- Slightly firm suspensions