General

Opel Combo Life test. One-Stop Solution

What car is needed for a family with children? With a spacious interior, with a large trunk, with a wide doorway

behind, and it is desirable that it cost relativelyinexpensive. Which of these cars are on the market? The mass of crossovers, which are rather universal solutions and rarely meet all the given criteria. There are minivans, but officially we only have the GAC GN8 left, the car may be good, but it's not so cheap. You can look in the direction of minibuses, but they are too bulky and not the most convenient option for the city. Only compact vans remain, for example, our today's guest Opel Combo Life, and there are interpretations of it on the market under other brands of the Stellantis concern.

I’ll tell you right away about the main minus of the Opel Combo Life.The car grew out of a cargo-passenger Opel Combo and was initially sharpened for business solutions, and then it was decided to transform it into a family car. Because of this, the Combo Life contains many things that are not typical for a classic family compact van, and besides, it lacks some simple and useful options for a civilian car.

Outwardly Opel Combo Life is so cute"heel" with a high body, a large glazing area and large mirrors with a vertical orientation in the manner of utility vehicles. There are no modern and elegant solutions here, which is understandable, because first of all this body was designed for commercial vehicles. Our headlights are large, with already outdated halogens inside, at night they dimly illuminate the road, the beam of yellow light is not concentrated and hits a short distance. But fog lights are used in corners, and large lurid LEDs are used as daytime running lights. The rear of the body resembles a smaller copy of a minibus - just a straight door with vertical lights along the edges. Yes, the car is not a design dream, although I saw it in black, with a tinted rear, and it already looks somehow even more interesting.

The interior design also does not shine with originalsolutions and came to us from commercial vehicles. Straight front panel with multiple open pockets and two glove compartments. Open niches on the ceiling. Automatic transmission lever located on a platform integrated into the front console. And a modest media system that immediately gives out in itself not a native device, but a third-party solution installed in the process. All elements of the interior are made of oak plastic, which during the operation of the car leads to the appearance of crickets in the cabin, we had one living somewhere in the area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe left air duct. And it would be nice if the plastic was hard, but it also turned out to be not very durable, at least here and there in the test car there were scuffs and scratches on the panels.

There is only one element in the Opel Combo Life,made of soft-touch plastic, and it turned out to be the steering wheel. Yes, you were not mistaken, the manufacturer did not even hang a leather sheath on it, but left just bare plastic, which is very rare now. True, the plastic steering wheel is a trifle, it is generally quite pleasant to the touch, but what upset me was the lack of a closer on the front windows. You press the button on the front console and hold it painfully long until the huge glass opens / closes. And on the rear doors there are no power windows at all, there the windows only open slightly to the side for ventilation.

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Driving Opel Combo Life will be very uncomfortabletall drivers, since the seat does not move back too much and there is no longer a margin, at least for me it was shifted to the limit. Also, thin people may also not be very comfortable due to too wide seats with poorly developed lateral support. At the same time, the chairs have a very good profile, but are slightly soft, although you don’t feel tired in them even after 4 hours spent on the road. It’s a pity, but the individual folding center armrests cannot be adjusted in height or length, so not everyone will find them comfortable.

There is no visibility from the driver's seatquestions. The glazing area is huge, the pillars are thin, and the side mirrors are large, the only thing is that you need to get used to their vertical orientation for some time. The wipers in the car work strangely, the right one, it seems that it does not even reach the middle, although there were no complaints about them in the process. But the rear wiper is excellent, it cleans a huge area of ​​​​the rear window, thereby improving visibility in bad weather.

With a height of 187 cm, by myself, I sit down withoutproblems, but here the knees rest against the back of the front seat, and even the reclining tables interfere. But the child behind me is spacious, although if the manufacturer allowed the rear sofa to be moved back, it would be better. Yes, behind us is not the usual sofa, but, in fact, three separate chairs. Isofix mounts are hidden between the pillows, and the central one can be folded down and get a small table with cup holders.

Boarding / disembarking from the rear is absolutely easyand at ease thanks to sliding doors that fully open the opening. Even if someone parked too close next to you, you can easily open the rear doors and put some kind of load or seat the child. The doors open easily and close just as easily, although for a family car it would be even better if they were automatic.

The trunk in the Opel Combo Life is huge, its volumeis 675 liters, and adding up the backs of all three seats separately from the passenger compartment, we will already get 3000 liters of usable space. At the same time, the front passenger seat can also be folded flush, which facilitates the transportation of long items up to 2.5 meters. And if you are carrying something not too massive, but long, you can remove and remove the front center box and place the load in the center. Also, the rear seats can not only be quickly folded, but also individually pulled out of the car, thereby further increasing the usable area.

Tailgate without power, andits disadvantage is that it is too big, so if another car is close behind you, then you will not be able to open it. For a commercial vehicle, this is not a problem, since the main thing is a wide opening for convenient loading / unloading, but for a civilian car, this is difficult. If the manufacturer made a door with two sections, with a folding side, it would be great. And so you arrived at the supermarket, stood in an empty seat, stocked up, came to the car, and someone got up behind you, and you can’t open the trunk to load your purchases.

The media system in the car is ChineseAlps FF-5000 on Android 10 OS, only with proprietary Opel launcher and private access to video viewing. Moreover, the last restriction is made so clumsily that the video cannot be started even when you parked.

The system is weak in hardware and thoughtful, with a faded7-inch IPS touch screen with a resolution of 1024x600 pixels. The processor is a quad-core ARM Cortex-A7, with only 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of permanent memory. Of the advantages of the system is the ability to install regular applications from the Google Play store, the same Yandex.Navigator, which is preinstalled initially, but is quietly updated after entering your Google account. Also, the system can be flashed to an alternative firmware, thereby removing the limitations of the automaker. The system connects to the network via Wi-Fi, it is enough to create an access point on the same smartphone.

Connecting smartphones (Android and iOS) viaBluetooth works without problems, with the correct import of contacts. But the speakerphone works disgustingly, the microphone built into the body of the head unit does not cope with its task. You can talk more or less calmly only in the parking lot, and on the go, when it becomes even a little noisy in the cabin, the interlocutor constantly starts complaining that you are hard to hear.

Also, the radio does not work well in the Opel system.Despite the presence of a long antenna antenna on the roof, the signal of radio stations even within the city is constantly lost, although in the same locations on other cars it is always stable.

Placing a smartphone in the public domain in OpelCombo Life is quite problematic, I had to put the device on the cover of the central box, which has a rubberized coating, but the device still flies off it in sharp turns. There is a glove box on the front panel in front of the driver, where, by the way, the manufacturer threw out the wires of two USB-A connectors, the only ones available for connection. But the niche inside is made of hard plastic, and somehow you don’t want to put the phone there, especially if it is not in a case. There are also open niches on top of the panel, but in sunny weather, the devices there will get very hot.

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Our dashboard is classic, with a well-read large speedometer markings and a modest text display with on-board computer data.

Driver assistants in the car reallyhumble set. There is a conventional cruise control with a speed limiter, which is responsible for the operation of the steering column lever. The latter is completely invisible from the driver's seat, so I would recommend that you familiarize yourself with its capabilities first in the parking lot. There were also rear parking sensors, only with sound information. And besides this - light and rain sensors that worked flawlessly.

In terms of comfortable options in the Opel Combo Life, everything is alsovery modestly. There is an ordinary air conditioner with manual adjustments, I don’t even remember when I last saw one like that. For our winter, full windshield heating is useful, as well as single-level heating of the front seats. The latter is turned on with separate buttons at the bottom of the seats on the side of the doors, which is very inconvenient.

For comfort, the car left ambiguousimpression. So, within the city it seems to be even quiet, there is a constant monotonous hum from the road, but not critical. You leave on the track, and aerodynamic noise also penetrates into the cabin, but I turned the music up louder, and not everything is so bad. But attempts to talk with passengers at speed turn into a failure, since you can hardly hear each other because of the noise and you have to significantly raise your voice to talk. The suspension work left a more pleasant impression, it copes well with most bumps, only shaking when hitting large ledges and potholes with sharp edges. True, the driver on a rough road is a little worse, since all the bumps and potholes are well transmitted to the steering wheel.

In Russia, Opel Combo Life is presented with twoengines, this is a 115-horsepower 1.6-liter gasoline unit and also a 1.6-liter diesel engine with 90 hp. The former comes with both a five-speed manual and a six-speed classic automatic, while the latter is only available with a manual transmission. Drive in all cases only front.

On the test, we had a car with gasolinemotor and automatic. In control, the car is transparent and obedient, only in the parking lot the steering wheel is too heavy. The engine in the city is enough with a small margin, but on the highway its power is no longer enough, and you have to go out very carefully to overtake. The six-speed automatic with a steady, unhurried movement pleases with its smooth and smooth operation, but with a kickdown it already thinks too much before lowering the gear, so you should keep this point in mind. In general, for a "heeled" car, it steers quite well, if only the box worked more quickly in dynamic mode, and you want more engine power, and it would be very good.

The ground clearance of the Opel Combo Life is 175mm, so without much fear it can be driven off the asphalt road, especially since the transmission and engine are covered from below with metal protection, which is included as standard. Plus, Opel has a proprietary IntelliGrip system that allows you to disable ESP or select a program for driving on a specific surface.

With a consumption declared by the manufacturer of 8 litersfor 100 km in a combined driving cycle, this figure was on average 9-10 liters, which, in general, is not so bad. You can fill the car with 92-m gasoline.

As of today, the official website of the company states,that the price of the Opel Combo Life starts at 2,199,000 rubles, this is for the gasoline version with mechanics. And a car with an automatic transmission will cost you at least 2,344,000 rubles.