Johannesburg - Opel will release its new Combo range of small panel vans in South Africa in March 2019, in both family-friendly Combo Life and commercial Combo Cargo formats.
The Combo is a sister model to the Citroen Berlingo and Peugeot Rifter and Partner, sharing the PSA Group’s EMP2 platform, and comes in a choice of two lengths - 4400mm and 4750mm overall - with a comprehensive suite of driver aids including ‘surround rear vision’ and an overload indicator system.
It’s available in Europe with a choice of 1.5-litre turbodiesel or 1.2 turbopetrol fours, driving the front wheels via either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. There’s even a 4x4 version, although we’re not sure whether that will be made available in our market.
The 1.5-litre Turbo D is also offered in two tunings: the 100PS version is rated for 74kW at 3500 revs and 250Nm at 1750, while the 130PS version delivers a claimed 96kW at 3750 revs and 300Nm at 1750rpm.
The direct-injection 110PS turbopetrol is rated for 83kW at 5500 revs and 205Nm at 1750rpm; a more highly tuned 130PS (96kW) version will be available from the first half of 2019. The engine line-up for South Africa, however, has yet to be finalised.
Be that as it may, the Combo Life will be available in both lengths, with either five or seven seats, and your choice of one or two rear sliding doors. The standard length five-seat model has a 597 litre cargo bay, which more than triples to 2126 litres with the rear seats folded flat, while the long-wheelbase model will swallow 850 litres of retail therapy - or a whopping 2693 litres with the rear seats folded.
International Van of the Year
The Combo Cargo - the 2019 international Van of the Year - comes with your choice of two, three or five seats and is rated to carry a full ton; it’s also available in short and long-wheelbase versions. As a two or three-seater, even the standard model will take two standard Euro pallets; the long-wheelbase version offers up to 4.4 cubic metres of payload space, with a load length of up to 3440mm.