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by Tim Beissmann

The 2012 Vauxhall Combo has been revealed in the UK, but Holden says the new model has not been confirmed to replace its nine-year-old Holden Combo.

The current Holden XC Combo has been on sale locally since 2002. The compact light commercial van is based on the old Holden XC Barina. The new model is based on the new Fiat Doblo, and is set to land in UK showrooms in February 2012.

Holden’s Kate Lonsdale said the local brand had ordered the last of its XC Combo vehicles, with production set to end shortly. Ms Lonsdale said supply of the run-out model would take Holden through until sometime next year.

She said the Fiat-based Combo was “still under review” for Australia, admitting that no decision had been made, and suggesting it could be some time until Holden finalised its plans.

Ms Lonsdale said Holden’s product planners would need to ask whether there was still a market for the Combo, whether the new model was suited to Australian buyers and conditions, and also weigh up the financial situation before deciding one way or the other.

In Europe, the new Combo will be available with two wheelbases, two heights, two trim levels and four different diesel engines.

The L1 is 4390mm long and 1850mm tall. It has a load length and width of 1820mm and 1710mm, leading to a total load volume of 3400 litres. The larger L2 is 350mm longer (4740mm) and 250mm taller (2100mm). Its load length grows by 350mm (2170mm), expanding load volume to 4200 litres.

Vauxhall says the Combo will have the largest payload (up to 1000kg), the largest load volume, the highest rear axle capacity (1450kg) and the longest wheelbase in its segment.

It incorporates a low loading height (545mm) and wide-opening sliding side doors for easier loading and more convenient cargo access.

The new Combo’s engine options include a 1.3 CDTi and a 1.6 CDTi both with 66kW, as well as another 1.6 CDTi unit with 77kW and a 99kW 2.0 CDTi. The smallest engine is paired with a five-speed manual transmission, while the rest of the range scores a six-speed manual. The 1.6-litre engines will also be available with a five-speed automated manual transmission.

The new Vauxhall Combo gets a significant equipment boost, with remote central locking with deadlocks, trip computer, electric power steering, driver’s airbag, ABS with EBD, CD player and 12-volt power outlet now standard in the UK.

A long list of options includes cruise control, rear parking sensors, climate control, electronic stability control with hill holder, side airbags, roof bars, overhead cabin storage, fog lights, electric door mirrors, Bluetooth/USB connectivity and steering column-mounted audio controls.

Holden has been contacted about its plans for the new Combo. We will update the story when we hear more.

The Holden Combo sells in modest numbers in Australia, although it remains the second-most popular compact van in Australia, behind the Volkswagen Caddy. So far this year, Holden has sold 298 Combos, trailing the Caddy (1313), but leading the Suzuki APV (222), Renault Kangoo (217) and the Citroen Berlingo (145).

Note: Fiat Doblo pictured in rear-end images.




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