Opel Combo C, one of the small vans that any entrepreneur should look at at the beginning of the journey. Opel Combo C, the official car of “I nay be a small man, but I say big things!”.

By 2001 Opel was seeing the world begin to flock towards cars like Caddy Life or Kangoo or other vans with windows and they said that they wanted to enter this market more strongly. They just approached things differently and with an extremism worthy of the ideas of Nigel Farage, but which made the Opel Combo C a memorable car on the commercial vehicle market.

The idea at the time was pretty simple – if you wanted something premium (although why would you want a premium van flies over me on a double yellow line as if I were on a Sunday night when everyone is in a hurry to get home, to the pub or both) you went to the VW Caddy. If you wanted something to be halfway between practicality and comfort, go for Renault Kangoo. And if you wanted maximum practicality and utility then you went to Opel Combo C. Sure, things would change in 2006 when the Logan MCV becomes the new champion in cheap and practical utilities, but until then Opel Combo C was alone in the parking lot of back of a hypermarket, making the supply.

Sure, back then there was also the Astra H Van, but the Opel Combo C went a step further. The whole idea of the Opel Combo C was to build the smallest and cheapest car that would fit a europallet. So they took a Corsa C, kept the front half and adapted the rear to swallow an europallet and/or a row of seats and luggage for the Opel Combo Tour, the version for people who can;t make the difference between relatives, children, potatoes and bags of cement. Plus it has a maximum cargo capacity between 570 and 750 kg depending on the trim level, the equivalent of two shopping bags that your parents force you to carry, against your will.

Opel Combo C Engines


  • 1.4 MPI of 90 horsepower – Launched in 2004 just 2 years before the Logan MCV, so it’s better to go with the MCV because that 1.4 MPI is better than the unit on the Combo / Corsa. Plus, an MCV 1.4 MPI is even cheaper because you’re literally scraping at the bottom of the barrel in terms of comfort, features and price.
  • 1.6 MPI of 87, 94 and 97 horsepower – You can find the eternal EcoTec with a camshaft and 8v but also with two camshafts and 16v, and I don’t have much to say about this engine because I talked at length in the article about Astra H. Plus that it is realistically the only petrol engine that deserves its money on the Opel Combo C. The EGR gets clogged occasionally and you have to change the water pump with the timing but that’s about it.


  • 1.3 CDTi of 70 and 75 horsepower – Excellent to haul around the supplies to your guest house which is located just outside the city, very bad if it’s used only for the city driving. If you drive it only in the city you will have issues with EGR, particulate filter, flywheel and injectors and that is why this little David is sometimes wrongly judged. It’s a comically reliable  engine, but it’s not made for short trips and only through the city. But at least you will find parts literally on every wall, as the 1.3 MultiJet engine being a village bicycle of the automotive industry, being mounted on the Fiat Doblo, Combo’s competition.
  • 1.7 DI and DTI of 65 and 75 horsepower – Historically mentioned for the first time in Her Majesty’s autobiography in 2330 BC, this Isuzu engine is old, antique, historic, reliable, environmentally friendly just like the fun and friendly Health and Safety and retired in 2003 by 1.7 CDTi. Yes, you need to have an ECU in the trunk all the time because this engine is notorious for it’s appetite for the ECU.
  • 1.7 CDTi of 65, 75 and 101 hp – By far the most popular engine on the Opel Combo C and an engine capable of all possible and impossible jobs. With an service interval of 40,000 km, the legendary 1.7 CDTi from Isuzu did its job honorably. The main issues are the cracking antifreeze pipes, the alternators that give up prematurely and also don’t forget to change the water pump with the timing belt.

Opel Combo C General Issues

  • You are at the bottom of the barrel in terms of comfort and equipment, so you have to ask just as with the Logan if the car has air conditioning, power windows or ABS (the basic versions did not have ABS).
  • Usually cheap cars also attract people with a special passion for cars and who take care of them like their eyes. That’s why you must be very careful not to take a model that is more fried than a guy from a random pub that explains how women came to Earth 3000 years ago with an alien space ship and since then you can’t drink a beer with a friend.
  • Rust is a serrious issue for the Opel Combo C and this is also due to the fact that drivers who have a special respect for these cars wash them weekly and never drive on bad roads full of mud and junk.
  • The transmission and steering are more tormented than my sleep at night and this also comes from the  impeccable driving style of the employees that couldn’t care less about the company car so put money aside for the clutch, the steering wheel and the wheelhouse. And pray that the steering column doesn’t go bust as it can get so expensive that you might aswell scrap it.

Opel Combo C Verdict

If you want absolute efficiency and utility out of your money, then the Opel Combo C is the king in the small commercial vehicle world. And it’s good that way, because in this way the car will be protected from all kinds of pretty boys and people who complain that it is ugly, noisy, slow or all at once. Which makes Combo a car that people don’t rush to buy one and that’s how the prices stay low. So low in fact that I can see Adele rolling in them.


What engines do I recommend? For petrol engines I will clearly recommend the 1.6 MPI 97 horsepower unit and for diesel I can only recommend 1.7 CDTi 101 horsepower.