THE PREFERENCE FOR PUGS | Van Review – Peugeot

Peugeot focuses on reinvention and rejuvenation of the brand

It’s the newest small van to launch onto the Australian market and if you go for the top of the line model it’s full of technical innovation and safety equipment that would impress even a prestige car owner.

But we are talking here of the entry-level Peugeot Partner, a small van with delightful manners that is joining your company to fill its commercial role while saving you when it comes to total operating costs.

The appeal starts with a five-year factory warranty, includes roadside assistance and extends through to the entry level, standard-wheelbase van model, in this case being the Partner Van 110 Standard with manual transmission and a drive-away price (in QLD) of $29,528 or (in NSW) of $29,640.

The pricing structure comes from a manufacturer recommended retail price of $25,990, with dealer delivery costs of $1990, registration costs of $820 and stamp duty of $840 (For NSW pricing).

The standard wheelbase version is powered by a turbocharged 1.2-litre, three-cylinder PureTech petrol engine that produces 81 kW of power at 5500 rpm and 205 Nm of torque at 1750 rpm and is mated to a six-speed manual. This engine uses only 5.9-litres per 100 km on the combined test cycle and is Euro6 emissions rated.

Don’t be phased by missing out on one cylinder from the norm, as three pistons pumping hard can these days perform as one might have expected from a traditional four-pot banger. Adding turbocharging also smoothes out any possible anomalies.

It comes with a full one tonne of payload and boasts a 3.8 cu.m cargo volume while offering a maximum interior load height dimension of 1243 mm, a width of 1229 mm (between wheel arches), and a maximum length of 1817 mm. If you are in the habit of carrying ladders or lengths of wood the maximum load length extends to 3090 mm by sliding it in from the rear and then letting it find its own way under the front passenger seat.

The “will it fit in the shed” question is easily answered with the Partner, as the overall length is just 4403 mm, the width is 2107 mm (including mirrors) and the height is 1880 mm.

The fact that here we are looking at the basic entry-level model can cause surprise when the prospective buyer finds out the scale of the safety inclusions.

As well as disc brakes front and rear, the Partner comes with electric power steering, autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning system, lane-departure assist, ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency braking assistance, electronic stability control, airbags for the driver and passenger plus front curtain airbags, unfastened seat belt warning, front seat pretensioners, internal central-locking button, remote central locking, surround rear vision with side view mode and speed-sign recognition with recommendation plus a five-star EuroNCAP safety rating.

And yes, there’s more to come, with front and rear parking sensors, surround rear vision camera system (top rear view, rear view, passenger side view via dedicated screen), cruise control with speed limiter, height and reach adjustable steering wheel, front electric windows, load area dome light, folding driver’s armrest and a multi-function trip computer.

In staying with the basics and not adding further costs by expanding the options list the van comes with one sliding side door on the passenger side and barn doors at the rear.

If you are buying the Partner for small business home deliveries there’s no need to jump to a diesel, and by staying with the petrol version the Euro6 exhaust emissions rating is future proofing your purchase for when legislation is toughened up. The combined fuel economy figure is 5.9 l/100 km, improving to 5.3 l/100 km for a run in the country. Expect a fuel return of 6.8 l/100 km when purely operating in the city.

Roadside assistance for Peugeot covers you for five years, the warranty for commercial vehicles is for five years or 200,000 km.

And with the Federal Government now allowing full write-off on business purchases up to $150,000, you may be able to claim the full Peugeot Partner investment cost in this year’s tax return (we strongly advise checking with your accountant).

For a mid-sized van, the offering from Peugeot is the Expert. Standard features mirror those of the Partner, with include low-speed autonomous emergency braking, adaptive-cruise control, speed-sign recognition, blind-spot monitoring, high-beam assist, and front and rear parking sensors. The rear-view camera creates a static 180-degree view of the vehicle’s surroundings, so that drivers can watch the side and rear of the vehicle to avoid unpleasant parking scrapes.

There’s a choice of engines with the Expert standard model but in sticking with our premise of looking only at the entry-level standard product we’ll stay with the Expert Standard powered by the 1.6-litre 115 HDI engine with six-speed manual transmission.

With 85 kW produced at 3750 rpm and with peak torque rated at 300 Nm at 1750 rpm, this four-cylinder diesel is both turbocharged and intercooled and features common-rail fuel injection. In fuel economy terms expect 5.2 l/100 km for the combined cycle, improving to 5.0 l/100 km for the country drive and dropping back slightly to 5.6 l/100 km when stuck in the city. Exhaust emissions here are again paired back to Euro6 levels, with CO2 levels at 137 g/km.

Matching the Partner with a 1000 kg payload, you do of course gain over the Expert in terms of cargo space. Expert offers a maximum load space length of 2512 mm, increasing to 3674 mm when you use the flappy thing for lengths of timber or pipework. The interior cargo space width is 1636 mm, height is 1640 mm and you can tow a braked trailer up to a laden weight of 1800 kg with a downforce on the towball of 80 kg.

The “will it fit in the shed” statistics are 4959 mm long, 1895 mm high, and a width (with wing mirrors folded) of 2010 mm.

Like it’s little mate the Partner, the Expert has a host of features that make some of the competition look extremely bland by comparison.

With a 7-inch touchscreen, infotainment covers off with Mirror Link, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, handsfree, media streaming and an audio jack input.

All the safety systems are there, with autonomous emergency braking, forward-collision warning system, blind-spot warning, ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency-braking assistance, electronic stability control, driver, passenger and front curtain airbags, driver-attention alert, automatic headlamps and air conditioning, plus active cruise control and the very clever surround rear vision – side view mode and speed sign recognition with recommendation plus a five-star EuroNCAP safety rating.

Driveaway pricing in Queensland for the Expert Van Standard 85 kW with manual transmission is $40,353, increasing by $300 if you register it in New South Wales.

We can’t stress enough the importance of buying Euro6 rated commercial vehicles because eventually these are the minimum emissions requirements that will be allowed into cities without severe penalties. Restrictions are starting to come into force in some European cities in an effort to reduce pollution and curb global warming, and these measures will simply be the start of the process.

The interesting factor with Peugeot is the high attention to safety. Bearing in mind we’ve looked at standard entry-level models here, the specifications are extremely high, and they safeguard employees. If your business is buying a new van, it should be the safest on the market.

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