As car fleet’s ponder the switch from diesel to petrol & electric, van customer’s are still very much into diesel. Whilst electric vans offer a short distance mobility solution, any van user who drives over 50 miles a day will be doing so in a diesel powered van. To that end, Peugeot have updated & improved their large Boxer van with new Euro 6.1 engines, which will offer customers better fuel economy & lower emissions. The latest Boxer also comes with many new safety features as standard & improved tech, giving customers both peace of mind & better hands-free connectivity in the cabin.
Whilst the basic body & chassis on the Boxer is essentially the same as before, the engine has been improved & updated for 2020. There is a choice of two engines; a BlueHDi 120 S&S 6-speed manual, or the BlueHDI 140 S&S 6-speed manual that we tested.
The model range is straightforward too. Choose from S, our test van, Grip, Professional or Asphalt. Entry level L1H1 S costs £30,742 OTR, whilst at the top end, the L4H2 140 Asphalt, will set you back £41,962 OTR. We were driving the L2H2 Boxer 335 BlueHDi 140 S&S 6-speed manual S, which costs £36,742 OTR.
Climb aboard & you’ll notice that the cabin has improved, with a more user friendly touchscreen infotainment system in the centre of the dash. You can connect your mobile phone via Bluetooth or via a USB, as well as use the phone or voice switch on the steering wheel to select & make hands-free phone calls. There’s also cruise control & speed limiter, which is accessed via a stalk on the left of the steering wheel.
The fixtures & fittings have been spruced up with some higher quality black plastics used across the top of the dash & on the area around the touchscreen & central heating controls. The plastic used lower down is a touch cheaper to the touch & the seat fabric can best be described as hard wearing, rather than luxurious. The six-speed gear lever is located to the left of the steering wheel making it very easy to reach. The gear change is slick for a van & with the light clutch, makes for pleasant urban driving.
Safety features include ABS, ESC, EBFD, cruise control with limiter, a drivers airbag, deadlocks & a parimetric alarm.
The three front seats offer all users plenty of leg & headroom, with numerous seat adjustments available on the drivers seat. The centre sat can be folded over to create a small desk & on top of the dash is a pull-up dash mounted clip board, to which you can attach papers or even your phone.
The Boxer comes with plenty of useful in cab storage.There’s a glove box, above which sit two open storage shelves. There are two drinks holders lower down as well as another in front of the centre front seat. There’s see also two large door pockets. The driver also gets an armrest which can be folded up & down, which is useful on a long motorway journey. The drivers seat is comfortable too & we left the cab after both of our 200 mile+ journeys feeling relaxed & with no aches & pains.
The rear load space features eight tie-down hooks in the load area, an internal light & a storage area above the cabin. Our test van came with twin opening 180 degree rear doors & a nearside sliding is door. It’s also fitted with a full toughened plastic bulkhead. & a rear loadspace light.The L2H2 is 3120mm long, offers a payload of 1545kg, a load volume of 11.5m3 & a gross vehicle weight of 3500kg. Dependant on which 140 model you choose, combined economy runs from 25.5-34.3mpg.
In the week we had the Boxer on loan, I was able to utilise the load space when clearing out my dad’s flat in Surrey. The journey there & back is almost entirely on the motorway & the Boxer performed admirably as we amassed 430 miles there & back, at an average economy of 34.8 mpg, so better then the official claimed by Peugeot. Although we didn’t need all of the space the Boxer offered, we were able to take advantage of the floor space on a couple of trips to the local tip, as well as bringing plenty of stuff back with us. We kept the boxes in check by spider clipping them to the floor hooks in the Boxer’s rear loadspace.
The last time I drove a Boxer, it was a LWB version & I have to say that the smaller version is easier to manoeuvre & overall, offers a more enjoyable driving experience. The Boxer is in effect based on the Fiat Professional Ducato van, which we rate very highly indeed, so the Boxer too get’s a thumb’s up from us. Whilst the class-leading cabins you’ll find in the latest Volkswagen Crafter, MAN TGE & Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, aren’t evident inside the Boxer, the Peugeot is a much more middle-of-the-road offering & that is reflected in the price. The range starts at £30,742 OTR, ( £24,735 before VAT ) which undercuts the German brands as well as the Ford Transit.
And of course, the new engines, plus the addition of new safety features, especially on higher spec versions & better on-board tech, have made the latest Boxer much more desirable than before. As a motorway cruiser we couldn’t fault it & with a mid-thirties mpg return, it meant, that in our entire week in the Boxer, we only had to go to the pumps after we had driven 500 miles. That;s always good news !