Peugeot Partner 1.6 HDi L1 H1 75 Professional
I had a vantastic fortnight in Peugeots vans, with me driving an Expert for a week, followed by the the smaller new model Partner, both kindly supplied by Peugeots press office at very short notice. ( Thank you Craig .)
The Partner is a small utility van, perfect for city driving & urban work. Like the other Peugeot vans I’ve driven recently, it is very well put together & Peugeot have plainly thought long & hard about the quality of their current commercial products, which like their cars have improved immeasurably over the past 5 years or so .
This is clearly seen inside the van, where the fixtures & fittings are made of sturdy plastics & look & feel built to last. The cabin is also well laid out with plenty of useful storage space above & below both driver & passenger for all the usual nick knacks. The overall experience is further enhanced by a smooth manual gear box & very light power steering offering an 11 metre turning circle. Basically, it’s a very non – van van, to drive.
My Partner was the top of the range Professional model & came with a number of standard goodies fitted to it to make life more bearable for the driver. These included air con, Peugeot Connect USB & Bluetooth, half height steel bulkhead with mesh grille & load space access door, rear parking aid, category 1 Thatcham alarm,a left hand sliding door, cruise control with limiter,halogen headlights, a drivers air bag ,side airbags,asymmetric solid 180 degree opening rear doors, two 12 v sockets, a sliding drawer under the drivers seat, a flip up centre seat with storage underneath & a trip computer. The jewel in the crown though is the addition of centrally located touchscreen for the media & radio which was great to use & easy to understand & a really good thing to have in any commercial vehicle. Thee was also a removable Tom Tom Sat Nav agin simple to use & easier than most to follow.
Powered by a 1.6 HDi diesel engine, the Partner like the Expert feels decidedly quicker than it’s claimed 0 – 62 mph time of 17.6 seconds & top speed of 94 mph. The Euro 5 engine offers an impressive combined fuel economy of 57.6 mpg with CO2 emissions of 131g/km. It doesn’t feel underpowered, although I only drove alone or with one or two extra passengers as my test model came with 3 front seats. This works well, although due to the location of the gears & transmission, there isn’t a lot of room for the centre passengers legs, who in my case was my 15 year old son.
Practically, there are twin rear doors, offering you up to 1.25 metres of load width x 1.148 m load height & a left side sliding side door, which offers 640 cm of load width x 1.192 m in load height. The overall volume in the van is 3.3 m3 increasing to 4.1 m3 when the multi flex seat is folded.
All Partner models come with ABS, auto activating hazard lights on major deceleration, drivers ladder frame protector, driver airbag,height & reach adjustable steering wheel, PAS, electric front windows, RD4 radio & single CD player with MP3CD, which is compatible with steering wheel mounted controls, halogen lights, 6 tie down hooks in the storage area, a dash board 12v socket & a full size spare wheel. Judging by this list, commercial vehicle users expect quite a lot nowadays, but this is hardly surprising as a lot of vans are now mobile offices as well as for transportation.
I managed to drive about 300 mile in the Partner & as a car driver, found it quiet & comfortable & with the bonus of three front seats, I was able to do the school run for both children , a real bonus for many who use their van outside working hours. I also visited IKEA to buy a flat packed wardrobe & bed & the longest length of 2.06 m fitted in over the fold down mesh bulkhead behind the passenger seat, which saved me the delivery fee.
Peugeot have done a good job with the updated Partner & if you need a small utility van with low emissions & good fuel economy, it’s certainly worth considering, particularly if you’ve only ever driven a Ford, for which I have a name, ‘ Ford blindness. ‘ Other vans are available to those who suffer from this .