Over the past five years or so, van buyers never had it so good as practically all of the light commercial brands launched totally new models or radically renewed their line-ups. A number of these new arrivals stood out from the crowd and have been recognised by the industry. The all-new Peugeot Expert has made a big impression since launch and has since been honoured with the Irish Van of the Year 2017 title in association with Continental Tyres, an honour shared with its development partners Citroën (within the PSA Group) and Toyota Motors Europe.
New generation Expert comes in two forms from a commercial aspect – the panel van and 6-seat crew van. The same body shape is used as a high-spec people carrier, marketed as the Traveller. Both business types are available with two trim levels – Active or Professional (which is Active +) and offered with three wheelbase lengths – Compact, Standard and Long. Colour choice extends from four flat colours – white, black, red and blue along with five metallic coatings and there are even four types of alloy wheels specified.
On the technical side, its 1.6 litre and 2.0 litre Euro 6 diesel engines are termed BlueHDi with power options ranging from 95 hp to 115 hp for the 1.6 litre unit and from 120 hp through to 150 hp and peaking at 180 hp for the 2.0, which more than adequately covers all applications and operators’ needs.
6-speed manual along with semi and fully automated gearboxes complete the drivetriian provisions. Prices stretch from €21,520 to €36,175 inc VAT and its annual commercial road tax is €333.
With its neat dimensions, the long wheelbase Expert deceives its looks as inside its load space equates to 6.6m3. Assisting with this volume is the underseat storage under the dual passenger bench and the extendable load area through the bulkhead and under the seat the other side, called by Peugeot as Moduwork. This innovation is only available on a few of today’s vans, strangely.
Thanks to the multi-adjustable modes on the driver’s seat from height, rate and reach – with lumbar control, a most comfortable driving position was set before the week long driving test began. The only concern while out on the road was the inadequately sized exterior mirrors. Nice, aerodynamic design but too small to function as they should. Blind spots occur as a consequence and puts the driver on extra guard. Modification to the mirrors’ design is required.
Up and down through the 6-speed box, the driveline moved along nicely and comfortably. DAB radio along with FM & AM provide the entertainment and if that fails to peak sufficient interest, plug in to the USB or audio jack and connect up to the Bluetooth. There are three 12-volt sockets (2 in the cabin and 1 in the load area).
All in all, the Expert is an attractive looking van that’s practical and flexible in its working environment. A welcome newcomer to the scene.
|Engine/Power||2.0 litre BlueHDi 120 hp @ 3,750 rpm|
|Torque||340 Nm @ 1,750 rpm|
|Gross vehicle weight||3,100 kg|
|Max towing weight||2,500 kg|
|Equipment||ESP, Driver & Passenger airbags, Cruise Control with speed limiter, Full spare wheel/tyre|
|Dimensions||Length: 5,309 mm Height: 1,895 mm
Wheelbase: 3,275mm Width: 1,920 mm
|Load volume||6.1m3 without Moduwork
6.6m3 with Moduwork
|Turning circle||12.4 m|