YOUR RIGHT HAND VAN? (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
With style and size on its side, the third generation Peugeot Expert is ready to do battle with the small panel van sector's big hitters. Jonathan Crouch drives it.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 30
With style, size and technology now on its side, Peugeot's much improved Euro6.2-compatible MK3 model Expert has much to offer if you're looking for a versatile medium range Transit-class van.
Backgroundword count: 166
Want a job done properly? Then call in an Expert. In this case, we're talking LCVs, medium-sized ones to be exact. This is Peugeot's Euro6.2-compatible entry in the volume medium-range van sector, where VW Transporters, Vauxhall Vivaros, Mercedes Vitos, Renault Trafics and Ford Transit Custom models rule the roost. Taking on this lot isn't something you'd want to do single-handed, so the French brand has chosen to share this design not only with its partner Citroen's Dispatch model, but also with Vauxhall's Vivaro, Toyota's Proace and Fiat's Talento: all these vans share the same platform. The previous generation version of this vehicle didn't significantly trouble the main players in this segment. This MK3 model though, has got itself sorted out, with more sophisticated design and larger load volumes that rival anything in the class. You get clever design, proven engines and low running costs in a package that certainly works on paper. Whether it'll cut the mustard day-in-day-out though is what we're here to find out.
Driving Experienceword count: 255
Engine choice in an Expert is pretty straightforward, provided you've a clear idea of the kind of work you want it to do. Sensibly, all the Euro6.2-compliant units on offer are diesels and if your needs are mainly based around lighter loads and short distance urban work, then the entry-level 100hp 1.5-litre BlueHDi unit may well be quite sufficient. Otherwise, you'll be looking at a 2.0-litre BlueHDi diesel, either the BlueHDi 120, the BlueHDi 150 or the BlueHDi 180 (the latter unit available only with 8-speed EAT8 automatic transmission). There's also a full-electric version, the e-Expert, which offers a 143 mile driving range with a 50kWh battery or a 205 mile range with a 75kWh battery. A key factor behind the success of the previous generation Expert was the way it remained compact and wieldy in the manner of smaller, more car-like vans from the class below. This model's bigger of course, but it retains much of that same usability around town and rides much better thanks to revised suspension and a stiffer EMP2 platform. Special wishbone filtering dampens the impacts of our country's terrible tarmac and the variable stiffness springs and shock absorbers deliver surprising levels of comfort whether the vehicle is loaded or unloaded. Peugeot also claims that refinement is much improved this time round. And, as before, there's the option of a Grip Control traction system. We also like the 'Driving time warning system' which flashes up a dash warning after two hours of uninterrupted driving at speeds of 40mph and above.
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