BUSINESS PARTNER (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
The MK3 model Peugeot Partner is a compact van with high aspirations. Jonathan Crouch sees how it measures up.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 61
Peugeot's Partner van has much to offer in this much improved third generation form, with efficiency, technology and practicality to rival class leaders in the compact van segment. It's now smarter looking than before and gets some extra hi-tech, plus it's more spacious and there's the brand's clever 'i-Cockpit' interior design too. On paper at least then, the prospects are promising.
Backgroundword count: 158
Peugeot knows a thing or two about vans, the brand having built around 2 million LCVs since 1950. This Partner model is the company's biggest seller and it's been revitalised in this third generation guise. The Partner is the kind of model you choose if your business needs a compact LCV that isn't quite as small as a modern cityvan-sector model would be - something like Peugeot's own Bipper. Vehicles like that are based on superminis: Partner-type models, in contrast, sit upon the more spacious platforms originally developed for family hatchbacks or small MPVs. There are certainly plenty of vans of that type - most notably perhaps, this Peugeot's near-identical design stablemates, Citroen's Berlingo and Vauxhall's Combo. Beyond the PSA Group, this Partner must directly take on strong-selling contenders like Ford's Transit Connect, Fiat's Doblo Cargo and Volkswagen's Caddy, along with two further brand-shared designs, the one we know as either the Renault Kangoo or the Mercedes Citan.
Driving Experienceword count: 222
The Euro6 engine range is made up of Peugeot's latest generation BlueHDi diesel units, plus the PSA conglomerate's usual Puretech 1.2-litre three cylinder powerplant in 110 or 130hp forms for those that want it. The 1.6-litre diesels will be the big sellers with their 75 and 100hp and 120bhp outputs. More modern though, is the 1.5-litre BlueHDi powerplant, which comes if you're able to stretch up to a 130hp output. The top 130hp engines are offered with the option of EAT8 auto transmission. This MK3 model Partner's new EMP2 platform enables shorter overhangs and a small turning circle for easy manoeuvring: the kerb to kerb turning radius is only 10.82m for the Standard version and 11.43m for the Long version. The neat 'i-Cockpit' dashboard design makes this Peugeot feel quite fun to drive too, with its grippy little wheel allowing for wrist-flick turns. We also like the 'Surround Rear Vision' system that gives drivers optimum exterior visibility from inside the vehicle, with a view of the areas around the van courtesy of a couple of cameras, one located at the base of the passenger side mirror and the other at the top of the rear doors. The images are displayed on a 5-inch screen located where the interior rear mirror normally sits and together provide a closer view of the immediate environment.
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