The Peugeot Partner is the middle child in the French company’s van line-up, sitting above the little Bipper and the slightly larger Expert. Motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay, reports.
In 2015, Peugeot refreshed the Partner and kitted it out with Euro 6 compliant engines and better levels of goodies, as well as a prettier face. Available in both L1 and L2 versions, with the L2 also available as a crew van with room for five, the Partner looks to provide a comfortable and solid opposition to the likes of the Ford Transit Connect and Italy’s Fiat Doblo.
As the Partner is related to the Citroen Berlingo, it shares the same engine as its cousin. My test van came with a 100PS 1.6-litre diesel unit, and it’s the engine most buyers will want to pick up, even though a petrol engine is available alongside an all-electric option. It’s loud and isn’t the most powerful engine in the world, but it can help shift up to 850kg in the L1 layout, so nobody can deny its usefulness in the Partner.
Buyers can choose from a five-speed manual gearbox or an automatic box, but this is a £500 option. It might be worth it if you cover longer distances as it’ll take some of the strain out of the driving. As a bonus, the automatic also improves fuel efficiency slightly, and in the L1 format, it’ll help the van get into the 60s for mpg.
Curiously, but perhaps usefully, Peugeot offers the Partner with its ‘Grip Control’ technology. This aims to emulate 4×4 traction and ability but in front-wheel drive format. It comes with a raised suspension and an electronic differential, as well as some special tyres for mud and snow. It’s a £600 option but could be very beneficial for drivers in rural areas who face tough conditions in deep winter.
Though the cabin isn’t the most comfortable, and rivals like the Doblo can carry a higher payload, the Partner is a solid and dependable van that is bound to satisfy plenty of commercial drivers. With handy options, like a reversing camera and automatic emergency braking, in BlueHDi 100 spec it has a lot to offer.
Fast Facts (BlueHDi 100)
- Max speed: Untested
- 0-62 mph: Untested
- Combined mpg: 65.7 (manual gearbox)
- Engine layout: 1560cc four-cylinder turbo diesel
- Max. power (PS): 100
- CO2: 112 g/km
- Price: £21,292