At A Glance
Frequent readers of our expert van reviews & YouTube channel viewers will know that we've already reviewed the Vauxhall Vivaro & the Citroen Dispatch. Those are 2 of the vans currently on the market right now that platform share the PSA Group's medium van platform.
Now I'm delighted to be reviewing number 3 - the Peugeot Expert, I'm only one away from my full house! This vehicle is a fleet operator's dream, it's a tradesperson's treat & I'm pretty sure it packs everything you'll need in a medium-sized commercial vehicle. So, let's get under the skin & give the Peugeot Expert the Vanarama Road Test...
The Front Of The Peugeot Expert
After looking at several vans that share the PSA Group platform, I've got to say, this is the first one that looks a little bit different. Take, for example, the grille, it's a new plastic grille we haven't seen before. I really like this & it looks great alongside the big Peugeot badge in the middle. The black plastic underneath the grille is very tough & very durable.
At higher trim levels you would also get fog lights, but the one I'm reviewing is the Professional trim level, so while you don't get the lights, there's plenty of other great features. The headlights, interestingly enough, are a new cluster. Vauxhall & Citroen share the same headlight clusters - the ones that have these little loops at the end, whereas on this Expert, it looks like teeth have been raked on the inlays. I really like it, it really sets off the front of the van nicely & makes it look that little bit different. The big steel wheels are also very tough & I can say exactly the same thing about the big black plastic door mirrors.
There are no height options on the Peugeot Expert, just like the other PSA Group vans, but it's a great profile & there's so much space inside, the outside is very deceptive. Despite the very compact looking profile, it's a really nice looking van. As I mentioned, this is the Professional trim level, so the majority of the bells & whistles are on the inside. So let's get in & have a look...
The Inside Of The Peugeot Expert
I am in what are very familiar surroundings when I jump into the Expert & that's because, of course, the Citroen Dispatch & the Vauxhall Vivaro that we've already reviewed have the same cabin. This one is no different, although because this is the Peugeot Expert at the Professional trim level, you do get a few extra options in here & I'll point those out as we go along.
Working my way around the cabin, I find myself instinctively leaning on the armrest which locks in place very nicely & is very comfortable. The steering wheel is a tough black durable plastic - what could be more professional than that in a medium-sized van? It's nice & grippy too with some good little finger notches at the top which I quite like as it means you'll always be at 10 & 2. It's also got a nice flat bottom, so if you do lower the steering wheel, it's not going to rub against your knees too much - bonus! You've got some control stalks off the steering wheel too, including a selector for your music, audio controls, speed limiter & cruise control. Excellent!
Moving onto the dashboard which is very nice & clear. Your rev counter & speedo are easily visible alongside your oil temperature & petrol gauge, which are also incredibly easy to see. The dashboard itself is nice, tough, durable plastic & of course there's the cupholders. If you're familiar with my reviews, you'll know what I think of the cupholders in this group's vans, so let's just leave it at they are not as great as other cupholders! Having said that, I know now it can hold coffee cups absolutely fine if you jam it in there… so that's a bonus!
Above the infotainment screen there is a nice cubby hole which is big enough to stash sandwiches, maybe a few spanners or whatever you want to stick in there. & then moving onto the infotainment screen itself, it's exactly the same as you will have seen in the Vauxhall Vivaro & the Citroen Dispatch. Today I've hooked my phone up by USB connection but you can also hook it up by bluetooth as well & it has Android Auto plus Apple Carplay. Although this van doesn't have a sat-nav at this trim level, when you're hooked up through Android Auto or Apple Carplay, you can just use your phone for that. Simple!
Another Professional trim level addition is the air conditioning. You've got all your controls right where you'd expect them for when you need them - your fan speed, temperature & the directional & flow. & there are even door mirror warmers too. There are a range of other buttons at your fingertips just where you need them too, including your hazard lights, your locks & your traction control. You've got a 12-volt socket that's very nice & useful & there's your USB socket which as I said, I'm already hooked up to.
Moving onto the gearstick, which again is a familiar feature, although in the Peugeot Expert, the gear stick doesn't have the notches you'd find on the Citroen & Vauxhall. Actually I think this one is a bit nicer to hold, because this plastic around the side is so nice & smooth. The lining of the stick is a kind of pleather material but I quite like that too!
Moving onto some storage options. Starting with the glovebox which is nice & deep so you'll fit plenty of stuff in there. You've also got a strange sort of split cubby hole too which I've seen in other PSA Group vehicles. I still don't really know what it's useful for but one of the holes goes back quite a long way & has a lip so if you shove anything in there it's not going to come out if you take a corner too fast, brake suddenly or speed up to warp speed!
When it comes to the seats, you get a bench seat that comes with it being the Professional trim level. It raises up so that the load through system can be accessed & this one also has storage underneath it - a great addition that you could fit sandwiches or even a couple of digital devices like a tablet or your phone in to keep them safe. The other thing you get at the Professional trim level is your mobile office. This is part of the Moduwork storage solution. You get a nice sort of clipboard area to hold documents which can be held in place with a bungee strap, as well as another compartment which is the perfect place to stash some pens. The whole thing folds right back in & sits nice & flush with the seat. Nice!
So as you can see, a very professional version of the PSA Group's medium van platform's cabin. But the professional end of this vehicle is at the back, so let's get around there & have a look at all the space you have to play with...
The Back Of The Peugeot Expert
The dual side sliding doors are a particular plus point on the Peugeot Expert. They are 0.9 metres wide & 1.2 metres high, but to get a better appreciation of the loading bay, you really need to go around to the back.
The back doors are 50/50 split & as you'd expect on a van like this, they open up to 90 degrees as standard. However, when you release the door locks, they open up to a full 180 degrees! The opening is 1.3 metres wide & 1.2 metres high & at its highest, the loading bay is 1.4 metres high. Its width at its widest point is 1.6 metres & just between the arches that slims to just over 1.2 metres, which is perfect for sliding in & out euro pallets.
This loading bay is 2.5 metres long up to the bulkhead but thanks to the Moduwork system, the hatch can be pulled off from the left-hand side & mounted on the right under the other little yellow catch. When you open & flip up the seat, it extends the loading bay to 3.7 metres, which is absolutely perfect for those longer lengths of metal piping or bits of timber. This is the sort of stuff that separates the Peugeot Expert from its competition.
Out On The Road With The Peugeot Expert
It's time to hit the tarmac & you might wonder why I am doing this, you might think it's just going to be the same as other PSA Group bands we've already reviewed. However, I say it every time we review a PSA Group medium van, but they really have done a great job of differentiating themselves from each other! Actually, it's in the Peugeot Expert that the differences are most obvious. The front end is completely different.
Whilst the back end is still the reliable excellent & flexible load space that you know & love from the Vivaro & the Dispatch, it's the front end in the cabin especially at the Professional trim level where major differences can be felt, especially while you're driving. In my opinion, the Peugeot Expert's interior is probably the most comfortable & well thought out of any of the vans that share the EMP2 platform. It's an all-round good & very comfortable cabin - the seats are the right height & I don't get any neck cramps while driving.
I actually feel more at home today than ever. I think because this is the 3rd of the PSA Group vans that I've reviewed, I now know where everything is. I've already kind of worked out in my head where everything's going to go, I know where my coffee is going, I know where my hat's going to go & I know where I'm gonna stick my bottle of water. It just feels like a home from home. It makes me feel like if I owned one of these vehicles & I was driving it every day I would really love it.
As a reviewer, I spend about a week with each vehicle, so I drive it around, I get to know it so by the time I actually film the review I've got 7 days of using it under my belt. As this is now the 3rd vehicle of the same platform, the same type of relatively similar interiors & in fact even more if you count the smaller bands which all have similar interiors to their medium counterparts, so that means I've got about 6-8 weeks of experience with these particular vans. I'm already acting like I've owned this vehicle for 2 months. I just get in & I know exactly where everything goes. It just feels natural, it feels fun & I know how it's going to drive.
I know how the two-litre diesel engine is going to act. I know how the pedals feel. I know that now I'm driving up this hill that this vehicle will absolutely more than be able to cope with it. I am dropping it down to 2nd which just feels natural because I know at this point in the hill that's when this engine needs to change & I need a little bit of power to move into 3rd. I know that when I just get to a crest in the road on the Vanarama track, this engine will say time to turn up to 4th & I know that in just a few minutes around the corner it's going to tell me to drop back down to 3rd because I lost a little bit of power. There's something quite nice about being able to predict things this easily.
I understand how vans are used & there are people who say they're just giant toolboxes & they have to be that, but anyone who says they're just giant toolboxes is not telling the whole truth. Tradespeople in the UK spend a lot of time in the cabins of their vans, whether that's doing work, filling out pricing orders, having a think about the materials they need to buy or even having lunch. So you might spend more time in your van than you do doing anything else. For that reason alone it has to be comfortable & the Peugeot Expert is a very comfortable van. It wears the professional badge quite clearly on its chest & you can see that in all the little features. It knows you need aircon, so the Professional trim level has air con. It knows you might need somewhere to stick your documents & write some orders up, so it gives you a little fold down mobile office. It also knows that you might just want to be able to drive along with your arm on an armrest, so it gives you one of them too.
Peugeot thought of everything. & overall it's actually really fun to drive. I'm on a nice wiggly winding country road & like every other medium van I've driven from the PSA Group using this platform, it handles it admirably. Well done PSA Group, yet again!
Under the bonnet, you've got a pretty powerful 2-litre diesel BlueHDI engine which is very nice & very powerful. It's got bags of torque, but what's even better is that it's a Euro 6.2 temp, which means that it's pretty much as ready as you can be for clean air zones which is going to save you some real money. It's the older Diesels that clean air zones are on the hunt for, not these ones. These are just about the cleanest diesel engines you will find on the market right now & you can lease them right now. Tempted?
Peugeot Expert In Conclusion
The Peugeot Expert may be the 3rd van we've reviewed that shares the excellent PSA Group medium van platform, but it does things a little bit differently. Everything you know & love from the Vivaro & the Dispatch is right here, but the Expert has been given a little twist at the Professional trim level. It's got all those excellent optional extras in the cabin, but retains the same fantastic load space. It's the front end & cabin though that really sets it apart - so from one expert to another, this gets the Vanarama thumbs up!
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