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Peugeot Expert review 2020

While previous versions of the Peugeot Expert lacked in individuality, the latest version is quirkier and more practical, more economical and better value than ever before.

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4
Out of 5

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Great to drive
  • Well put together cabin

Cons

  • Visibility is poor
  • Limited equipment
  • Expensive optional safety kit
  • MPG

    54 - 58

  • CO2

    127 - 130 g/km

Model review

The latest-generation Peugeot Expert commercial vehicle was launched in 2016 and with it came a whole new look, and more importantly some individuality apart from its Citroen sibling. 

 While it still shares much with the latest generation Citroen Dispatch, Toyota Proace and Vauxhall Vivaro, it’s now got a unique look. It combines this with car-like driving manners, an excellent interior and the latest safety tech from mainstream cars making it well worth considering.

Current model

As well as a whole new look, the Expert is the product of two parts, the rear end is an evolution of the outgoing van, while the front end is based on the EMP2 platform that underpins a number of cars, too – including the latest Peugeot 308 and Citroen C4 Picasso respectively. That means it benefits from a greater choice of engines taken from mainstream production cars.

Not only does that mean it’s more car like to drive, but it also gets the benefits of a more comfortable interior and is available with some of the latest safety equipment that’s available in Peugeots arsenal.

The latest model also gets a range of diesel engines that meet Euro 6 emission standards and are the most economical and have the lowest emissions in its class. The introduction of a ‘Sport’ version towards the end of 2019 has added additional style to the Expert range, too.

Value for money

The Expert range starts from £22,375 (excluding VAT – all the prices in this review will too), which makes the Expert a very good value proposition, though those entry-level models are quite sparse. Three body lengths are available, with the standard- and long wheelbase versions adding £700 and £1,600 on top of the price of the regular ‘Compact’ version. Prices keep rising to over £33,000, which is a lot of money considering it would be £44,500 if VAT was included. Mid-spec versions therefore feel like the best bet in this van’s line-up.

Though if you’re looking for used examples, there are some fantastically cheap options out there, with models starting from just £6,250 on the used market. That will, admittedly, get you a low-spec example with around 100,000 miles on the clock, though. Expect to pay around £8,000 for a 2017 version that’s covered a more reasonable 40,000 miles. That said, big discounts also exist for higher-spec versions. A top-spec one-year-old example with a modest 20,000 miles on the clock can be had for just £14,000 – meaning it will have nearly halved its list price in just 12 months.

Looks and image

Unlike Peugeot vans of old, the Expert has a stylish, unique look to it, which really makes it stand out. That’s not only against sibling vans, but also against some of the big sellers in this – models like the Volkswagen Transporter and Ford Transit Custom, for example. That may sound odd especially when you consider the only real changes are the headlights, tail lights and front panels, but it’s enough to make it stand out over other vehicles in this sector.

The quality of the cabin materials is also a marked improvement over previous offerings, with comfortable seats, and a logical, well-laid out dashboard. It still manages to be durable and hard wearing, but also have a pleasant feel to it too.

You don’t sit as high in the Expert as you do in some of its rivals, which is one of the drawbacks of it coming from a car platform, however there’s a good range of seat and steering wheel adjustment – ensuring you shouldn’t have any trouble getting a good driving position.

The windscreen is a little narrow and the wing mirrors a bit small, so visibility is a little hampered, especially when negotiating tight parking spaces.

Space and practicality

There’s more choice of body styles available that some of its rivals, in fact there are three different lengths to choose from: Compact, Standard and Long, however there is only one height available.

 The Compact sits between the Peugeot Partner and the rest of the Expert range. It has a length of 4,600mm while the Standard van is 350mm longer with the Long measuring in at 5,300mm. All versions of the Expert have a 1,400kg payload.

The Expert’s load bay has volume space of 5.1m3, 5.8m3 and 6.6m3 for the Compact, Standard and Long bodies respectively. It’s also been given a heavy-duty suspension which makes it far more capable at carrying heavier loads.

What makes the Expert so usable is that it’s available with sliding doors on both sides as standard. It also features a cool hands-free entry system that opens the boot by waving your foot under the rear bumper as an optional extra.

  

Engines

There are a good selection of engines available for the Expert – one of the benefits of a front end that comes from the passenger car arm of the Peugeot. The entry level 100bhp 1.5-litre (BlueHDi 100) engine makes the most financial sense, but if more power is required there are three versions of a 2.0-litre diesel with either 120bhp (BlueHDi 120), 147bhp (BlueHDi 150) and 174bhp (BlueHDi 180).

All versions get a six-speed manual gearbox but an eight-speed automatic gearbox with steering wheel shift paddles being available on the most powerful version. In a bid to keep running costs down all versions feature stop start technology.

Running costs

According to Peugeot’s official economy figures, the Expert is one of the most economical mid-sized vans in its class. If running costs are a priority, then the best option to go for is the 1.5-litre diesel (BlueHDi 100) which should return around 44.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 130g/km. While there isn’t a huge difference in terms of efficiency between the engines, at the other end of the scale, the range-topping 178bhp BlueHDi 180 will average 39.4mpg and emit 145g/km of CO2.

Things to look out for

One of the key areas that makes the Expert such a worthy choice is its ability on the road. It’s extremely refined and comfortable and very much car-like in its mannerisms. The ride is very supple and there’s very little body lean through the corners – something rare for a vehicle of this type.

The electrically assisted steering does feel particularly light though, but this make it ideal for urban driving, nipping through gaps in the traffic and slotting into tight parking spaces with ease.

  

Rivals

The Expert sits in a pretty well-established class with some of the rivals having much in common with the Peugeot. As we’ve already mentioned it’s built on the same platform as the Citroen Dispatch, Toyota ProAce and Vauxhall Vivaro.

It’s main ‘commercial’ rivals though outside of this trio are the Renault Trafic, Fiat Talento and Nissan NV300. However, these are able to carry larger, heavier items but are more van-like in their approach.

If you’re looking for a more ‘car-like’ van, then the three big players in this class are the Ford Transit Connect, Volkswagen Transporter and Mercedes Vito.

Depreciation

While Peugeot doesn’t heavily discount its models in the same way it used to, the Expert is still a van that depreciates quite heavily – not having the desirability of other models in this sector. Examples around 18 months old can be had for half the price they would have been listed as when new.

Which Expert to Pick

Cheapest to Buy When New

1.5 BlueHDi 100 Compact 6dr Combi

Most MPG

1.5 BlueHDi 120 Compact 6dr Combi

Fastest Model (0-60)

1.5 BlueHDi 120 Compact 6dr Combi

Trims Explained

There are four standard trim levels available – S and Professional, Grip and Asphalt – while there is a new Sport Edition at the top of the line-up.

'S'

The S is the entry-level version and is pretty lacking when it comes to standard equipment, nevertheless it still gets two sliding rear doors, DAB Radio with Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control and central locking.

Priced from £22,375

'Grip'

The Grip is a unique model as it’s tailored towards those needing a heavy-duty van – deliberately aimed at those working on building sites. It adds a full steel bulkhead, larger steel wheels with chunkier tyres and increased ground clearance. Additional traction is offered through the GripControl system. The higher price accounts for the larger 118bhp diesel engine they’re exclusively offered in.

Priced from £25,645

'Professional'

We recommend the Professional spec, as it comes with a useful seven-inch touchscreen infotainment screen, which features smartphone connectivity, air conditioning, DAB radio and electrically heated mirrors.

Priced from £23,730

'Asphalt'

If you go for the high-spec Asphalt model, you will get equipment like Park Assist with rear view camera, but it will be a significant price hike. It also includes safety equipment like lane departure warning, driver attention monitoring, automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.

Priced from £29,160

'Sport Edition'

At the top of the line-up, the Sport Edition adds black 17-inch alloy wheels, sports decals and dual-zone climate control.

Priced from £29,860.

Summary

  1. Car-like driving manners
  2. Unique styling
  3. Poor visibility
  4. Small door mirrors
  5. Safety kit additional cost
  6. Choice of sizes and engines
  7. Well-built interior
  8. Comfortable seats
  9. Load bay capable of carrying two Euro pallets
  10. Sport Edition adds extra flair

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