Peugeot Partner Review

The Peugeot Partner is a van and MPV sold since 1996.

£9,421
Average price
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2
Out of 5

Pros

  • Spacious interior
  • Efficient engines
  • Electric model available

Cons

  • Slow touchscreen
  • Some fiddly controls
  • Expensive in top specs
  • MPG

    0 - 0

  • CO2

    0 - 0 g/km

Model review

Peugeot has had a lot of success in the van market, and particularly with its smallest offerings – namely the Partner. Launched in 1996 alongside the Citroen Berlingo, it was sold as a panel van for the commercial market, or as a passenger variant with rear seats fitted. 

Initially based on the underpinnings of the Peugeot 306, it was a quick success, with its versatility and relatively compact dimensions making it desirable to many buyers. It was revised in 2003, receiving a different grille and headlights, along with an updated instrument cluster. 

A second-generation Partner made its debut in 2008 and represented a big step forward, becoming a more well-rounded option with a roomier interior, more pleasant on-road manners and additional creature comforts. 

Latest model

The third generation Peugeot Partner debuted in 2018, and as well as sitting alongside the Citroen Berlingo, a third sibling model is now launched – the Vauxhall Combo – after Peugeot’s owners bought the brand. 

This model was another noticeable step forward, with this latest Partner boasting the same ‘i-Cockpit’ digital instrument cluster that’s been used in Peugeot’s car range. It generally aims to offer a more car-like feel, with an eight-inch touchscreen included along with an impressive level of technology, including an ‘overload system’ that can tell you if you’ve exceeded the payload and an around-view camera.

A ‘Crew Van’ was launched in 2019 with a set of rear seats, while an electric e-Partner launched in 2021, bringing a range of up to 171 miles, with no compromise on versatility or space. It’s worth noting the passenger-carrying version of the latest Partner is called the Rifter, and therefore won’t be covered in this review. 

Value for money

By compact van standards, the Partner is quite attractively priced, with the range starting from £18,755 (excluding VAT). You also get a decent level of standard equipment too, including a digital dial setup, useful rear parking sensors and electric mirrors. If you do a lot of miles, the Professional model would get our vote, though, with this adding cruise control, an eight-inch touchscreen and electric folding mirrors, starting from £19,035 (excluding VAT). 

As for used Peugeot Partners, prices start from as little as £1,500 for older, scruffy but usable vans, which makes it an attractive option for those looking for a commercial vehicle on the budget. As for the latest generation, at the time of writing, the most affordable models started from around £11,000 plus VAT, which would buy a 2019 example with around 60,000 miles on the clock. Increase that budget to around £13,500 if you want a low-mileage model. 

Looks and image

Peugeot has been striving to give its commercial vehicles a more car-like feel, and it’s succeeded with the Partner. Though there’s no hiding the van-like styling, the latest generation’s sleeker front end and smart lighting certainly makes it look more modern than ever. For alloy wheels, you will need to opt for the top-spec Asphalt version, though. 

Moving inside, the Partner arguably has the smartest interior out of its Citroen and Vauxhall stablemates, with a modern and driver-centric design. The i-Cockpit gives the cabin a modern feel, while the small steering wheel is carried over from Peugeot’s car range too. Some do struggle to find a good seating position, however, so it’s worth checking if you can get comfortable. It generally feels well put together and comfortable as well, though some of the controls are quite fiddly to use. 

This latest Partner is far more pleasant to drive compared to its predecessor too, with a much better ride and comfort, making it one of the best vans on the market for those that do a lot of miles. It handles far more like a car too, while road and wind noise are pleasantly subdued. A good mix of diesel engines – or the new electric model – make it a great option for a wide range of drivers.

Space and practicality

Peugeot offers the Partner in two wheelbases, so you’ve got the standard option (called L1) or a longer model (L2), with the latter adding 35cm to the length. Twin rear doors and a sliding side door are also fitted to all versions, aiding practicality. If you choose the L2 model, you get a sliding door on both sides. 

In terms of load space, the L1 delivers 3.3 cubic metres, while the L2 offers a credible 3.9 cubic metres. A payload of over 1,000kg is available on some versions, bringing seriously impressive capability for a small van. 

Engines

The majority of Partners on the road are powered by diesel, with Peugeot using a turbocharged 1.5-litre ‘BlueHDi’ unit that comes with power outputs of 75bhp, 100bhp and 129bhp. The former two use a five-speed manual gearbox, with the most powerful version getting a smooth eight-speed automatic. 

If you’re wanting to go electric, the e-Partner combines a 134bhp electric motor with a 50kWh battery, bringing an electric range of up to 171 miles. 

Running costs

Regardless of which Partner you go for, low running costs can be expected. The diesel versions are capable of returning up to 55mpg, though the automatics are a bit thirstier, and reduce this to 50mpg. CO2 emissions fluctuate between 144g/km and 166g/km, depending on the model. 

Electric versions will be cheaper to run – as electricity costs less than diesel – though you do need to factor in the steeper upfront cost of them. 

Things to look out for

Peugeot’s latest vans have a pretty good reputation for reliability, and the Partner shares many components with the brand’s cars. There should be little to worry about, though as with any van it’s worth looking out for signs of excessive wear, including on the interior and exterior. 

On the more rugged ‘Grip’ models that will have likely been used on building sites, it’s worth having a look underneath for any signs of damage. 

Rivals 

Two of the Peugeot’s Partner’s closest rivals are actually sibling models – the Citroen Berlingo and Vauxhall Combo Cargo. However, other good choices to consider in this class include the Ford Transit Connect and Volkswagen Caddy. 

Depreciation

High demand for vans is helping to keep prices high on used commercial vehicles, and though the Peugeot Partner will depreciate over time, if you keep the van in good condition and within a reasonable mileage, it should hold its value well. 

Trims explained

A range of trim levels are offered on the Partner, with equipment highlights and prices as follows.

S –

Standard equipment on the Partner includes electric front windows, electrically adjustable door mirrors, a full-size spare wheel and automatic lights. You also get Peugeot’s i-Cockpit digital instrument cluster, rear parking sensors, a DAB radio and Bluetooth.

from £18,755 (excluding VAT)

Grip –

More off-road focused Grip models come with 16-inch steel wheels with mud and snow tyres, along with increased ground clearance, underbody protection and a special Grip Control traction control system. Other features include an electric parking brake, tyre pressure monitoring, a modular folding passenger seat and front fog lights.

from £19,655 (excluding VAT)

Professional –

Professional versions bring a more car-like feel, adding features like air conditioning, cruise control and electric folding mirrors. It also brings an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

from £19,035 (excluding VAT)

Asphalt –

At the top of the range, the Asphalt adds 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic wipers and front and rear parking sensors. You also get satellite navigation, along with additional acoustic insulation and hard plastic floor mats.

from £21,675 (excluding VAT)

Summary

  1. Peugeot’s most compact van
  2. Driver-focused interior
  3. Decent levels of standard equipment
  4. Good to drive
  5. Practical layout
  6. Two body lengths available
  7. Efficient diesel engines…
  8. As well as the electric e-Partner
  9. Good reliability reputation
  10. A fantastic compact van

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