2021 Peugeot Expert Van Review

Posted: 21 June 2021 2:10 pm
News

Finder Garage enlists the help of a Peugeot Expert (van)

This week at Finder Garage, we thought we would do something a little different. This week, we are Finder Removalists.

To help us get the job done, we enlisted the help of Peugeot, which came to the party with its 2021 Peugeot Expert van. In the Peugeot van line-up, it sits between the larger “Boxer” and smaller “Partner” vans. It costs $42,490 before factoring in on-road costs, with no options fitted.

So does it get the job done, or will we be regretting not opting for a ute?

What’s it like inside?

Seeing as this is a vehicle that you will be hopping in and out of quite regularly, the interior needs to be quite sturdy, which the Peugeot Expert Van is.

Inside, the majority of surfaces are covered in hard-wearing plastics and the majority of functions are operated by plastic dials and buttons. 

You get a bench seat, which might sound worse than it is. It is flat from side to side, with no bolstering, which means you can slide in and out without damaging the seats over time. The floor is flat too, with no door sills, making it easier to get in and out.

Seats are manually-adjustable and they are fairly comfortable. Having spent upwards of 4 hours on them on a couple of occasions, the positioning can get a bit uncomfortable.

Sitting at more or less a right angle, and with very little footwell, both the driver and passengers can’t really stretch their legs.

The bench seats 3 people or you can fold down the armrest in the centre seat to hold iPads (or other devices) thanks to an elastic strap. Underneath them is a storage area for small valuables. You access this by lifting the passenger side seats, not somewhere people will think to look if they get access to the cabin.

If they do manage to do so, though, it is caged from the cargo area making it difficult to gain entry to items in the back.

A 7-inch touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard is loaded with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is handy, as there is no satellite navigation in the native system. 

Below the screen are your standard climate controls: temperature and fan strength. Below these sits a rotary dial gear selector.

What is storage like?

Peugeot states that you can fit around 1.3 tonnes of goods in the back. In terms of the actual space available, there is 5.8m3. Should you need more than that you can opt for the long bodied model, which will house up to 6.6m3.

The space is incredibly easy to access too, with sliding doors on both sides of the van, along with 50/50 folding doors at the back.

There are 6 tiedown points to help you secure loads conveniently spread throughout the cargo area. There was no lining in the back of our test van, so we found ourselves protecting the bottom of the van before loading it up to avoid scratches to the paint on the floor.

A cargo load height of 1,397mm edges out the Hyundai iLoad which allows for 1,340mm between the floor and roof. The only thing you will need to watch out for is the light mounted in the centre of the ceiling which turns on automatically when the side doors are opened.

Opening the doors isn’t an issue either as they are fairly light and slide easily. They will also lock if you push them back as far as they can go, avoiding the door sliding forward while you are partially inside.

If you are carrying longer materials on the day to day, like timber or piping for example, Peugeot’s ModuWork bench allows you to open up a hatch between the cargo area and cabin to fit longer materials. This effectively increases the length of the cargo load area to 3,674mm.

What’s it like to drive?

First and foremost for a vehicle like this, it is surprisingly agile. There is extreme wheel lock which translates to a nice tight turning circle. Put it this way, I was able to make turns in the Peugeot Expert van that I haven’t been able to make in some utes.

It is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine, which cranks out 110kW and 370Nm to the front wheels. That’s enough to get the job done in town or out. It even manages overtaking on the freeway.

In terms of the competition, it is slightly down on power, with the automatic 2.5-litre Hyundai iLoad producing 125kW and 441Nm, while the 2.8-litre Toyota HiAce produces 130kW and 450Nm.

An 8-speed torque-converter automatic transmission does a good job of sending power to the wheels. Paddle shifters also reside behind the wheel, but I cannot see anyone using these.

Most importantly, the powertrain on the 2021 Peugeot Expert van is rather efficient. We covered 700kms (702.1kms to be exact) during our test, with half of these being laden, and registered an average fuel consumption of 6.8-litres per 100km. And no, before you ask, we weren’t just parked in the left hand lane, we did our fair share of overtaking too.

So where the Expert van is down on power compared to some key competitors, it seems to be more efficient, with the iLoad having a claimed 8.8 litres per 100 kilometres, while the HiAce consumes 8.2L/100kms. Peugeot’s claimed combined cycle fuel consumption is 6.3-litres per 100kms, so with a bit more time on the highway, that number seems realistic.

With cargo in the back, the ride does become more comfortable. However, without any weight in the back, the ride is still quite good, albeit a little more noisy. That is unavoidable in a van like this, though. 

In fact, there wasn’t much road noise coming from the front of the vehicle; it isn’t too badly insulated at all. The issue is reverberation around the storage area from little rocks and other items coming into contact with the undercarriage.

You might think it is more difficult to park too. But, with a roof height of 1.9-metres, it can fit into most underground or restricted height car parks. Front and rear parking sensors, as well as a reversing camera, mean that regardless of whether you are parking on the street or in a carpark, you’ll be able to secure a spot.

With a turning circle of 12.4-metres it is sharper than most utes on the market at the moment. Missing your destination isn’t going to require a stressful 10-point turn with held-up drivers blazing their horns at you. 

How safe is the 2021 Peugeot Expert van?

Safety inclusions are another strong suit of the 2021 Peugeot Expert van. Among other features, included as standard you get:

  • Active cruise control with speed limiter
  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
  • Blind spot monitoring system
  • Front and rear parking sensors

We covered a fair few kilometres during our Expert van review and made considerable use of the active cruise control. For the uninitiated, the Peugeot implementation (with its separate stalk and buttons) can take some getting used to, but once you do, it is easy to use.

The verdict

Despite being marginally down on power, the 2021 Peugeot Expert van is a fuel-efficient option when held against its competitors. It drives well and has all the basic creature comforts you need to make it a comfortable place to sit.

I also think it looks much better than its alternatives.

Check out our car reviews which compile multiple reviews into one, helping you save time when researching your next car. You might be surprised how much you could save by comparing car loans and car insurance.

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