This Car Review Is About: One of the three variants of Peugeot’s “little” Light Commercial Vehicle range. There are a diesel four or petrol three cylinder with differing torque & power, and two body sizes to look at. Oh, the petrol comes with manual or auto.
How Much Does It Cost?: $31,490 in basic white plus on road costs is what the 130 version we tested starts at. The lower power output 110 starts from $25,990 plus ORC. The diesel, exclusively a long body, starts from $30,490 plus ORC.
Under The Bonnet Is: 96kW and 230 torques for the higher spec, 1.2L, three cylinder petrol. The other offers 81kW and 205Nm, with the 1.6L diesel churning out 68kW and restricted to the same torque figure as the 130. Peugeot’s spec sheet says 7.3L/100km for the urban, 5.7L and 6.3L for the highway and combined cycles. We finished on an overall 8.2L/100km with our best seen as 5.2L/100km on a good freeway run.On The Outside It’s: Well, a small, light commercial vehicle. Fridge white in colour, there are strong familial hints, such as the bluff nose, fin shaped headlight insert, and smooth, ovoid shapes in the sheetmetal. The vehicle supplied has the long body, with dual sliding doors, one per side. The rear door is split vertically and at a 60/40 percentage. The left side opens first, with a small lever mid-height for the second door. There are bump strips spread over each door and sit under a matching in shape crease-line in the metal.
At the top of the rear doors is a plastic housing that holds a digital camera. This works for both the reverse drive and supplies the image to the rear vision display. Yup. The doors are solid metal, therefore a camera is needed to show rear vision. It’s slightly painful to use as it must be engaged every time the ignition is switched on.Wheels are steel, and measure 15 inches in diameter. Michelin supply the commercial style 205/60 Energy Saver rubber.
Dimensions vary from 4,403mm to 4,753mm for the overall length, with 2,785mm to 2,975mm in wheelbase. Overall height sees the Partner stand at 1,880mm.
On The Inside It’s: A typical commercial vehicle with hard plastics, nooks and crannies, and one key difference. The rear vision mirror isn’t a mirror, as mentioned. It’s a low-res LCD screen that displays the image the camera, located above the sheet-metal clad rear doors, shows both rearward and to the left. It’s not an auto-on item either, requiring manual activation every time the ignition is switched on.
There are two buttons, one to show the rear view, the other to show just the left hand view. This is more for reversing in areas where a kerb would be. It’s not great in usage, and blurry in just about every detail with the lack of resolution making a vehicle even a few metres behind indistinctive.The seats are cloth covered and it’s a hard wearing material with a nice feel and two tone look. The passengers seats are a 1.5 split, not really suitable for two but bigger than normal for one. Peugeot says the design has a lifting outbound passenger seat folding middle with mobile office table and storage. The tiller is akin to the sporting style seen in other Peugeot vehicles, with a flat bottom and contoured for better grip.
A pair of glove boxes sit in front of the passenger, and above both is a mesh look to a cabin wide cargo shelf. Cargo itself behind the seats is separated by a solid barrier of black plastic with a small window at the top. There is a capacity of a tonne, and the rear doors are wide enough to slide in a pallet. If required, the lower section of the barrier can be detached to allow a slightly longer load to creep through and under the seats.
Between the wheel arches is 1,229mm of space, with a total load height of 1,243mm. Actual capacity maxes at 3.8 cubic metres, and maximum length on the long wheelbase is 3,090mm with the cabin extension. Otherwise, it’s 1,817mm for the cargo section, complete with black cladding. Six tie-down points are standard.Convenience wise the audio and touchscreen system is basic in look, however does feature Apple and Android apps, but no digital radio. A single USB port is located to the bottom right. The upper console has a pair of cupholders.
On The Road It’s: A lot of fun to drive. Yes, that shouldn’t be said in the same sentence as light commercial vehicle, however there is something ethereally charming about these little three cylinder engines. Ignition is key operated, drive is selected via a dial in the console, situated below the cup holders. It initially seemed a bit more miss than hit, yet quickly became intuitive. The Partner features an electronic parking brake and this is less intuitive in disengaging.
It feels quick to get underway, however the speedo dial disagrees to a point. It’s reasonably flexible, this three cylinder and eight speed auto, with the gears changing swiftly and smoothly as required, whilst the peak torque taps out at 1,750rpm, making around town and highway driving as easily employed as possible. There is that typical three cylinder thrum underway, that slightly off-kilter but not unpleasant engine note as revs rise and fall. It pulls well from idle, spins easily to over 4,000rpm, and occasionally would chirp the front tyres from a hard launch.
Suspension wise it’s also quite decent, providing ample backup to the relatively narrow Michelin rubber. Quick steering also chimes in, with only minor effort required in lane changing to three point turns. Discs front and rear haul up the 1,366kg (kerb weight) van easily.Naturally, though, it’s a drum when it comes to road noise. The tyres don’t dial out much of the tarmac surface rumble, and it’s readily transmitted to the cargo area when empty. We did get a chance to load it up at one point, and road noise was noticeably reduced.
What About Safety?: It’s basic. There is Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, and Video Autonomous Emergency Braking. Airbags are driver, passenger, and front side curtain airbags. Interestingly but smartly, Peugeot also package in road traffic sign recognition.What About Warranty And Service?: It’s 5 years or 200,000 kilometres for their light commercials. First service is $441, second jumps to $685, with third dropping to $517. Fourth jumps to $698, with fifth service down to $454. Intervals are yearly, or more likely, every 15,000 kilometres.
At The End Of The Drive. It’s a more than adequate light commercial van and ideally suited for local courier style runs, flower or cake deliveries, and the like. The ample cargo capacity for its size, the dual opening doors on the sides, and the wide opening rears also bring plenty of flexibility.
The drivetrain is sprightly and usable across all driving situations, and certainly economic enough for most daily drivers. Ride quality unladen is ok, and improves both in handling and road noise with a bit of weight inside. It’s well priced, but the downside of that low-res rear vision counts against it. Check it out here.