By Stewart Smith on 2016-06-09 - Stewart was the former motoring editor of the Coventry Telegraph and is now a freelance contributor to Eurekar. He is based in Scotland and specialises in First Drive reviews.
Expert on van front
PEUGEOT is one of the biggest commercial vehicle manufacturers in the EU, taking a share of around 20 per cent of the van market, and its compact offerings can be seen on many of the UK's motorways and town and country roads.
It's highly successful Expert range is popular with tradesmen and small companies around the country and now the third generation Expert is on the horizon, bigger and better than ever.
The new Expert will be available in three body lengths and with two or three seats in the front and offers up to 1,400kg of load weight with a potential length of four metres.
Standard and Long versions, at 4.95m and 5.30m, are designed for the core market.
The Compact 4.60m version, unique in the van market, has a useful cargo length of 3.32m and its reduced height of 1.90m guarantees the new Peugeot Expert has ready access to all car parks.
Power comes from ultra-efficient Euro6 BlueHDi diesel engine with options from 95bhp to 180bhp and most models are equipped with stop-start technology.
Peugeot claims the new range of Expersts also offer record fuel economy and CO emissions while the new BlueHDi 180 EAT6 gearbox and the BlueHDi 95 ETG6 electronic automated gearbox, frees up extra legroom for the middle passenger.
The Expert comes with a choice of five diesel engines, the most efficient version offers 55.3mpg with emissions of CO at 133g/km, and the entire Expert range, with gives 52.3mpg with CO at 140g/km on average, are best-in-class.
There is a choice of five or six speed manual gearboxes as well as the ETS6 automatic.
Van styling hasn't always been high on the priority list, but the new Peugeot Expert is actually looks pretty smart with a new elevated vertical grille introduced with the new Peugeot 2008 Compact SUV.
It you want to promote an even more impressive image of your company a "Look Pack" is available as an option. It includes items coloured to match the bodywork such as front and rear bumpers, the casings of the rear-view mirrors and the side strips, as well as the chrome front grille surround.
The front bumper houses an LED light signature, integrated within chrome-plated ‘boomerang-shaped' trims.
The new Expert is fitted with non-removable bulkhead in accordance with current European regulations.
An insulated glazed bulkhead, available as an option instead of the standard bulkhead, provides greater acoustic and thermal comfort, as well as ensuring occupant safety.
To improve ergonomics and driving comfort, this insulated bulkhead also allows more room by making it possible to recline the seat-back, or slide it an extra 40mm back compared with a standard partition.
Up front the new Expert gives driver and mate more comfort than is usual with a van.
It offers very comfortable seats, two glove boxes on the passenger side, a five-litre A4-size storage compartment above the dashboard, jack plug points, 12V and USB sockets in the lower glove compartment can be used to charge mobile devices.
Connectors to house a digital tablet of up to 11 inches within reach, or a smartphone with built-in supply, are available as accessories.
There is a lot of high tech gear available, including a seven-inch touchscreen which can be operated by a finger or by using voice recognition which provides additional security in particular for using the navigation, telephone and media features without drivers taking their eyes off the road ahead.
Other useful standard and optional gear includes parking sensors, drivetime warning system, blind spot monitoring, front and rear radar parking assistance, driver attention alert and lande departure warning.
I found the new Expert easy to drive, comfortable, and the high driving position a bonus when on the motorway - especially in torrential rain.
The new Expert van price starts at £21,939 for the Panel Van S Compact and on up to £32,799 for the Panel Van Professional Plus.
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