Company Van Today - Issue 8 - Winter 2018

Vauxhall Combo CITROEN BERLINGO/ PEUGEOT PARTNER/ VAUXHALL COMBO You wait ages for a new van and then three turn up at once. That’s precisely what happened at the end of 2018, with the new Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and Vauxhall Combo significantly refreshing the small van market. It’s a bit of a stretch to refer to them as three different vans though, because all three were designed and developed together after PSA (Citroen and Peugeot’s parent company) took over Vauxhall/Opel. So, the Berlingo/Partner twins have become triplets. Treating them as individuals would result in three very similar reports, so for now we’re treating them as one entity. INSIDE To be honest, there are angles from which you would be hard pushed to tell which of the three vans you are standing in front of, and the rear loading bay is one of those. The practical proposition from all three is pretty much identical, bar the odd badge. All three offer the same twin asymmetric rear doors that swing open to 180 degrees, a single sliding side door on the shorter model and a set of twin sliding doors on the longer version. The area that the three excel, though, is in their payload. Not only has it set a new high for the sector, by reaching up to 1050kg, there is a wonderful new piece of technology that means you will be able to make the most of this allowance. An overload sensor warns you when the contents of the van reach 80% of the maximum threshold, and again when you tip over the allowance. This has two benefits – there is no excuse for driving overladen, and it also means that fleets should be able to maximise their van’s capacity, even when on site and away from a weighing facility. Sadly it isn’t standard across the range, but it costs just £240 so could pay for itself in reduced trips and legal compliance in a very short time. The flexible front passenger seat – called Extenso in the Berlingo, Multi-Flex in the Partner and FlexCargo in the Combo – allows you to boost the capacity that little bit. The seat can be folded up so you can slide longer items through, and a handy cover means that you can shove dirty items such as fence posts through as well. The other part of the interior – the cabin – is where the three vans differ the most. STYLE Given that the three vans are as capable as each other, the style is what will lure you They all handle and ride with a composed smoothness, whether laden or not Behind the wheel of the latest vans & pick-ups CVT Review COMPANY VAN TODAY.CO.UK 12