Company Van Today - Issue 8 - Winter 2018

Citroen Berlingo Peugeot Partner Citroen Berlingo Citroen Berlingo interior INTERIOR Each van’s dashboard is much the same as those in the respective brands’ cars The Citroen and Vauxhall take the more conservative approach, with switchgear that is familiar from the more budget ends of their respective passenger car ranges. The layout is excellent from a comfort and logistics point of view – all but the most basic versions get seat height and lumbar adjustment. The high-mounted gear lever is well positioned, while the electronic parking brake of the higher trims frees up more space, which is always welcome in a van that is looking to maximise storage. The Peugeot is the outlandish one of the trio, in that it is the brand’s first commercial vehicle to come with the small steering wheel and an information layout that you view over it. Called the iCockpit, it has been used on plenty of the brand’s cars, and it is distinctly ergonomically better than when it first appeared, but it will still take some adapting in the more conservative van market. ON THE ROAD Where there is no difference between the three is on the road. For all the workmanlike exterior, underneath the three vans share a platform with a number of Peugeot and Citroen’s passenger cars. This means that they handle and ride with a composed smoothness whether they are carrying a hefty load, a light one or even none at all. They tackle small bumps at lower speeds admirably, but are even more impressive at taking on bigger undulations at higher speeds, holding their body in check and not pitching around if you come across dips or bumps. The visibility is decent for a van, but the optional camera system is an excellent addition. It gives you a view down the passenger side blind spot or acts as a rear-view mirror when you have no rear windows for a conventional mirror. The only issue, which is easily overcome, is that your eyes take a bit of adjusting when looking from real-life images to the screen showing the camera’s image. The engine range is a mixture of old and new, with the same units across all three – 75hp and 100hp 1.6-litre diesels that have been carried over from the outgoing Berlingo and Partner (nothing of the old Combo remains in this van) and this new 130hp 1.5-litre unit that is the pick of the three. It is smooth and responsive and offers a hefty amount of shove for a van. For those that plan to use their Berlingo/ Combo/Partner around town, then the new seven-speed automatic gearbox is another real plus. It is another element that comes from the car side of the PSA stable and it is smooth, slick and befits a modern vehicle. VERDICT: This trio have moved the medium van sector up a step in almost every area. The biggest challenge you’ll face is choosing which one to go for. TomWebster SPECS MODELS: Citroen Berlingo/Peugeot Partner/Vauxhall Combo PAYLOAD: 658-1050kg LOAD VOLUME: 3.3m 3 -3.9m 3 LOAD WIDTH MIN/MAX: 1229mm/1630mm LOAD LENGTH/HEIGHT: 2131mm/1243mm REVIEW COMPANY VAN TODAY.CO.UK 13