New Citroen, Peugeot and Vauxhall light van trio break cover

The LCV versions of the new Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and Vauxhall Combo have been revealed, and will go on sale by the end of 2018.

All three are based on the same architecture, and offer the same basic sizes and shapes, with the difference coming in the details.

Each one is available in a choice of a 4.40m standard or a 4.75m long version, while there is also a five-seater crew cab option; loading capacities range from 3.3m3to 4.4m3. The largest of these represents a significant increase in size over the outgoing model, which had a maximum capacity of 4.1m3. Payloads range from 600kg to 1000kg, which means the three are largely unchanged over their predecessors.

One handy addition is the new overload indicator, which is available on all three of the vans. The mass of the load is measured when the ignition is switched on, and it alerts the driver if it is close to or over the maximum permitted load weight.

Another first for the van sector is a new surround view camera system, which uses cameras on the passenger door mirror and rear doors – to give a clear view around the vehicle. This is then displayed on a screen where the rear-view mirror would sit in a car.

There are two cabin layouts available, with a choice of two or three front seats; the latter is available with a foldable passenger seat that allows longer loads to be slotted through to the cabin.

All three vans also offer a new hinged rear roof flap, which allows for easy transportation of longer items such as ladders. This feature is offered on only the short-wheelbase version of each and can take up to 100kg.

Citroen claims that, in addition to the space in the rear, the cabin contains as much as 113 litres of storage capacity, including drawers under the seats, a dash-top box, glove box and large door bins. A selection of inputs, including two USB slots, two 12V sockets and one 220V socket are all available.

The new platform, which is shared with the passenger vehicle versions and  several other passenger cars in the Peugeot/Citroen range, means that the three vans come with electric power steering and should handle and ride better than their predecessors. All three are expected to share the same engines, with Citroen confirming the Berlingo will come with a 1.2-litre petrol in 110hp and 130hp outputs, a 130hp 1.5-litre diesel and a 1.6-litre diesel in 75hp and 100hp options. A new eight-speed automatic gearbox is being added to the range, to sit alongside a six-speed manual.

Beyond the exterior styling, the most notable differences between the three will come in the look of their cabins. These differences will include Peugeot’s i-Cockpit cabin layout, which it has used on its passenger cars, and Citroen’s new water-saving ‘Magic Wash’ windscreen washers that optimises visibility both feature. All three get infotainment equipment such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Each version will be available with their respective manufacturer’s navigation system, while all three will come with connectivity options that will allow managers to monitor elements like fuel consumption, location and the van’s servicing status.

In addition to a conventional road-going model, a version which comes with higher ground clearance and larger wheels with mud and snow tyres and Advanced Grip Control is available.

The trio will be available to order this autumn, with the first deliveries by the end of the year. Full pricing will be confirmed closer to the launch date.