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First Drive: Peugeot Expert / Citroën Dispatch

SECTOR Mid-weight van   LOAD VOLUME 4.6–6.1m3   FUEL 46.3–55.3mpg   CO2 133–151g/km

Peugeot and Citroën have unveiled all-new Expert and Dispatch mid-weight vans. Unlike previous models, both will be offered in three body lengths, on two wheelbases, including a new compact model that is just 4.6m long. Compact and standard length models are just 1.9m high, with the longer van at 1.94m, which should allow access to car parks.

The vans offer load volumes of 4.6m3, 5.3m3 and 6.1m3, that can be increased to 5.1m3, 5.8m3 and 6.6m3 respectively, if equipped with what Citroën has dubbed a Moduwork load-through hatch in the steel bulkhead and a folding passenger seat. Increased gross weights of 3.1 tonnes and upgraded suspension front and rear, have allowed Peugeot and Citroën to offer maximum payloads of 1,400kg on all three models, while towing capacity is 2.5 tonnes across the whole range.

Peugeot Citroën’s Euro 6 BlueHDi engines provide the power, starting with a 1.6-litre BlueHDi motor with 95hp driving through a five-speed manual gearbox or the automated ETG6 six-speed box. The 1.6-litre is also available with 115hp and a six-speed manual.

A 2.0-litre engine delivers outputs of 120hp or 150hp, driving though a six-speed manual, plus a range-topping 180hp model that gets a six-speed automatic transmission as standard. Expert and Dispatch drive through the front wheels and all but the base 95hp model have Stop/Start technology.

Market leading fuel figures peak at 55.3mpg for the 115hp engine, with CO2 as low as 133g/km. The UK best seller is expected to be the 120hp engine with a manual gearbox, which produces 53.2mpg and 139g/km of CO2.

Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and a DPF are used to meet Euro 6 emissions standards, with a 22.4-litre AdBlue tank requiring a refill every 9,300 miles. Ownership costs should be reduced, with service intervals extended to 25,000 miles or two years, except on the 180hp engine where they are 18,600 miles/two years.

A host of driver assistance and comfort technologies are available, including electric side loading doors that can be opened by waving a foot beneath the rear bumper. The cab is modern and comfortable, with options including a head-up display for travel speed, lane departure warning graphics and speed sign recognition data.

A 7-inch touchscreen will be included on higher trim level models, providing navigation and control of mobile phone, audio and other vehicle functions. TomTom will provide 3D navigation if specified. The screen also allows connection to Apple CarPlay, plus Android and Samsung mobile phone apps through MirrorLink technology.

Adaptive Cruise Control, Active Safety Braking and various parking assistance systems are available, including an optional Visio/Park system that shows a bird’s eye 180° view of the vehicle. People carrier MPV versions of the vans have achieved a Euro NCAP five-star safety rating.

Expert and Dispatch will be offered in three panel van and two crew cab versions, plus three people-carrying Combi models and as a chassis cab for third-party conversion.

The international launch of the new Peugeot Expert and Citroën Dispatch will take place at this year’s CV Show in Birmingham. Full UK pricing and specifications will be available nearer to the on-sale date.

The vans will also be sold under the Toyota brand name, as Proace, but will no longer form the basis of Fiat Professional’s mid-weight Scudo model.

What we think

Dispatch and Expert are a huge step forwards from previous models, with lower operating costs and improved technology among the selling points.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.

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