Vauxhall Combo benefits from Peugeot Partner and Citroën Berlingo updates, says Dan Gilkes.
Peugeot and Citroën will update their Partner and Berlingo vans this year, with Vauxhall also set to benefit from a new Combo line-up. The vans will be available in standard and long lengths (M and XL in Citroën terms), offering load volumes of 3.3m3 and 3.9m3. As with the existing Partner and Berlingo, a folding passenger seat extends that volume to 3.8m3 and 4.4m3 respectively.
Payloads range from 650kg up to a full one-tonne for both standard and long versions. A low fuel consumption model will be restricted to a 600kg payload. The longer vans will also be available with a factory crew cab, offering second row seating that can be folded to improve load carrying ability when required.
Based on PSA’s EMP2 people-carrier platform, the new vans will feature a host of electronic driver assistance systems. This will include an Overload Alert System, to keep drivers within the law, and a colour head-up display. Adaptive cruise Control, Active Safety Braking and an Automatic Electronic Parking Brake will also be offered.
The vans will be offered in two distinct specifications, which Citroën calls Worker and Driver, while Peugeot will have models called Grip and Asphalt. Citroën’s Worker specification and Peugeot’s Grip come with three front seats, 30mm raised ground clearance, a protective plate under the engine and gearbox and enhanced traction thanks to Grip Control with Hill Descent Assist.
Asphalt or Driver are designed for higher-mileage users. They come with Comfort seats, Surround Rear Vision, an electric parking brake, a connected radio with eight-inch screen, speed limiter and cruise control, auto lights and wipers plus a connected 3D navigation system.
A range of connectivity features will be on offer, including three different telematics packages from PSA’s Free2Move Connect Fleet. These use CAN bus data to provide accurate, real-time data for fleet managers.
At the wheel
The three vans will use what Peugeot calls its i-Cockpit, already seen on the firm’s cars. This uses a compact steering wheel and has the option of a head-up display, to allow the driver to keep their eyes on the road ahead.
There is an eight-inch touchscreen in the centre of the dash and a Surround Rear Vision system provides a view all-round the van from the driver’s seat. The vans will come with two cameras, one at the base of the passenger side mirror and the other at the top of the rear doors. The images are displayed on a five-inch screen located where the interior rear-view mirror normally sits.
There will be three diesel engines on offer, starting with a BlueHDi 75, matched to a manual five-speed gearbox. A BlueHDi 100 with Stop&Start also uses the five-speed box, while the range-topping BlueHDi 130 S&S comes with a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission.
For those moving away from diesel, there will be two versions of the 1.2 PureTech petrol engine – a 130bhp with the eight-speed auto, or a 110bhp with the six-speed manual box.
What We think…
Partner and Berlingo have remained strong sellers and have aged well. The new vans offer an up-to-date design, with two proper body lengths, a host of engine and transmission choices and plenty of new technologies. With Vauxhall now part of the PSA Group, Combo will also benefit from this major update.
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