PSA Group has unveiled its latest generation of light commercial vehicles, which introduce new technologies and driver assistance systems.
On sale from the autumn, the Peugeot Partner, Opel/Vauxhall Combo and Citroën Berlingo Van make their debut following the reveals of their non-commercial, lifestyle-orientated Rifter, Combo Life and Berlingo counterparts and are based on the same EMP2 platform that’s also used for a number of PSA Group models.
Bodystyles include short wheelbase, long wheelbase and crew van and bring a load volume of up to 4.4m3 and a payload of up to a tonne. A loadthrough hatch is also available on some models, enabling items up to 3,440mm to be transported.
The third-generation Peugeot Partner puts the focus on a new driving experience and offering a mobile office to aid productivity. Design brings features seen on its passenger car range, including the 5008’s grille and compact steering wheel, and the Partner also becomes the first van to get the i-Cockpit dashboard layout from the carmaker’s range. Equipment includes eight-inch capacitive touch screen, Surround Rear Vision, an Overload Alert System – all seen in the other models.
Fleet managers can opt for three different telematics packages from Free2Move Connect Fleet, based on true vehicle CAN bus data and bringing features including mileage tracking, hours of use, fuel consumption or real-time monitoring of service intervals and mechanical alerts. Driving analysis with customised advice for the driver and real-time location tracking are also available, assisting businesses in driving down both the costs and risk associated with vehicle management.
Practical features include a standard nearside sliding side door on and optional, additional offside sliding side door on Standard versions while the latter is standard equipment on Long versions.
Depending on the version, the Partner may be fitted with a Multiflex adaptable bench seat, which allows three people to sit in the front, plus provides a flat roof, 400l more load capacity and an effective length of up to 3m for the Standard version and 3.35m for the Long version.
It also offers a Crew Van factory option on the Long version for the first time.
Engines cover two versions of the 1.2 PureTech engine; a PureTech 130 S&S with EAT8 eight-speed automatic transmission (available in 2019) and a PureTech 110 S&S with manual six-speed gearbox. PureTech engines are fitted with a Gasoline Particulate Filter to reduce particle emissions.
Three diesel engines are available; a BlueHDi 130 S&S with manual six-speed gearbox or EAT8 eight-speed automatic transmission, a BlueHDi 100 S&S with manual five-speed gearbox and a BlueHDi 75 with manual five-speed gearbox. Diesel engines are all fitted with a FAP particle filter and a selective catalytic reduction system (SCR).
The Vauxhall Combo line-up – now in its fifth generation – will include short wheelbase, long wheelbase and crew cab models. In crew van body style, up to five occupants can be accommodated, while the load is stowed behind a partition wall – the rear bench can be folded down and the partition moved behind the front seats if required.
Engine details are still to be released for the Combo but Vauxhall has revealed the model gets a raft of new technologies, including the aforementioned load indicator and rear view camera, while a latest-generation infotainment system with colour touchscreen and Apple CarPlay is on offer.
Other innovations available include ‘Flank Guard’, a sensor-based system that supports the driver while turning at low speeds, providing a warning when there is a risk that the vehicle side will collide with an obstacle. Intelligrip, an electronic traction control system, is also available.
Driver assistance technology includes Forward Collision Alert with pedestrian detection and Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Hill Descent Control, Intelligent Speed Adaptation, Automatic Cruise Control, Driver Drowsiness Alert and Speed Sign Recognition.
Finally the Citroën Berlingo – which gains the Van moniker to separate it from its MPV counterpart and, like the Partner, is in its third generation – delivers revised styling that brings echoes of the brand’s passenger car range while it also comes with a range of new in-vehicle technologies.
Two sizes are on offer, standard M and extended XL, measuring 4.40m and 4.75m long respectively. The line-up also brings the five-seater Crew Van.
Two dedicated versions – ‘Worker’ and ‘Driver’ – are available and bring different specification, ground clearance, engine protection and equipment levels.
Practicality is further enhanced with 180-degree opening rear doors and the new Berlingo Van also features sliding doors on both sides of the vehicle and a record payload of up to 1,000kg.
As well as the Overload Indicator and Surround Rear Vision system previously mentioned, Colour Head-up Display, Automatic Electronic Parking Brake, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop Function and Active Safety Brake are available, along with four connectivity technologies, including Citroën Connect Nav and Wireless Smartphone Charging.
Engine line-up echoes the Peugeot Partner.
Philippe Narbeburu, senior vice-president, light commercial vehicles at PSA, said: “This new generation of vans marks a new phase in our range renewal process. Our modern line‑up features efficient vehicles designed to meet our customers’ demanding needs and provide a better customer experience. We hope to consolidate our leadership in Europe and continue to export our knowledge and skills to other continents.”