Fleet News

Facelifts for light panel van trio

CITROEN, Peugeot and Fiat have all began rolling out their facelifted light panel vans to take on renewed opposition in the sector from the likes of the Vauxhall Vivaro, Renault Trafic, Volkswagen Transporter and Mercedes-Benz Vito.

The three vans – Citroen Dispatch, Peugeot Expert and Fiat Scudo, are basically the same vehicle, but each has its own grille and there are slight specification differences.

At the front, the new vans feature a more robust-looking bonnet with a raised profile, new headlamps with clear glass and a redesigned bumper which incorporates optional circular foglamps. But whereas the Citroen and Fiat versions have large open grilles, Peugeot has opted for a more sombre radiator cover.

The sides now have rubbing strips that extend across the rear wheelarches and right up to the rear bumper. Inside, the seats have been restyled with lengthened seat cushions, raised backs and strengthening of the lateral support.

Noise suppression has also been given attention and the new model features inserts in the B and C pillars to prevent transmission noise from under the vehicle intruding into the cab. Before the final coat of paint is applied, PVC is sprayed under the load floor as an added quietener. The rear end of the van is the same as the old model, with load volumes of four cubic metres and payloads of 851kg or 925kg. Gross vehicle weights are 2,205kg and 2,330kg.

Under the bonnet things are much the same as they were in the old models. For Citroen and Peugeot, two diesel engines are available – a naturally-aspirated 1.9-litre unit offering 71bhp at 4,600rpm and 170lb-ft of torque at 2,500rpm and a 2.0-litre HDi common rail turbodiesel unit offering 110bhp at 4,000rpm and 250lb-ft of torque at 1,750rpm. Fiat will be using its own JTD engines in 69bhp and 109bhp formats.

  • Details were still being finalised as Fleet Van went to press. Full driving impressions and prices in the next issue.

    Top driving tips

    National Van Rental has come up with a list of top tips for van drivers. The firm believes many drivers still do not consider the implications of driving a bigger vehicle when first climbing aboard. Before starting your trip:

  • Check mirrors are all set correctly so that you can see as much of the road as possible
  • Ask someone to guide you out if you need to back out of a space
  • Make sure the doors are securely locked at the back or on the side of the vehicle
  • Check with the rental company the height of the vehicle. When out on the road:
  • Remember you need a bigger braking distance as the vehicle will be much heavier than a car
  • You will need to take turns and corners much slower
  • Check your route for bridges and overpasses. You may find a route you use regularly in a car is no longer accessible due to the clearance height
  • Be aware of trees which may be overhanging the road
  • Ensure any loose loads are properly secured
  • Ensure that you signal well in advance of making a manoeuvre and make changes slowly.
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