Six months have flown by and it’s time for our long-term Peugeot Expert to be finally assessed and handed back to its owner.
So how did our team rate this van which first broke cover at the back end of last year? Pretty highly, as it happens.
We all reckoned that for general everyday use, the Expert was about as near perfect as it was possible to get.
It’s big enough to swallow five cubic metres of cargo but small enough to winkle into your average car parking space and as it is based on the Peugeot 807 people carrier, it’s as comfortable and driveable as a car.
The engine, at 120bhp, sits in the middle of a range of three which go from 90bhp to 135bhp and we reckon it’s the pick of the crop. You really don’t need any more than this, unless your business involves lugging full loads up mountainsides.
In fact, for short-haul round- town stuff, the lower-powered variant would suit fine.
Our test model arrived with just 200 miles on the clock and is being returned with close on 9,000, so we’ve given it a good airing during its time here.
Fuel economy gradually rose as the miles ticked by and finally, during its last couple of weeks with us, we actually notched up 40mpg, which is no mean feat for a vehicle of this size.
It’s testament to Peugeot’s experience with diesel engines.
In the past six months we have only had to top up the engine with oil once and despite several checks, the tyres have not required any extra air in them. In fact, the van has been almost boring in its reliability.
Inside, we were particularly impressed with the driver’s seat.
It is big and supportive and hugs the figure right down to the back of the knees, which is more than can be said for some vans we’ve tested.
One of the few gripes, though, has been with the second passenger seat, which is small and has hardly any legroom as the dash-mounted gear lever housing encroaches badly.
Most fleets won’t be affected by this, however, as few carry two passengers.
Mention must also be made of the natty ply-lining job in the rear.
It looks good and has protected the van from the few knocks and scrapes we’ve given it over the past six months, so at selling time it will still look new.
We reckon that anyone who doesn’t go for this cheap option needs their head examining.
Price: £14,720 (ex VAT)
Final mileage: 8,556
Company car tax bill (2007) 22% tax-payer: £55 per month
Insurance group: 6E
Combined mpg: n/a
Test mpg: 40.0
CAP Monitor RV: £4,750/30%
Final expenditure: Nil