As our test vehicles all tend to come with a full tank of fuel, it sometimes takes a few weeks before we can make an accurate economy assessment.
Such was the case with our long-term Peugeot Partner – but when we finally got down to some accurate number-crunching, we were pleasantly surprised to find that this van is returning 48mpg, not bad for a vehicle which seats three and carries well over three cubic metres of cargo.
Peugeot is well-known as a leader in the field of diesel technology and the HDi engine in this van also graces many of its passenger cars.
It’s not only economical but is silky smooth too, giving the Partner a very pleasant set of road manners.
And there was another surprise. I had dismissed the second passenger seat in my last test report as little more than useless, owing to the fact that there didn’t appear to be any legroom. Well, I was proved wrong.
A week or so after that report was published, my partner and number two daughter needed to be transported to London, some 50 miles away, and the only vehicle available was our trusty Partner.
So we all piled into the Peuget, my partner simply swizzled her legs round to the left a bit and everyone was happy as we sped off to The Smoke.
Even at the end of the trip, both passenger commented on how comfortable it had been, a far cry from my bleatings about lack of space in the last report.
Now it must be stated that the two females in question are both quite slim and I wouldn’t like to vouch for the comfort of two burly workmen but, suffice to say, this dual passenger seat is not the white elephant I’d assumed it to be.
The Partner is pleasing in many more ways than this, too.
The old model (still on sale but now called the Partner Origin) was pretty noisy in comparison and the driver’s seat was a bit squishy and uncomfortable on long journeys.
With a chassis based on the 308 car, this new van is much better. Noise levels in the cab are little different from your average car and the driver’s seat is bang up to scratch with plenty of support all round.
And carrying on the seat theme, I had my first chance to use the natty folding passenger one the other day when I bought a tall plant at the local garden centre.
The outside seat either folds down into the floor to make extra load length or up to allow for high loads, and that’s exactly what I did – a quick flip of a lever and my plant was safely in place for its journey home.