Peugeot Expert van review

Category: Medium Van

The Expert is one of the most economical and practical medium vans on the market

Peugeot Expert front left static
  • Peugeot Expert front left static
  • Peugeot Expert rear right static
  • Peugeot Expert interior dashboard
  • Peugeot Expert load bay
  • Peugeot Expert infotainment touchscreen
  • Peugeot Expert front left static
  • Peugeot Expert front interior
  • Peugeot Expert interior seats
  • Peugeot Expert glove compartment
  • Peugeot Expert dashboard detail
  • Peugeot Expert load-through slot
  • Peugeot Expert interior detail
  • Peugeot Expert interior detail
  • Peugeot Expert heated seat detail
  • Peugeot Expert front left static
  • Peugeot Expert rear right static
  • Peugeot Expert interior dashboard
  • Peugeot Expert load bay
  • Peugeot Expert infotainment touchscreen
  • Peugeot Expert front left static
  • Peugeot Expert front interior
  • Peugeot Expert interior seats
  • Peugeot Expert glove compartment
  • Peugeot Expert dashboard detail
  • Peugeot Expert load-through slot
  • Peugeot Expert interior detail
  • Peugeot Expert interior detail
  • Peugeot Expert heated seat detail

Introduction

What Car? says...

A few years on from its introduction in its current form, the Peugeot Expert has been given its most significant update yet.

The most obvious difference between the latest Expert and the pre-facelift model is the dramatic new front end adorned with a large Peugeot shield – and it's fortunate the manufacturer's badge is big enough to stand out.

Why? Well, in many ways the Expert is identical to three other Stellantis models – the Citroën Dispatch, Fiat Scudo and Vauxhall Vivaro – as well as an equally similar non-Stellantis model, the Toyota Proace.

They've all been updated for 2024, and in the Expert's case changes also include a new high-tech dashboard. The suspension, gearboxes and choice of diesel engines remain the same as before the update. There are two body lengths (regular and long) and two trim levels, and as well as a panel van, you can have a crew cab with a second row of seats.

So does all that make the facelifted Peugeot Expert a strong contender among the best medium vans and its many rivals, which also include the Ford Transit CustomMercedes Vito, Nissan Primastar, Renault Trafic and VW Transporter? Read on to find out...

Read more: How we test vans

Overview

The Peugeot Expert update has been successful, giving the popular model a well-equipped interior without fiddling with the van's fine handling and ride. A near-class-leading payload makes it a practical choice for those who need to pack heavy loads into their van, but its compact dimensions count against it for those prioritising volume over mass. Dimensions aside, it’s near the top of the medium van class.

  • Impressive payload limits
  • Good ride quality and handling
  • Entry-level model is well equipped
  • Small cargo box limits ultimate cargo volume
  • One roof height limits options
  • Awkward driving position

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Under the bonnet of the diesel Peugeot Expert you’ll find that everything is much the same as before its latest update. There’s no new engine offering untold efficiency, but then there’s not a great deal wrong with what’s provided.

We should at this point mention that there's also an electric van version available – if that sounds appealing, see our Peugeot e-Expert review.

The range of diesel Experts starts with a 1.5-litre engine offering 118bhp and an impressive 221lb/ft of torque. It's a delightful unit, proving surprisingly refined while producing enough poke to keep you moving, even when the van is fully loaded.

The other option is a 2.0-litre engine delivering 142bhp with 251lb/ft of torque. Both engines are paired to a smooth six-speed manual gearbox – or, with the larger engine, you can opt for a six-speed automatic gearbox which allows for a 21lb/ft increase in torque.

During our test drive of the Expert we carried 250kg in the back, with two robust passengers in the front, which hardly stretches the van to its limits. However, any difference in performance from empty was imperceptible, which bodes well for those wanting to drive with a full load.

Peugeot Expert image
Skip the showroom and find out more online

Handling and ride are a strong point, and that hasn't changed with the update. The steering remains light — but not too light — and precise, providing good feedback from the road surface. It allows you to place the Expert precisely on the road and, with a little imagination, lets you enjoy threading it along a gently curving, undulating country road. It’s on par with the recognised best in the class, the Ford Transit Custom, which is high praise.

Those covering long-distance missions will appreciate that the Expert is also a quiet van, especially in 1.5-litre form, which makes for a far more relaxing drive.

Driving overview

Strengths Refined engines; engaging handling; light steering makes urban manoeuvring easy

Weaknesses No automatic gearbox option for smaller (1.5-litre) engine

Peugeot Expert rear right static

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

With the latest update, Peugeot has breathed new life into the Expert's interior generally and its dashboard in particular. The new look errs on the side of conventional rather than innovative, but has transformed the functional, slightly dour interior into something modern and kitted out with up-to-date technology.

The most obvious change is the introduction of a 10.0in infotainment screen mounted high up in the centre of the dashboard. Fitted to both the entry-level Professional model and the higher-spec Asphalt trim, the screen controls most of the vehicle's functions while offering connectivity via Bluetooth, USB, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring.

The phone mirroring allows you to stream music, make hands-free calls and run sat-nav apps through the touchscreen. A small shelf under the screen is sized perfectly to hold even a large smartphone, with a USB socket nearby to make connecting your device easy.

If you go for the Expert in top-spec Asphalt trim, TomTom navigation is built into the system, offering another route-finding option. It’s not as glossy or slick as the Sync system in a Ford Transit Custom but it's perfectly usable.

All versions also get a 10.0in digital driver's display, which can be customised to show just essential information or display everything from fuel economy to navigation instructions. It’s clear and straightforward, keeping distractions away from the direct line of sight.

What can be distracting is the seating position. While the driver’s seat offers reach, rake and height adjustment, as well as adjustable lumbar support and an armrest, and the steering wheel adjusts for reach and rake, you can’t move the location of the pedals and steering wheel – a shame, because the pedals are offset to the right, with the steering wheel to the left.

That leaves the driver sitting with a slight twist that, while it will affect individuals differently, can lead to some uncomfortable journeys, especially if they’re long (the same is true in the Vauxhall Vivaro). For those jumping in and out on multi-drop deliveries, it’s less of an issue.

Visibility isn't perfect either. The small door mirrors and high window line mean seeing out of anything but the windscreen is not as easy as in a Ford Transit Custom or Renault Trafic. The top-spec Asphalt model solves that with a feature called Dynamic Surround View, which is a digital rear-view mirror showing an image from a rear-mounted camera. It can also display what’s in the van’s blind-spot, making lane changes significantly safer.

Beyond that, it’s business as usual. Peugeot build quality feels strong, with no rattles or creaks when parts are pressed and prodded with a bit of force. The Expert isn't going to win any luxury awards and is a little dark inside, but it’s as appealing and tactile as its main medium van rivals.

Interior overview

Strengths Digital instrument panel is clear and customisable; good level of equipment

Weaknesses Twisted driving position; interior is a little dark

Peugeot Expert interior dashboard

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

The Peugeot Expert offers seating for three people side by side at the front – although the two passengers will need to be good friends.

The entry-level Professional trim provides a two-seater bench alongside the driver's seat, while top-spec Asphalt has an outer passenger seat that flips up to reveal some under-seat storage and a hatch behind to slide long, thin loads through from the back. That extends the cargo area by more than a metre, although obviously no one can sit in the third seat if the hatch is in use.

The load bay is smaller than in most medium vans. The standard-length Expert provides up to 2,512mm of load length at the floor and a maximum internal height of 1,397mm. That translates into a cargo volume of 5.3m3, which is half a cubic metre less than you’ll get into a Ford Transit Custom, Renault Trafic or VW Transporter.

The longer Expert adds another 350mm, extending the cargo bay to 2,862mm and increasing the volume to 6.1m3, but the lengthier versions of some rivals also improve their lot, extending the gap to 6.7m3 for the Trafic and Transporter, and 6.8m3 for the Transit Custom.

Specifying a high-roof option on the Expert is impossible, which limits space in the back, but, to be positive, it means it can squeeze into most multi-storey car parks without a problem. The high-roof models of its rivals limit accessibility to restricted height areas but increase the cargo volume yet again, with the Trafic taking up to 8.6m3 in the back — 40% more than the Expert.

Where the Expert excels is with its payload limits: with a gross vehicle weight of 3.1 tonnes, payloads can reach as high as 1,384kg. That was a class-leading figure until the new Transit Custom arrived with its 1,416kg, but is still 100kg more than a Trafic or Transporter can carry, and around half a tonne more than the Mercedes Vito and LEVC VN5.

Opting for the smaller, 1.5-litre engine limits that to 1,121kg in the top Asphalt trim or 1,182kg in entry-level Professional, but that more or less matches the equivalent versions of rivals.

Access to the cargo box is easy thanks to sliding doors on both sides of the van — something the Transit Custom doesn’t get as standard. They’re a little narrower than the Custom’s door, at 935mm compared to 1,030mm, but still wide enough to slide a Euro pallet through. The rear doors swing open to 180 degrees, allowing a forklift to get close and put another Euro pallet in the back, and a third for Long models.

Practicality overview

Strengths Sliding doors on both sides; high payload limits

Weaknesses No high roof option; cargo volume at the bottom of the class

Peugeot Expert load bay

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The Peugeot Expert’s simple line-up keeps buying costs in check. There's barely £5,000 between the cheapest and most expensive model – and all versions come well equipped.

The entry-level Professional gets a 10.0in touchscreen infotainment system with wireless connectivity, air conditioning, cruise control, rear parking sensors, electrically adjustable mirrors and storage under the twin passenger seat. It misses out an alarm, though.

The top-spec Asphalt model adds some styling tweaks on the outside, including larger wheels with alloy wheel-like covers and body-coloured paint to the bumpers, with sat-nav and Dynamic Surround View fitted inside. It also benefits from the load-through panel that extends the cargo box into the interior.

Given how competitive the medium van sector is, it’s a surprise that the Expert undercuts its rivals, including most of its Stellantis siblings, although the differences are minimal. There is a bit of a gap between the Expert and the pricier Ford Transit Custom (although Ford hasn’t released its entire range yet). It’s also comfortably cheaper than the Mercedes Vito.

While running costs won’t be as low as for the all-electric Peugeot e-Expert, the diesel-powered models are pleasingly frugal. The smooth but least powerful 1.5-litre model offers the best economy, with official WLTP figures suggesting as much as 44.8mpg is possible. 

At the other end of the scale, a worst-case figure of 34.0mpg from the 2.0-litre model isn’t uncompetitive. The competition is broadly similar, with some models doing slightly better and some doing slightly worse, but all are around the same ballpark. The exception is the LEVC VN5 which has a range-extender set-up and – like a plug-in hybrid – can return whopping MPG figures if it's charged up regularly.

The Peugeot warranty matches those offered by Renault and Volkswagen, with three years of coverage limited to 100,000 miles. Nissan extends its coverage to five years for its vans but keeps the mileage limit. Mercedes doesn’t place a mileage limit on its cover, but it only runs for three years. They all make Ford look a little parsimonious, with the Transit Custom’s cover limited to just 60,000 miles.

The Expert needs servicing every two years, although high-mileage users might need to pop in earlier if they hit mileage limits, which range from 25,000 to 32,000 miles depending on the engine fitted.

Costs overview

Strengths Low starting price; upgrades are good value; long service intervals

Weaknesses No alarm on entry-level van; options can be expensive; average warranty length will impact long-term operators or high mileage users


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Peugeot Expert infotainment touchscreen

FAQs

  • Production is split between Hordain, France, and Luton, here in the UK. Another factory in France produces the Peugeot e-Expert but production of the electric van will move to Luton in 2025.

  • Yes – it’s called the Traveller. It’s mechanically identical to the panel van but gains windows all round and a plush interior. For more on that, see our Peugeot Traveller review.