The main engine option for the Peugeot Partner is a 1.6 litre Peugeot Citroen HDi diesel in three different states of tune. Depending how it is tuned, this engine will deliver a power output of 75bhp, 92bhp or 100bhp. Alternatively, there is a petrol engine, also 1.6 litre capacity and putting out a solid 98bhp. However, relatively few buyers opt for the petrol over the diesel.
As standard, whichever engine you choose will come with a manual gearbox offering five forward speeds. There is also the option of a six-speed automatic. This is an electronically controlled automatic.
Somewhat unusually for the van market right now, there is also a fully electric version of the Partner on offer. This has a claimed range of 106 miles on a single charge.
There are two length options, and depending which one you choose the Peugeot Partner will offer either 3.3 cubic metres or 3.7 cubic metres of loading space. This comes with a solid payload capacity of 850kg for the shorter body.
However, instead of offering the same or greater capacity, the longer body offers a lower if still respectable 750kg in this area. This is because, unusually, the two vans are based on the same wheelbase, and this means that the extra body weight of the longer model saps that wheelbase's available loading capacity.
The partner has a good selection of additional features available as standard, with additional features on offer as optional add-ons. Stability control, driver's airbag and ladder-frame bulkhead behind the driver are all standard on the safety front. Additional airbags, parking sensors, reversing camera and Active City Brake (an automatic collision-detection and braking system) are all options.
Positives and Negatives
The Peugeot Partner doesn't offer the greatest amount of loading space or payload capacity in its size class, but it nonetheless provides a decent capacity in both area and weight. Even the shorter option is capable of taking in two Euro pallets, and in the light van class to which the Partner belongs that is not to be sniffed at.
Engine performance, like loading space, is not exceptional but is definitely solid. The more powerful 100bhp version of the diesel engine is definitely a worthwhile investment if the van is going to be subjected to long journeys or high speeds. Even the least powerful version of the engine has a decent amount of pull, however, and copes well with full loads. Regardless of which state of tune you opt for, the engine does get rather loud at higher speeds. MPG figures are good, with the most powerful configuration able to get nearly 70 miles out of a gallon with the optional stop-start system.
Like its close sibling the Citroen Berlingo, where the Partner excels is in ride comfort. The suspension is soft and absorbs bumps effectively, only barely starting to struggle when the van is fully laden. Despite this, body lean is minimal and road holding and handling are excellent. Few other vans can offer this kind of ride comfort.
The cab is a mixed bag. It offers plenty of storage space and a good range of essential features such as electric windows and a CD stereo, but is not over-supplied in terms of bells and whistles. Options such as a USB phone charging slot are also fairly basic compared to some rivals. The cabin is also rather cramped and, if you opt for the double passenger seat, the person sitting in the middle will likely feel rather squeezed.
The Peugeot Partner gives a very comfortable ride. Other than that, it does not really excel at anything, but it is good at a lot of things and that is not a bad achievement. The result is a solid all-rounder, and certainly not a bad choice for a smaller van.