- Neat handling
- Large cargo area
- Very frugal diesel engine
- Basic equipment
- Budget interior finish
The compact Peugeot Bipper is an agile city van with neat handling and a large, resourceful boot. Equipment levels and the interior are basic, but for cheap and cheerful small van ownership, it’s ideal for those on a budget. The cargo area is deceptively roomy and Bipper can carry large loads up to 2.5 cubic metres.
Choice is good – with two engines, two trim levels and two gearbox options available – while running costs and list prices are affordable. Bipper was developed alongside the Fiat Fiorino and Citroen Nemo and, in the Peugeot van range, it nestles in between the smaller 207 Van and the more expensive Partner Origin.
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Buyers can choose either a 73hp 1.4-litre petrol engine or a 68hp 1.4-litre diesel unit. The diesel engine is strained at high-speeds out of town, but the Bipper has been geared for easy load-lugging when moving less quickly.
Tight car parks and busy city centres are made less daunting by Bipper’s agility and light power-steering. The ride is choppy on bumpy roads and there’s a lot of body roll on bends and roundabouts.
All models are paired with a five-speed manual gearbox, but the diesel also comes with the option of electronically-controlled manual transmission, for further convenience in the city plus reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions.
The Bipper’s cabin plastics are basic, but chunky and durable. The audio and ventilation controls are neatly arranged and easy to use on the move. The large door mirrors aid visibility, though the high dashboard and swooping nose make the front bumper tricky to judge.
It’s comfortable for short spells at the wheel but the lack of seat adjustability could be a problem for taller or larger drivers over time. For a better driving position, the optional Comfort Pack includes an adjustable steering wheel and driver’s seat.
The 1.4-litre diesel engine is exceptionally good on fuel, returning almost 63mpg. The same-sized petrol engine manages 40mpg, so the diesel is the standout choice for buyers on a budget.
They do cost more from new, but the extra initial outlay on a diesel should pay off long-term in fuel savings. Service intervals are well-spaced at every 20,000 miles or two years – reducing maintenance costs and time off the road.
The Bipper feels solid and shouldn't let you down. But buyers intending to make it work hard on a daily basis can specify the Tough Pack. This upgrades to 15-inch wheels, raises the suspension and adds extra body protection and a washable cabin floor covering.
Standard safety kit is basic, but all Bipper models get ABS and a driver’s airbag. Higher-spec models also come with deadlocks and remote central locking to secure the cabin and cargo areas individually.
For extra protection, buyers can specify the Airbag Pack, which adds front passenger and side airbags. The ladder-frame bulkhead behind the driver doesn’t protect the front passenger or separate the cabin from the rear load space. A half or full-height bulkhead is a better option.