- Good choice of engines
- Plenty of versions
- Practical interior
- Large cargo area
- Near-identical Fiat Scudo is cheaper
The Peugeot Expert is a trusty, tough and versatile van. Compact for the city and comfortable for long journeys, it was an improvement on the model it replaced and was identical in many respects to the period Dispatch and Scudo that were available from Citroen and Fiat.
The Expert's three diesels and three combinations of two wheelbase and two roof height versions made it a strong rival to entry-level versions of large panel vans. The interior is roomy and considerately laid-out while the biggest Expert model has a cargo capacity of seven cubic metres and a 1200kg payload.
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Peugeot's Expert came with three diesel engines: a 89hp 1.6-litre; or a 2.0-litre in two power outputs, 126hp and 161hp, although these were 120hp and 136hp prior to 2009.
The entry-level 1.6 is a little noisy at speed, but capable of working hard on the motorway for long spells. The Expert has plenty of low-down power and well-spaced gears, making it easy to pull away at low speed.
The gearchange is effortless and precise. Light power-steering helps in the city but bodyroll is noticeable on roundabouts. Three-point turns need to be carefully executed in models without rear parking sensors.
The Expert has plenty of thoughtful features for those spending their working days behind the wheel. The large glovebox is lit and lockable, and even air-conditioned on higher-spec models. There are plenty of deep cubby holes, two pop-out drinks holders on the dashboard and the door bins can hold 1.5-litre bottles.
The cab is very spacious for two passengers. But elbow room is limited with three on board, legroom in the middle is badly impeded by the gearlever and the central seat is quite slim. Children or young apprentices should be fine but three stocky workers may soon find it too close for comfort.
Interior plastics feel durable and the basic audio and ventilation controls are simple to use. Works documents and jackets can be stored in the overhead compartments.
Visibility is helped by the Expert’s huge windscreen and drivers have a commanding view of the road. The large, electrically-adjustable door mirrors prove very useful when reversing into tight parking spots.
From new, the Expert competed pound for pound with the Citroen Dispatch, but an equivalent Fiat Scudo undercut it by £500 (though options were more expensive).
All three enjoy low insurance group ratings and the 1.6 HDi is particularly cheap to run, returning almost 40mpg.
Both diesel engines tend to be mechanically reliable and shouldn’t let owners down. The robust interior should also endure wear-and-tear well. Service intervals are every 20,000 miles or two years.
The Expert feels tough and should provide decent passenger protection in the event of an accident. Standard equipment at the time of sale included a driver’s airbag, ABS and a ladder-frame bulkhead for driver protection.
To keep loads safe, the cabin and cargo area doors can be individually locked using either the key fob or controls on the centre console.