Peugeot Expert van review 2021

A modern medium van with high payload ratings

Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

PROS

  • Plenty of payload
  • Claimed fuel economy
  • Good to drive
  • Likeable engines
  • Lots of safety kit available

CONS

  • Unimpressive fit and finish
  • Restricted visibility
  • Cramped cab
  • Offset driving position
  • Not much in-cab storage
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Summary

This 2021 Peugeot Expert review covers the third-generation model, which first went on sale in 2016. Based on a new platform (the snappily entitled Efficient Modular Platform 2 or EMP2), the latest Expert offers more payload, greater load volume and tighter turning circles than its predecessor.

It's also available with a number of high-tech features, including plenty of active safety equipment, hands-free automatic sliding doors and a head-up display.

With class-leading payload capacity and fuel economy, it's an impressive medium van, and we voted it runner up in this category in the 2020 and 2021 Parkers Awards. However, the cab isn't the most spacious or comfortable.

>> The best medium vans compared

What's new for the 2021 Peugeot Expert?

As it's now around five years old, the Expert is approaching the point at which a midlife makeover might be starting to appear from over the horizon but there has been no news of this at all from Peugeot,

Instead, in August 2021 the firm made a slight change to the available trim levels, adding 'Premium' to existing names as a means of distinguishing them.

The electric version, which launched in the UK late in 2020, is covered in full detail in our dedicated Peugeot e-Expert electric van review.

Peugeot Expert relatives and rivals

The Expert shares its underpinnings with the Citroen Dispatch and the Vauxhall Vivaro - plus a Toyota Proace with a 10-year warranty that's basically identical as well.

Major rivals include the bestselling Ford Transit Custom, the ever-popular Volkswagen Transporter and the Renault Trafic family of vans - which includes the Fiat Talento and the Nissan NV300.

Peugeot Expert variants

The Expert comes in three body lengths and three gross vehicle weight (GVW) options, but only a single roof height.

For full load area, dimensions and payload details, see our dedicated Peugeot Expert Dimensions page.

Peugeot Expert review - rear view, grey

In addition to the standard panel van, it's also sold as a crew van with extra seating, and as a platform cab for conversions. You can also buy a passenger car MPV version called the Peugeot Traveller.

Peugeot Expert engines and trim levels

At launch until May 2019 there were 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre BlueHDi diesel engine choices, covering a total of five power outputs from 95hp to 180hp.

From May 2019 production onwards, the Peugeot Expert dropped the 1.6-litre engine in favour of a newer 1.5-litre BlueHDi motor.

This 100hp engine meets newer emissions regulations; the 2.0-litre engines have also been modified to meet these but otherwise carry on as before - with the exception of the range-topping 180hp version, which now benefits from an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard.


Peugeot Expert verdict

If you're looking for a medium van with the best possible payload capacity or fuel economy, the Peugeot Expert (and its cousins) are well worth a look. Pricing is keen and you get plenty of standard kit for your money.

However, the cab is a let-down in such a modern van, especially the driving position, which forces right-hand drive buyers to deal with pedals and steering wheel that aren't lined up nicely.


Peugeot Expert driving experience

4 out of 5 4.0
  • Good handling and ride comfort
  • Tight turning circle
  • Refined and powerful engine options

In many respects, the Peugeot Expert is an impressive van to drive. There is very little bodyroll in the corners, and the steering is light but precise.

It’s also very manoeuvrable, with turning circles as tight as 11.3m.

What's more, an area where the Peugeot Expert has come on leaps and bounds is NVH (noise, vibrations and harshness), as the new model is incredibly refined at low speeds, even if noise levels do increase on the motorway.

Peugeot Expert review - front view, grey, driving

The suspension does a good job of dealing with most road surfaces, too, proving comfortable and controlled even without any load in the back.

Peugeot Expert engines before May 2019

From launch in 2016, Peugeot chose to use the same 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre BlueHDi engines fitted to the previous-generation Expert, although they were modified for more power, better efficiency and thus lower CO2 emissions.

There are power ratings of 95hp / 210Nm or 116hp / 300Nm for the 1.6-litre motor and 120hp / 340Nm, 150hp / 370Nm or 180hp / 400Nm for the 2.0-litre engine.

All versions use a six-speed manual transmission with the exception of the 95hp 1.6, which comes with the choice of five-speed manual or ETG6 automated manual transmission, and the 180hp 2.0, which is exclusively available with the EAT6 six-speed automatic transmission.

Apart from the entry-level 95hp model, all versions are very quick off the mark. Even the 116hp 1.6 with 300kg on board will pull away from traffic lights with ease and has no trouble tackling hilly terrain. The top-of-the-range 180hp option is one of the most powerful vans on the market.

Peugeot Expert engines after May 2019

In order to meet new emissions requirements, Peugeot revised the Expert's engine range from May 2019 production onwards.

The 2.0-litre engines are fundamentally the same as before, with the same 120hp, 150hp and 180hp outputs. However the 180hp versions now gets an EAT8 eight-speed automatic for improved performance and efficiency.

The 1.6-litre engine is dead, however. In its place is a 1.5-litre BlueHDi of more modern design, and familiar from Peugeot's car range. This produces 102hp / 270Nm in the Expert.

All work very well in this van, delivering plenty of smooth power and an impressively refined driving experience. Go for a 2.0-litre if you regularly carry a fair amount of payload, but 1.5-litre models can get the job done if required.

Peugeot Expert cabin & interior

3 out of 5 3.0
  • Offset driving position is poor
  • Cab feels very cramped
  • There isn't much useful storage space

For a medium-sized van, the cab feels very small and claustrophobic.

This is due to way the roof slopes down towards the windscreen and the raised, far forward positioning of the dashboard - which combined with the black plastics used throughout the interior make the cab quite dark.

The seats are comfortable, but again, aren’t very spacious. The steering column and driver’s seat are fully adjustable but they don’t slide too far back, which may hinder some taller drivers.

Peugeot Expert - 2016 model, cab interior viewed from passenger side

Worse still, on right-hand drive versions of the Expert, the pedals and the steering wheel are noticeably offset, so you find yourself sitting in a slightly twisted position. This is very poor for a van that first went on sale as recently as 2016.

There are a number of useful storage spaces but they are quite small - the only exception being the cubby underneath the standard-fit passenger bench seat.

Peugeot Expert - 2016 model, cab interior viewed from passenger side, Moduwork bulkhead with passenger seat folded up and net fitted

A 'Moduwork' load-through bulkhead is fitted as standard from Professional grade upwards, and this not only comes with an outer passenger seat that folds out of the way to accomodate longer loads but also a middle passenger seat that converts into a desk.

Peugeot Expert - 2016 model, cab interior viewed from passenger side, Moduwork bulkhead with pipes loaded

Handy, but no compensation for the cramped feeling and offset driving position.

Peugeot Expert running costs & value

4.4 out of 5 4.4
  • Good value with plenty of standard kit
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Shouldn't cost too much to run

With attractive list prices and plenty of standard kit, the Peugeot Expert represents good value - especially to cash buyers.

Anyone looking to fund their van by finance may find that more popular or premium rivals offer better prices per month, however, due to the way they hold their value better.

Peugeot Expert mpg

Going by the claimed fuel economy figures, the Peugeot Expert is one of the most efficient medium vans available, with the 116hp 1.6-litre engine returning an official figure of 55.3mpg when it was launched in 2016.

However, new emissions regulations in September 2019 came with a revised method of measuring fuel economy called WLTP. This has seen the on-paper claims drop dramatically to a best of 41.3mpg.

Peugeot Expert - 2016 model, front view, loaded van with man activating electric side doors with foot

The change does not mean that newer Expert's are dramatically less efficient in the real world, rather that the test is not supposed to be more realistic. And certainly we feel that the small and lighter versions of this van are well capable of approaching 40mpg in regular driving.

The 22.4-litre AdBlue tank is bigger than a lot of others in this segment and offers a very respectable range of around 9,300 miles in theory. Exactly how far you'll go per tank will depend on how and where the van is driven.

Peugeot Expert service intervals

Service intervals are set at 25,000 miles or two years, whichever comes first.

Peugeot Expert warranty

The Expert comes with a three-year, 100,000-mile warranty.

The Toyota Proace - which is essentially the same van - has a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty. Just so you know.

Peugeot Expert standard equipment

Up until May 2019 production, the Expert was sold in S, Professional and Professional Plus trim levels; Asphalt and Grip variants then joined the range at this point, with Asphalt replacing Premium Plus.

Then in August 2021, the Expert range was revised again, and now consists of S Premium, Professional Premium and Asphalt Premium only. These are the current standard equipment highlights:

Peugeot Expert S Premium standard equipment highlights:

  • Twin sliding side doors
  • Full steel bulkhead
  • Height-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support and armrest
  • Dual passenger bench with storage tray
  • Cruise control with variable speed limiter
  • One-touch electric windows
  • Electric, heated door mirrors
  • Full size spare wheel
  • DAB radio
  • Bluetooth, USB and aux-in connectivity
  • 12v socket in load area and cabin

Peugeot Expert Professional Premium standard equipment highlights (in addition to S Premium):

  • Air-conditioning
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Laminated acoustic windscreen for improved refinement
  • Moduwork load-through bulkhead and passenger bench
  • Automatic lights and wipers
  • 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

Peugeot Asphalt Premium standard equipment highlights (in addition to Professional Premium):

  • Metallic paint
  • Leather steering wheel and gearlever
  • Body-coloured bumpers, door handles and side rubbing strips
  • Front foglights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • 180-degree rear parking camera and blindspot monitors
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Electrically folding heated door mirrors
  • Connected 3D Navigation sat-nav system with voice recognition and Peugeot Connect
  • Three-year subscription to TomTom Live and SpeedCam / Danger Zones alerts
  • Head-up display
  • Safety Pack
  • Driver Assist Pack

For reference, the now discontinued Peugeot Expert Grip model was based on the S, and designed for heavy-duty construction site work.

As well as gaining the Moduwork load-through bulkhead, this version also comes with the Grip Control enhanced traction system, 'mud and snow' tyres, 20mm extra ground clearance and a 20mm thick engine protection plate.

Peugeot Expert reliability, common problems & faults

3.5 out of 5 3.5
  • Long-serving engines should be a good sign
  • But lots of recalls since launch in 2016

Over the course of their lives, the 1.6- and 2.0-litre engines from PSA have proved themselves to be fairly durable and a number of vans using these engines have featured in the FN50 list for the most reliable light commercials.

However, this model of Expert has certainly been subject to a number of official recalls, with issues relating to the engines, suspension, gearboxes and brakes all requiring action from Peugeot.

If buying used, do make sure that all of the necessary recall work has been carried out. You should be able to check with Peugeot.

A full list of recall issues is available via the government's 'check vehicle recall' service.

The 1.5-litre engines introduced in 2019 are relatively new to vans but again have done plenty of time in Peugeot's cars, and we're hoping this means they should prove reliable.

Peugeot Expert safety & security

4 out of 5 4.0
  • Plenty of safety kit available...
  • ...but you'll have to pay extra for much of it
  • Deadlocks as standard

As with all the latest generation of vans, big improvements have been made to the Peugeot Expert’s levels of safety and security.

However, you will find that much of the best safety kit is only optional.

Peugeot Expert Safety

Available safety items on the Expert include:

Since Volkswagen made autonomous emergency braking standard on all the vans it sells in the UK back in 2017, it's always disappointing to find this limited to the options list on rival models.

Peugeot does lump a selection of key items - including AEB - together into the cost effective packs, however, with the Safety Pack and Driver Assist Pack covering the latest technology available here. These both come as standard on the range-topping Asphalt and Asphalt Premium models.

Euro NCAP Silver award

The Peugeot Expert has been given a Silver rating by Euro NCAP based on the availability of safety equipment. This is part of a wider van safety campaign launched in December 2020, listing the best and worst vans for safety.

Peugeot Expert security

Deadlocks and remote locking that allows you to unlock the cab and load area separately are standard on every version of the Expert.

But you will need to go for a Professional model or above to get an alarm as part of the basic price.

Which Peugeot Expert is best for me?

Still trying to make up your mind which Peugeot Expert to buy? Well, just to add some further confusion, don't forget that the Citroen Berlingo, Vauxhall Vivaro and Toyota Proace are all the same basic van - so don't forget to check those out for competitive deals if you've set your heart on this basic design.

For instance, the Toyota's five-year warranty may be worth contemplating if you plan to keep the van for a longer while.

Best Peugeot Expert engine

Not too much to worry about here, as all of the engines available in this van are good.

The BlueHDi 100 model is best suited to lighter payloads and urban journeys rather than extended distances with lots of weight on board, but all of the 2.0-litre models pack plenty of punch.

Best Peugeot Expert trim level

Peugeot has very carefully tailored its latest Expert trim level line-up, so it should be straightforward to figure out which best suits you.

The basic S models are fine for basic stuff, while the now discontinued Grip is tougher for harder site work (for example). The Professional and Asphalt models will give longer-distance drivers a better working environment, not least because they include additional sound deadening.

Also read:

>> The best medium vans

>> Our Peugeot e-Expert electric van review