27 juin 18

PSA’s compact vans master the tricks of the trade - and more

Peugeot, Citroën and Opel each have begot an heir to their compact-LCV legacy. The offspring – Partner, Berlingo and Combo, respectively – share most of their DNA while retaining a few distinctive features.
What makes them especially attractive, regardless of their badge, is that they combine a wide variety of models with highly efficient powertrains, integrated telematics solutions and technology features until now reserved to the passenger car world. Some are even industry-firsts. By the looks of it, the VW Caddy, Renault Kangoo and Ford Transit Connect are sure to face some tough French-German competition.

Safety first

One such industry innovation is the so-called overload alert. A white LED comes on when 90 percent of the total load capacity is reached. A yellow LED and a warning in the instrument cluster lights up when the maximum capacity is exceeded.

Another value-adding novelty are the dual cameras mounted at the base of the passenger side mirror and above the rear doors to improve visibility while backing up. The images are displayed on a 5” screen located where the interior rear mirror normally sits and provides a close view of the immediate environment for improved reactivity and optimum safety.

The Partner is the only one to benefit from Peugeot’s eye-catching i-Cockpit – which comes standard. It comprises a head-up display relaying the most essential information right in the driver’s line of sight and an 8" capacitive touch screen located in the centre of the dashboard to command the radio, navigation, vehicle settings and telephone.
Judging by the pictures, the Berlingo's and Combo's infotainment system does not differ that much from the Partner's, though. 

A wide variety

The triplets are powered by either a 1.2 petrol or a 1.5 diesel, with outputs ranging from 75 to 130 hp. The most powerful models can be mated to an 8-speed automatic – also a segment-first. In the case of the latter, the adaptive cruise control has stop-and-go functionality – a much appreciated feature in today’s traffic.

The diesels come with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), a NOx reducing system that does not require AdBlue. The petrol models are fitted with a gasoline particulate filter to comply with the upcoming standards.

Moreover, there are two body lengths to choose from – as is the case with their main competitor, the VW Caddy. The standard 4.4-meter model can transport objects of up to 3.09 meters and swallow up to 3,8 m³ of cargo. The extended wheelbase model is 4.75 meter long and has a usable length of 3.34 meters and a capacity of 4.4 m³. The payload varies between 650 and 1,000 kg.

Interestingly, all three PSA vans can be ordered with three seats in the front or as a double cab offering room for five. The first MY2019 Combos, Berlingos and Partners will reach early birds by the end of this year. 
Picture copyright: PSA, 2018
Authored by: Dieter Quartier