The original Peugeot Partner name was synonymous with smooth-shaped compact vans,
but does it still offer a well-rounded solution now that it has grown-up? Ian Shaw finds out
Launched in 1996, the original Peugeot Partner – whose place in the LCV scheme of things is now taken by the Bipper – stood alongside the Citroen Berlingo as the brave new shape of the car-derived van. Following the boxy car-cube pioneers of the Fiat Fiorino and Vauxhall Combo, the French duo – later joined by their Renault Kangoo countryman – set the standard and virtually wiped out the traditional, pure CDV.
The Partner has since grown in size and sophistication, and this generation, launched in 2008. offers such additions as a Grip Control option for those venturing onto building sites or making rural winter deliveries and an all-electric version for operators who don’t stray far from home. The main Partner attributes have never changed, however. A good load volume of 3.3m3 heads the figures, backed by payloads of 625kg, 750kg
and 850kg, with Peugeot designating the Partner model variants by each of those three numbers. With load lengths of 1.8m or 2.05m, plus the slightly elongated rear overhang of the L2 model on the same wheelbase, the Partner offers flexibility without forgetting its cube van roots. Internal load headroom stands at a useful 1.25m.
The ubiquitous HDi common-rail diesel engine, in 1.6-litre guise, powers the range in two states of tune. A 75hp version has 185Nm of torque, but there is also a 90hp unit, which is particularly useful for the 850kg payload variant. It is this combination that can be available with the Grip Control option – £625 when new – that offers mud and snow tyres plus a five-mode switchable traction control system. The full-electric Partner costs £21,000 new from 2013 models onwards, before Government grant, which is not cheap, and offers 106 miles of total range, so it’s aimed at urban delivery work.
Servicing intervals are at 12,500 miles or two years, and the HDi engine’s reputation for reliability and economy seems perfectly justified. We have heard of some issues on central locking and alarm systems and also some reports of a short life span for the rear dampers, but you cannot discount possible overloading by the operator in such cases.
On the reliability front, Vosa tells us of a few recalls of the third generation of the Partner, which was launched in 2008. The first is recall R/2009/154, issued on 24 December 2009, which states that the tailgate may not operate correctly. It affects vehicles built from 19 January 2009 to 24 July of the same year. R/2010/135, issued on 10 September 2010 relates to the fact that the airbag may operate incorrectly on for vehicles built between 21 January 2010 and 26 March 2010. Finally, recall R/2010/158 on 11 October 2010 relates to a roof flap that may detach on models built between 22 October 2008 and
23 January 2010.
So how much should a good used Partner cost? The used van locator at WhatVan.co.uk found quite a few, with £3275 being a good starting point for an 850 SE 1.6HDi 2009 on a 58-plate with 87,000 miles on the clock. For £3330, there was a 2010 60-plate three-seater 625SE model with 114,237 miles under its wheels, while £3595 buys a 2011 11-plate 625 S HDi 75hp with 106,000 miles on it. Finally, for £4995, there was a 2012 61-plate 850 S 90hp 1.6HDi with 67,861 miles covered.