(PRWEB UK) 26 November 2012
PEUGEOT’S compact city van is a sparky little operator that’s completely at home on urban streets. It pocket-sized dimensions make it an agile performer through town traffic yet it can cram in an impressive payload of 660kg and gobble up 2.5cu m of cargo.
And thanks to the availability of an innovative folding multi-function passenger seat, it is possible to increase the load capacity by using the space normally occupied by the passenger. This allows long objects to be carried as far forward as the fascia panel increasing the maximum floor load length by nearly a metre, to 2.491m.
Three bulkhead options are also available, a full steel bulkhead, half-height bulkhead with mesh grille, as in the test model, or a full steel bulkhead with windows.
Access is good via (60/40) asymmetric hinged rear doors that open to an angle of 90deg or even 180deg if required, plus sliding side door. There are six cargo tie-down hooks for securing loads.
The roominess extends to the cab, which offers good legroom and comfortable seating. Instrumentation and controls are clear and uncomplicated with a four-dial instrument panel, a multifunction display, warning lights and a centre console.
The centre console also houses the radio, ventilation or air conditioning controls as with the test model, and the Bluetooth hands-free phone kit. Provision of an integrated A5 clipboard is a nice touch.
Through Peugeot and Citroen parent company PSA and its long-term association with Fiat, the Bipper shares its incarnation with the Citroen Nemo and Fiat Fiorino. They are all pretty much the same except for the badging.
Our test model was powered by Peugeot’s 1.3 HDi diesel unit which develops 75hp and 190Nm of torque, more than adequate given the type of duty likely to be expected of the Bipper.
It zips the little van along without having to resort to much stirring of the gear stick to maintain a lively pace, although when necessary, the changes are slick courtesy of the electronically controlled five-speed box which is operated by a nifty short lever just fore of the dash centre. And fuel economy is good at a combined 62.7mpg, while emissions are 119g/km.
The front suspension is independent with McPherson type front struts and coil springs. The rear suspension consists of a torsion beam with hydraulic dampers and coil springs.
Thanks to the design of the rear suspension, the Bipper can carry a payload of up to 610kg with minimal impact on the ride height. And for the most part, The Bipper rides well, unsettled only by the occasional pothole and rough road service.
Service intervals are at two years or 20,000 miles.
•Compact size belies cargo capacity
•Ingenious folding passenger seat arrangement extends load-carrying ability
•Comfortable cab with good controls and instruments
•Lively engine with plenty of pep
•Tight turning circle at 9.95m (32.6ft)
•Ride can be unsettled on rough roads, especially when unladen
Business Vans verdict
Unexpectedly capacious given its size, the Bipper is a compact van with big ideas. It’s a handy round-town performer but would also be comfortable for longer journeys and, with its good fuel economy figures, running costs won’t break the bank.
What one needs to know
On the road price ex VAT (as tested): £15,045
Load length: 1,523mm
Load width (max): 1,046mm
Load height: 1,178 mm
Load capacity: 2.5cu m
Towing capacity braked 600kg
Engine: 1.248cc 4-cyl diesel
Economy (combined): 68.9mpg
CO2 emissions: 109g/km
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