Peugeot Bipper Professional

 

New price range: £11,523 - £15,495

By Tim Saunders

Van Diesel is plastered across a local Ford Transit owned by Virgin Broadband. 

It always raises a smile and springs to mind as I take delivery of the Peugeot Bipper Professional, the compact city van.

This is the first van I have driven and on entering you can’t help noticing that it feels rather hollow inside. In fact if you shout there’s almost an echo due to its capacious rear.

The next noticeable difference to a car is the fact that there is no rear view mirror and the distinct absence of a rear window, instead there are two rear doors as you can see from the video. These are obviously for easy loading as is the helpful sliding side door. You have to rely on your mirrors, making me particularly apprehensive when reversing or pulling out to overtake. I now realise that I should be more forgiving of those van drivers, who I have previously thought, pulled out without looking. On manoeuvring to overtake, the driver cannot see anything by looking over their right shoulder, as they would in a car. In time, relying on the mirrors is easy as long as the driver is cautious.

There’s a fairly raised driving position, so much so that I spy a mottled brown roe deer elegantly standing in a field as I wait for the lights to change. In fact height wise it’s on a par with a Land Rover Freelander, giving a commanding view of the road ahead.

In many respects this little van, the test model finished in bright red - making its driver feel like Postman Pat - is very much like a car to drive. The cabin is an adequate size and its dashboard has been well designed, with plenty of space for all that paperwork so often carried by delivery drivers. There’s electric windows, a CD player and a decisive five-speed gearbox coupled to a gutsy 1.4-litre diesel capable of travelling over 600 miles on a tank, if driven at a steady 56mph. More realistically it is good for 500 miles at a decent pace. We’re not just talking about economy either but strong load carrying abilities. It’ll shift up to 590kg of cargo measuring as much as 2.5 cubic metres. So that’s plenty of parcels, as colleagues at work keep pushing my way…

“The rear wheel arches are one metre apart and Bipper’s low loading height, optional sliding side doors and wide access make packing and stacking heavy goods easier,” writes Parkers, the vehicle experts. There’s a hardwearing wood finish inside the rear of the test van.

The increasingly popular Bipper is keenly priced and efficient.  

 

New price range: £11,523 - £15,495

Economy: 63mpg (average)

Power: 68bhp

Top speed: 95mph

 

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