heycar editorial team
- Excellent payload of more than 1400kg
- Capable of towing up to 2500kg
- Efficient and easy to drive
Not so great
- Compromised driving position
- Only one roof height offered
- Interior quality not up to that of rivals
On the inside
How much does it cost to run
Prices, versions and specification
"The Peugeot Expert will be the perfect medium-sized van for some, thanks to its strong payload and economical engines and stylish looks."
Admittedly, there is more to a van than ticking those three boxes, but they count for a lot for a lot of businesses, small and large, that are after a van that will put in a strong shift. A payload of up to 1469kg means that the Expert will certainly be able to carry a fair amount, while economy of up to 44.2mpg is decent return, too.
There are four different engine options in the Expert range, with a 100PS 1.5-litre diesel and a 2.0-litre diesel with 120PS, 150PS or 180PS.
The range was updated ever-so slightly in 2019 to meet the new Euro 6D-Temp emissions standards. The 2.0-litre engines were only tweaked to meet the standards, but the 1.5-litre engine is a new addition – it replaced a 1.6-litre diesel. That is a good thing in some ways, though, with the old 95PS engine the noisiest of the range, both under hard acceleration and at low speeds, which is wearing after a long day on the road.
The Expert offers a good driving experience in other regards, though, with responsive steering that makes it easy to handle at speed. It is also nimble around town with a turning circle of 11.3m that means it will match many passenger cars when it comes to tackling urban life.
The trim range has consisted of three options throughout the Expert’s life, but these have gone under different names. Up until 2019 they were called S, Professional and Professional Plus, but the 2019 update saw the range change to S, Grip, Professional and Asphalt. A Sport edition joined the range too.
The latest range isn’t totally linear, as it branches off in two directions. S sits at the bottom of both lines, but Grip is designed for those that want a more rugged van with more ground clearance and under body protection. Professional, Asphalt and Sport are all more aimed at those who want to spend more time on the road.
The Expert range doesn’t offer a solution for all users, though, principally because it is a bit of a rarity in that it only comes with one height. This does mean that it will fit into the vast majority of city-centre car parks.
There are three lengths to choose from, though, and a crew van that also comes in either Standard or Long.
The cabin is one of the Expert’s weaker elements, with some of the interior plastics tending to rattle across bumpy roads, while the layout isn’t ideal. The driving position is slightly offset for right-hand-drive models and the seat doesn’t slide as far back as taller drivers would like.
The Expert is a strong option in many ways, though, with strong purchase and running costs big elements in its favour. Add in the big payload and it will be a winner for many that are looking for a long-distance or load-lugging workhorse.
Comfort and design
"The Expert’s driving position is one that won’t necessarily be to everyone’s liking. The seats themselves are good enough – they are hard wearing and supportive enough that they will stand up to the demands of a long day behind the wheel."
The raised driving position means that you enjoy a good view out onto the road ahead and to the side. There is only the one trim on offer – whether you go for the basic model or the top-of-the-range Sport model you get the same cloth and vinyl seat covering that is hard wearing and easy to wipe down.
The driver’s seat comes with height and lumbar adjustment as standard, too, which is a bonus as some vans make you upgrade to the mid-level trim to get lumbar support.
The driving position is less than ideal, though. On right-hand-drive versions the pedals are slightly offset, which means that you end up slightly twisted. This isn’t an issue for shorter trips but you might find that you feel it after a longer journey. Finally, the seat doesn’t go back as far as some taller drivers would like – taking a couple of inches out of the loading bay would go a long way to solving this.
Passengers get a twin bench seat on all but the most basic model. Three adults will be able to fit in without being in too close contact with each other, but the one in the middle will get uncomfortable before the other two. The seat isn’t as supportive as the others, partly because the seat back can be flipped down to act as a table and because the base can be lifted up to reveal storage underneath.
The dashboard layout is simple and the Expert doesn’t yet come with the iCockpit and small steering wheel that features on other Peugeots – the wheel is of a decent size and the gear lever is set high up enough to be easily reached. The only things that are tricky to reach from the driving position are the cupholders. There is one set at either end of the dash, meaning it can be problematic to use both if you are on your own in the van.
Handling and ride quality
"The Expert is a good van to drive, offering a car-like experience in many regards. This is down to the fact that it is based on a modified version of the underpinnings that are also used for the Peugeot 308 family hatchback."
It is only offered in front-wheel drive format, and it provides plenty of grip even in low-friction conditions.
The suspension is nicely composed, which means that it doesn’t bounce around even when it is empty. This translates to a comfortable ride at higher speeds, too. Despite this, the heavy-duty suspension means that there is very little bodyroll in the corners, although that will be aided slightly by the fact that the Expert is relatively short compared to many vans.
The steering is electrically assisted, which makes it light and easy to operate at lower speeds. This helps make the Expert particularly adept around town with a turning circle of 11.3m for the shortest model and 12.4m in the longer version.
The light steering does mean that there is slightly less resistance and feedback at higher speeds than some rivals, but it is still responsive enough to change direction quickly and reliably.
The Expert comes with slightly larger wheels than many vans, with 17-inch alloys standard on Asphalt and above. Because that is as big as they go, the ride isn’t compromised on the Sport model.
MPG and fuel costs
"The claimed fuel economy of the Peugeot Expert looks like it took a big dip in 2019, but this was urely down to the change from the NEDC to the WLTP economy tests."
The most efficient model was previously the 1.6-litre diesel that was dropped at the time that the engine range was tweaked to meet emissions standards. It claimed 54.3mpg, but the most efficient model is now claiming 44.2mpg.
The Expert won’t be any less efficient in real life – those figures are now just more representative of reality. Most of the models claim up to 40mpg or just over, and that should be a realistic expectation.
How much should you be paying for a used Peugeot Expert?
"Peugeot has worked hard to improve its residual values, but there are some excellent deals to be had on nearly new Experts, with several thousand off list price for a vehicle that hasn’t clocked up many miles."
This is particularly the case for the old 1.6-litre diesel, where there are some bargains to be had. After three years, the Expert will be worth around a third of its original value, which is about standard for the medium van class. Values will be dictated by condition as much as anything.
Is the Peugeot Expert right for you?
The Expert’s plus points are considerable, with its payload and economy two elements that will make it stand out in a busy market for buyers that value numbers over more detailed touches.
It offers the joint biggest payload in its class (alongside the mechanically identical Citroen Dispatch) at a strong 1469kg. This is no one-off model, either, as many of the versions can carry more than 1300kg.
It won’t just fit into your life, it will fit into many tight spots in town, too. The low roof height of just under 2m means it will make it into the vast majority of low car parks and restricted access spots. It has a decent turning circle, too, which means it should be able to get around those car parks as well.
It is one of the better value models in its class, too, with starting prices that kick off at just over £22,000.
What's the best model/engine to choose?
Based purely on the numbers, which are the reason that many will go for the Expert, the one to go for is the 120PS 2.0-litre diesel engine. All three lengths will offer a payload in excess of 1400kg, though. This engine is not quite the most economical, but it is close enough to the best in the range to mean that you won’t pay for practicality at the pumps.
The basic trim is decent, but for driver comfort and to avoid expensive parking prangs it is worth stepping up to Professional trim for the air conditioning, rear parking sensors and touchscreen that brings Apple Carplay and Android Auto. The price step is not vast, especially if you are paying on a monthly basis rather than outright in cash.
What other cars are similar to the Peugeot Expert?
The medium van range is one of the most competitive, with the UK’s best-selling model the Ford Transit Custom and the Volkswagen Transporter T6.1 the two strongest rivals. Both offer a classier cabin and a more accomplished driving experience than the Peugeot. They also offer models with taller loading bays, as does the Fiat Talento and Renault Trafic.
If you want something very similar to the Expert but with a different badge then the Citroen Dispatch and Toyota Proace do just that – they are the same van. This is true for the Vauxhall Vivaro as of 2019, too – prior to that it shared its underpinnings with the Talento and Trafic.
Quality and finish
The plastics that feature throughout the Expert’s cabin are largely quite dark, which means that the cabin itself can feel a little dark too. They are generally quite solid, with the emphasis on hard and durable rather than soft-touch luxury, though.
The build quality leaves a little to be desired, though, as there are several creaks that emerge when you drive down a bumpy road. Some of the plastics and panels are prone to movement, too, which raises concerns about how well the cabin will withstand long-term abuse. The side sliding door mechanism feels a little flimsy, too.
There is little in the way of extra gloss in the cabin as you head up the range, but the steering wheel is one area that benefits. When you get to Asphalt trim, you get a leather covering for the wheel and the gear lever.
Basic models get a decent stereo with DAB digital radio with Bluetooth and USB connections, but as of 2019 all Experts get Peugeot Connect and SOS, which will connect to the emergency services if you have a crash or allow you to contact breakdown recovery if there is a problem with the van.
Experts in Professional trim and upwards get a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system that comes with Apple Carplay and Android Auto added on. The screen isn’t as slick as the system on rivals like the latest Volkswagen Transporter, but it is clear to see and relatively simple to use. Thankfully, unlike some Peugeot passenger cars, the climate controls get separate buttons. The chunky buttons can be easily prodded while you are driving, too.
Satellite navigation kicks in from Asphalt trim and upwards, and it is a clear and easy to read system. Asphalt also gets a head-up display that allows you to see data such as the speed without moving your eyes from the road at all – a real rarity in a van.
Space and practicality
Passenger room is decent in the Expert. The middle passenger seat might be less comfortable than the other two, but it is big enough that you won’t feel too cramped on longer trips.
The cabin could be better when it comes to cubbyholes and storage spaces. There are plenty of them but they are comparatively small. That said, the door bins are handily deep and there is a useful upper shelf built higher up into the door.
The loading bay comes in a choice of three lengths, with the shortest offering an overall internal length of 2162mm and the longest providing 2862mm. Every model bar the basic S trim comes with a flexible bulkhead called Moduwork that allows you to slot longer items through, so this length grows by 1162mm when that is opened. The shortest model will take two Euro pallets while the longer two will manage three
Peugeot only offers the Expert in the one height, which puts a restriction on how much capacity the van can offer. The loading volume ranges from 4.6 cubic metres to 6.1 cubic metres (although the Moduwork bulkhead increases this by 0.5 cubic metre) and this falls short of a large number of the Expert’s rivals, like the Ford Transit Custom, Renault Trafic and Volkswagen Transporter.
All versions of the Expert come with twin sliding doors and twin, side-hinged rear doors.
The crew van version of the Expert grows the number of seats on offer to six. It is only offered in standard or long lengths so still comes with a decent amount of storage – up to four cubic metres in the case of the longer model.
Engines and gearboxes
The engine range in the Expert is a relatively wide one, with one 1.5-litre diesel and three different 2.0-litre diesels. Prior to 2019 the entry-level engine was a 1.6-litre diesel, but this was updated because of need to meet the latest Euro emissions standards.
The 1.5-litre engine is a smooth unit, and features in smaller Peugeot vans. It is available in all three lengths and is fine around town but it lacks the outright strength of the bigger engines and doesn’t provide the payload that makes the Expert so compelling.
The 180PS diesel that sits at the top of the range is one of the most powerful engines you can get in a van, and it is almost overkill when the 150PS engine and even the 120PS versions are so good. The 120PS is the version that will best suit most users and is the one that offers the best blend of power and payload.
The majority of the range is offered with a six-speed manual gearbox that is a big improvement on the five-speed ‘box that was offered in the past in the Expert. The five-speed box was clunky and slow but the six-speed version is much smoother. The most powerful version is only offered with an eight-speed automatic gearbox that is generally smooth if occasionally a little hesitant. It also comes with paddle shifters, which seems like an unnecessary addition on a van.
Refinement and noise levels
The Expert is a very impressive performer when it comes to cabin noise, with all four of the engines keeping the volume down on the move. The older 1.6-litre engines are slightly different and are quite noisy, especially under hard acceleration. The turbo is also noisy at lower speeds, which can grate after you’ve spent a long day driving.
The 2.0-litre engines are quieter but still a little gruff under hard acceleration. They are really quiet when you sit idling, though, and the standard-fit stop start means you’ll often sit at the traffic lights in silence anyway. Because of these smooth engines, there is little vibration that makes it through to the cabin, too.
The insulation in the cabin is very good, too, and the Expert manages to keep the other noises associated with motorway driving at bay. The relatively low nature of the van means that it doesn’t kick up lots of wind noise, while the comparatively small door mirrors help on that front too.
There is a bit of noise that makes it through from the loading bay when it is empty, but no more than you would expect from a van of this type. This is an impressively refined van.
There is a wide range of safety kit available on the Expert, but not all of it is standard and there are some key elements that are included on other medium vans.
You get two front airbags, though, which is a rarity as many vans only offer one for the driver. ESC with hill start assist, an automatic fuel cut-off and a full steel bulkhead are the other basic safety features that comes as standard.
You have to go up to Professional to get an alarm, while this is the point that rear parking sensors are added.
Asphalt adds a wide array, though, with a lane departure warning system, speed limit recognition and recommendation, driver attention assist and auto headlights. It also gets the Drive Assist Pack, which brings adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and a distance alert system. All models get a full-size steel spare wheel.
What is disappointing is the fact that you have to go up to Asphalt to get the autonomous emergency braking given that it is standard on Volkswagen models and the fact that there is no crosswind assist.
The Expert hasn’t been tested in by Euro NCAP in its latest form.
Insurance groups and costs
Oddly, the entry-level Expert is not the one that has the lowest insurance group – that is the 1.5-litre Professional with the lower payload. It sits in group 33E, which is not far off the rest of the range. The models with the highest payload are the versions that have the highest insurance group, with the Grip models, among others, sitting in group 39E.
VED car tax
The Peugeot Expert qualifies for the low-rate commercial vehicle VED tax, which means that it doesn’t matter which one you go for – they will all cost the same to tax.
The same is true for BIK as vans qualify for the flat-rate value, so it is significantly cheaper to run an Expert than a passenger car as a company vehicle.
Trim levels and standard equipment
Best trim to choose for value for money and which options are worth it/best avoided plus special editions
The basic S model offers more kit than some really simple entry-level vans, but the extra kit of the Professional and Asphalt will be welcome if you are going to be spending lots of time on motorways.
Those who will be using the Expert on a building site or down unpaved tracks will have the decision made for them, though, with the Grip the one to go for.
Regarding the engines, the 120PS model is the pick of the range given its high payload offering, but it is the best of a very good bunch so all will do a strong job.
On the inside
How much does it cost to run
Prices, versions and specification
Reviews of similar cars
Quality checked, all cars less than 8 years old and warranty included