The Partner van is the smallest of the French company’s three-model light commercial
vehicle range, sitting below the mid-sized Expert and large Boxer.
Compact vans such as Partner are common overseas, especially in Europe but it only has
two competitors in Australia, Renault Kangoo and Volkswagen Caddy. Peugeot’s sibling
company, Citroen, previously sold the Berlingo here but has chosen not to compete.
Partner comes in two model grades, Pro and Premium, with the choice of short and long
wheelbases in each. A third variant, the entry-level City was discontinued in July 2022 but
may return with the model year 2023 upgrade.
There’s not a lot of scope for stylists with LCVs given they are practical boxes on wheels.
The Partner is a neat and attractive vehicle with a relatively small grille above a black-
chequered fill. The side features scalloped inserts above both wheel arches and parallel
cladding at the bottom of the doors.
Partner Premium adds 16-inch alloy wheels above the steels in the Pro as well as body-
coloured painted rear bumper; side cladding; sliding door rails and side mirrors.
One thing we do like about compact LCVs such as the Partner is the creativity that their,
invariably business, owners put in to customising the sides with colourful and eye-catching
Rarely have we been inside a vehicle that ticks just about every box in terms of style,
convenience and functionality as this petite French van.
Partner is the only vehicle in its class to cater for three occupants with three bucket seats
abreast. The outer front seating positions are big and comfortable, even the centre seat is
OK with reasonable knee space, but is really aimed at short term use.
It has the innovative Peugeot i-Cockpit dashboard design which has been progressively
added to the company’s passenger vehicles with each upgrade. The small, chunky
steering wheel might look a bit of place in a commercial vehicle but it feels nice and,
importantly, it sits below the level of the instrument cluster avoiding the need to look
through it at the gauges.
With no space in the centre, there are cup holders at the top of the dashboard for both
driver and passenger.
When not in use – so most of the time – the centre seat base can fold back and lock in at
90-degrees to provide the sort of storage that you’d normally get in a centre console.
Alternatively, with the base in place, the backrest can fold forward to reveal a flat desktop
which can slide forward to open up a small space for pens, notepads and the like. It can
even swivel sideways. Really clever and very useful.
But wait, there’s more … the side passenger seatback can fold forward to access a hatch
that folds down to extend the available length of the storage area.
Premium adds keyless entry with push-button start, leather steering wheel, and powered
Access to the storage area is through sliding doors on both sides or rear barn doors which
can be locked in at 90-degrees or opened to a full 180-degrees. The interior can cater for
a 1.2-metre square pallet.
Maximum payload in the short wheelbase model is 898 kilograms and 1000kg in the LWB.
The Partner has a 1.2-litre Euro-6 compliant three-cylinder PureTech turbo-petrol engine
that generates up to 96 kW of power at 5500 rpm and 230 Nm of torque from 1750 revs.
Power is transmitted to the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The aforementioned, and discontinued, City variant did offer a six-speed manual option
which could possibly if/when it returns with the MY23 update.
A full-electric version, the e-Partner, is sold in overseas markets. Peugeot Australia has
indicated that its first EV, due here in 2023, will be an LCV although the specific model is
yet to be revealed.
Standard safety features include front, side and curtain six airbags; electronic stability
control; ABS brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist; automatic
emergency braking; forward collision warning; hill start assist; lane departure warning; lane
keep assist; speed sign recognition; reversing camera; rear parking sensors; and a high
level third brake light at the top of the rear door.
Display is through an 8-inch colour touchscreen mounted at the centre top of the
dashboard. It’s easy to reach and intuitive to use with most features located there. The
picture is sharp and clear, especially important for the reversing camera which plays such
an important role in any van.
The audio and air conditioning controls are circular knobs, also within easy reach.
Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both available and provide access to satellite
navigation in the absence of an embedded system.
Entry is really easy and we were able to slide straight in without climbing up or bending
down. Partner Pro has ignition key start, Premium has push-button.
Gears are selected by rotating a small circular knob at the bottom of the dashboard.
The three-cylinder engine pulls strongly from low revs and through mid-range, making for a
surprisingly enjoyable drive experience.
The eight-speed automatic is a smooth shifter with instant responsiveness and designed
to maximise the turbocharged engine’s low-range torque. Gears can be shifted through
steering wheel mounted paddles.
Fuel consumption is listed at 5.9 litres per 10 kilometres, we averaged 7.2 L/100 km during
The small-medium van market isn’t nearly as popular in Australia as it is in Europe, our
operators generally going for the extra size of one-tonne vehicles.
Though load-carrying is obviously the Partner’s number-one priority, it offers comfort and
refinement. That’s partly because it’s sold in some markets as a small people mover.
It has good interior space, an excellent range of safety equipment and, as an added bonus
it’s a real pleasure to drive from the point of view of handling and road holding.
Thirst : 8/10
AT A GLANCE
Partner Pro SWB: $35,606 (automatic)
Partner Pro LWB: $38,388 (automatic)
Partner Premium SWB: $38,096 (automatic)
Partner Premium LWB: $40,878 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Peugeot dealer for drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Peugeot Partner PRO LWB 1.2-litre turbo-petrol commercial van)
Capacity: 1.199 litres
Configuration: Three-cylinder turbo
Maximum Power: 96 kW @ 5500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 230 Nm @ 1750 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 6.3 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 142 g/km
DRIVELINE: Eight-speed automatic
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4753 mm
Wheelbase: 2975 mm
Width: 1921 mm
Height: 1880 mm
Turning Circle: 11.4 metres
Kerb Mass: 1375 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 60 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc
Five years / 200,000 kilometres