What is it?
The Peugeot Boxer has always been one of our favourite panel vans. It looks great, it’s supremely comfortable, it’s cost-effective to run and it drives and handles brilliantly.
So why has Peugeot bothered to give it a wash and brush-up?
Well there’s one very good reason. Looking over the Boxer’s shoulder is a brand spanking new Ford Transit – and boy is it a humdinger!
The arrival of this new contender has really put the cat among the business van pigeons – and Peugeot knows full well that standing still in this closely-fought market means going backwards. Hence this new upgraded model.
So exactly what’s new with the new Peugeot Boxer?
There’s a new grille, daytime running lamps as standard with LEDs as an option, different bumpers and two circular recesses for the front fog lamps.
The front will be noticeably different from those of the Boxer’s twin brothers the Citroen Relay and Fiat Ducato – with its ‘floating grille’ – helping to distinguish it as a Peugeot product – rather than just as a tin badging exercise.
Inside there’s a new steering wheel and the dashboard gets a makeover to provide a more upmarket appearance.
Professional variants, which are expected to take 40% of all sales, come with a 5in colour touch screen, which allows the operation of functions such as audio streaming, reading SMS text messages and an optional integrated satellite navigation system, as well as the display of the image from the reversing camera.
Under the bonnet goes a 2.2-litre turbodiesel powerplant offering 110bhp, 130bhp or 150bhp, while a 3.0-litre unit takes the power right up to 180bhp, although (surprise, surprise) this is unlikely to be a big seller.
New for this facelift is a stop-start system on the 130bhp model. The engines are now fitted with a timing chain that lasts for life and servicing intervals have been extended to 30,000 miles or two years. The new model also gets larger brakes.
Electronic Stability Control (ESC), which helps prevent sideways skids, now comes as standard and there are several other safety systems on offer such as anti-slip regulation, a lane departure warning system, tyre pressure monitoring system, hill start assist, hill descent control and curtain airbags.
As with the old model there are four load lengths, three roof heights and the usual array of conversions.
- What a stunning looker! We always reckoned the old model was the best of the bunch in this sector but the new front end sharpens up this van even more. If you can afford it we’d definitely recommend metallic paint as it will give your business an incredibly stylish and upmarket appearance.
- The driver’s seat is one of the best in the business with plenty of support from the knees to the neck. Our test van had an adjustable lumbar bar too which helps avoid any back aches on long journeys.
- We tried both 110bhp and 130bhp models on our test drive and both offered a good amount of pulling power. However the 130 is real honey and if your firm can stand the extra expense at buying time we’d recommend it. It doesn’t have to work as hard as the lower-powered model and feels a lot more at ease.
Not much really apart from a few nit-picks.
- The 5in touchscreen is a little on the small side
- The old van only had coffee cup holders in the pull-down desk which emanates from the back of the middle seat. This means you had to twist round to get at your drink while on the road (can be rather dangerous!). The new Boxer has a cup holder placed in the middle of the dash but it’s still on the wrong side of the gear lever from the driver. Why couldn’t they put one on top of the dash near the steering wheel?
- Our test vehicle sounded rather rattly and loud at start-up, although to be fair it did settle down after a few miles. Having said that it was still louder than the new Transit. The chaps from Peugeot did point out that this vehicle was straight off the production line and should settle down into a quieter frame of mind within time.
Business Vans Verdict
Peugeot’s van sales are up a staggering 52% so far this year and with models like this on offer, we can see the firm achieving even greater success as the months roll by.
The new Peugeot Boxer looks better, offers better running costs, and greater durability thanks to extensive testing of doors, hinges, latches and so on.
All round it’s toughened up the Boxer – and with the new looks, made it more distinctive too. The Transit certainly has a fight on its hands.