Peugeot Partner Combi Estate Special Edition 2003 - 2005

Peugeot Partner Combi Estate Special Edition 2003 - 2005

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • Inexpensive and practical
  • Spacious and comfortable
  • Unlike other panel vans it is good to drive

Cons:

  • Not as good looking as proper MPVs
  • The basic kit lacks ABS and other safety features

Overview

The Peugeot Partner is a successful hybrid between a panel van and a small family MPV. As a glorified pick-up truck it is surprisingly practical and comfortable. Although it’s not going to win the world’s most beautiful car award, the Partner is a good value for money.

Exterior and Interior

The Peugeot Partner is almost identical to the Citroen Berlingo, which in turn is built on a Citroen AX platform. Visually, the Partner is not very appealing as it’s a standard pick-up with windows and passenger seats. In 2002 the Partner received a face-lift that included side mirrors and front bumper painted the same as the body colour. It also featured a better front end design preventing the car from looking like a converted commercial truck. The interior design is finished to the same standard that any modern passenger car would be. It’s what you usually expect from a medium range Peugeot with comfortable seats and good quality materials used. There’s a lack of the artistic flair though and the interior design might be described as slightly dull, however, the car is built to be a work horse, thus all the fancy bits have been left out. Instead there’s an amazing amount of storage space everywhere. Not mentioning the 2800litres of boot space with folded rear seats, there are several glove-boxes and storage boxes scattered and hidden around the cabin. A novel addition to the traditional civil pick-up layout is the 2nd tier storage compartments that are built in the ceiling. It’s so easy to lose things in the Partner. Despite being a utilitarian car, it’s got a long list of standard equipment. The entry level Peugeot Partner comes with power steering, electric windows, one sliding door (two sliding doors is an optional extra), car audio system, central locking and an adjustable steering column. The ABS and passenger airbag are not included with the basic trim, so you might want to look for a better equipped model.

Performance and Economy

It’s definitely better than the Renault Kangoo. Although it might not look as good, it’s more of a car than its competitor. Not only has the Peugeot got normal-sized wheels, it also has a good choice of engines. The smaller 1.4-litre engine is quite weak especially if you want to make the most of the cargo space. The car is able to take on around 1700lbs of cargo, but it needs around 100bhp to make the best job of it. Both the 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrol engines will deliver around 38mpg so it’s always best to choose the larger 110bhp unit. As for the diesels, the 1.9-litre engine is slightly disappointing. The 2.0-litre version or the 1.6-litre unit that replaced it in 2005 offers much better dynamics. The 1.6-litre diesel engine can deliver over 50mpg – great fuel economy by both the pick-up and the MPV standards.

Like to Drive

Driving a Partner is usually a pleasant experience. The driving position is higher than in a conventional car. Unless it’s a 1.4-litre petrol engine or the 71bhp diesel, the car is nippy and confident both in the city and on a highway. Despite the tall body, the Partner is not too susceptible to body roll. It feels like you’re driving a family hatchback, but you always have the extra practicality that comes with it. Thanks to the driving position and large glazed surface, it’s as good as an everyday city car.

Faults and Repairs

The Peugeot Partner is a sturdy and reliable car. It was designed to take a load and is ideal for a small business or a large family. Spare parts are not that expensive and the recommended service intervals are 30,000 for petrol and 20,000 for diesel engines. You might want to avoid Partners with air con as they require regular servicing that is very expensive. The Partners are often driven in the city, so the suspension and clutch is worth checking before buying a used car.