We wouldn't mind being a courier/delivery driver in the Peugeot Expert van because apart from going extremely well, it's much like a passenger car to drive.

That's by design because Peugeot wanted a vehicle that appealed to the target audience, most of whom complained of the “commercial vehicle” traits of their vehicle. In other words, hard, noisy, high riding, uncomfortable and ugly. Not good if you spend your days behind the wheel.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

Expert uses the same 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine as the Pug 308 and other models in the French manufacturer's range. In this case, it achieves 120kW/340Nm output - ample to motivate the 1758kg van and up to 1200kg of payload in the two pallet, 6.0 cubic metre, load space.

Fuel economy is rated at 7.2-litres/100km on the combined cycle and there's 80 litres to play with in the tank. And if you tick the auto transmission box, you get a sweet shifting six-speed powertrain with heaps of punch from right off idle up through to higher speeds. A six speed manual is available if you must.

DESIGN

In terms of working applications, the Expert is handy offering a low ride height, twin glazed rear barn doors with a wiper and washer apiece as well as left and right side slider giving access to the load floor. Remote central locking is fitted as well as remote cargo space unlock and remote fuel flap locking. There's a driver protection barrier behind the seat and three pews in the widish cabin.

PRICE AND FEATURES

The price is $38,990 which is on the mark for the segment, a few grand more than Renault's Trafic and the Hyundai iLoad, a couple less than other contenders. Standard equipment includes cruise, air conditioning, heated exterior mirrors, numerous storage bins including overhead in the passenger compartment.

The audio is OK and it has Bluetooth phone and a USB port. Eight tie down lugs are provided on the load floor which is lined up to half height. We really appreciated the remote headlight height adjuster and the full size spare.  We couldn't ascertain Expert's safety rating, but suffice to say with one air bag and an optional passenger bag it isn't going to get five stars.

DRIVING

Peugeot Expert might not be pretty but it sure is comfy and easy to live with. You sit lower than most vans and it's just like a car to get into and out of. The wheel is position car-like and the controls are either on the wheel, on wands around it or in the centre console which also houses the transmission selector.

You can actually recline the seat a fair way and adjust the driving position for comfort over a long run. If the interior wasn't all practical, hard grey plastic (by necessity), it could be a Peugeot passenger car. The level of performance from the turbodiesel engine takes you by surprise when you boot it off the lights.

Our auto Expert was impressive in the go department as it drives like a passenger vehicle when unladen. It has a long wheelbase and a long body but the turning circle isn't too big. The Expert was pressed into home moving detail and proved to be nearly ideal except for moving the fridge (not high enough).