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Box of tricks

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Box of tricksA rather voluminous van that requires only a code-B licence to drive, the Peugeot Boxer X250 L2H1 holds many charms, writes GAVIN MYERS

While the good-ol’ bakkie remains the light commercial vehicle (LCV) of choice for the South African consumer, an increasingly strong case is being made for the integral van – especially when the need to move volume is more important than shifting weight.

A plethora of models account for all needs; from the smallest offering half- or three-quarter-tonne payloads to larger models that offer up to 2,5-t carrying capacity, but require a higher category driving licence.

The Peugeot Boxer you see here sits somewhere in the middle – being the L2H1 model of the revised X250 range. It is rated at a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 3 300 kg with a 1 400 kg payload. The gross combination mass (GCM) of this model is 5 800 kg. What is slightly more important when evaluating a panel van is the load volume, of which the L2H1 offers 10 m3.

This is accessed through 1 520-mm high x 1 562-mm wide rear doors that swing out to 180°, and a sliding left-hand side door with an aperture of 1 485 x 1 250 mm. These can be locked and unlocked independent of the cab from within the vehicle and from the remote key.

The spacious cab offers a variety of storage spaces.For one of the smaller large vans on the market, the L2H1 offers a cargo area that measures 3 120-mm long,
1 662-mm high and 1 870-mm wide (1 422 mm between the wheel arches).

Powering the L2H1 is a 96 kW, 320 Nm four-cylinder turbodiesel of 2,2-litre capacity. It drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox that has a notchy shift action, but very well-spaced ratios.

This might be the smaller of the two engines offered in the Boxer X250 range, but it does pull like a train – smoothly too – in any gear from just 1 000 r/min (the torque peak sits at 2 000, and the delivery is sustained up to 4 000 r/min).

Peugeot claims that in an urban environment – where this vehicle is likely to spend most of its time – the L2H1 will consume 9,3 l/100 km, with 7,5 on the combined route. That’s not to say the Boxer can’t take to the highways – it’s actually a very competent, surprisingly refined cruiser.

The only gripe to be levelled – which applies to this class of vehicle as a whole – is the limited rearward visibility due to the narrow side windows. Large (manually adjustable) wing mirrors with secondary wide-angle mirrors (also adjustable) go some way to addressing this.

The spacious cab offers a variety of storage spaces.Otherwise, driving the Boxer is a treat. Each of the three comfortable seats is full width – meaning the passengers have a large amount of shoulder room – and the driver’s seat is independently adjustable. While the airbag-equipped steering wheel is adjustable for height, some angle adjustment would round off an otherwise comfy driving position.

There are several storage compartments within the cabin, including overhead and under-seat trays; two clipboards (neither is removable); a large, lockable document cubby and cooled dash-top cubby big enough for a bottle of water.

While the tinted windows help keep things cool, I was glad to see that the test unit was fitted with the optional air-conditioning. The optional Bluetooth-equipped radio and cruise control with speed limiter were not fitted, though. Anti-lock brakes with Emergency Brake Assist is standard, as is an electronic immobiliser.

Priced at R455 900, the Peugeot Boxer X250 L2H1 proves to be a very competent code-B workhorse, with huge space and capability. Aftersales backup is provided by a five-year/100 000 km service plan, three-year/100 000 km warranty; and five-year anti-perforation and three-year paint warranties. A full maintenance plan is optional.

 

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