It’s a mark of how quickly vehicle interior design moves on that the cabin of our Expert, which initially appealed for being sturdy, no-nonsense and functional with lots of storage provision, now comes across as a little dowdy and lacking the panache of the new Ford Transit Custom or the understated class of the latest special additions to the VW Transporter range.
That’s not to say it’s without creature comforts – it has DAB radio for a start, for which I’m always grateful as it allows me to tune into 6 Music, which is not available on FM.
Surprisingly, DAB is not yet always offered on new vans, particularly entry-level versions.
Reception can be inconsistent, however, and there are occasions when radio silence descends before sound resumes after a few seconds.
The steering wheel and driver’s seat are both height- and reach-adjustable and the seat features lumbar adjustment and an inboard armrest to improve comfort.
Cupholders sit either end of the top of the dash – this means you won’t inadvertently spill coffee over your hand when changing gear or operating the handbrake – but they are not the easiest to reach.
Lift up the passenger seats and you’ll find enough discreet stowage space to conceal tools, workboots or a laptop.
The satnav can be relied upon to find destinations and identify heavy traffic on route but insists you initially feed-in city and street names rather than postcodes.
It has also remained tightlipped. I popped into a dealership to ask how to activate the voiced directions and was told it was a job for a technician.
Spending a lot of time in urban traffic, something I do like is the display indicating for how many minutes stop/start has cut the engine during a journey.
Expert Crew Van Professional STD BlueHDi 120
Official combined consumption 50.4mpg
Our average consumption 37.6mpg
Price (ex VAT) £25,215
Price range (ex VAT) £19,090–£31,435
Service intervals 25,000mls
Load length 2,017mm
Load width (min/max) 1,258/1,618mm
Load bay height 1,337mm
Gross payload 1,342kg
Load volume 3.2m3
Gearbox 6-spd manual
Engine size/power 1,997cc/120hp
Report Card: Cabin equipment
Decent enough but not outstanding when compared to the competition.
Click below to see previous report