Unglamorous it may be, but it helped make the French manufacturer the number three player in the UK van business in 2017, placing it behind Ford and Volkswagen but ahead of Mercedes-Benz and Vauxhall.

Launched in 2014 and equipped with 2.0-litre BlueHDi Euro6 diesels in 2016, the current Boxer shares the same basic design as the Citroen Relay. Both Peugeot and Citroen are part of the PSA Group, which also owns Vauxhall.

Fiat Professional’s Ducato also uses the same template but employs different engines.

The Boxer van is on offer with four different lengths and three different heights.

Load cubes  range from 8m3 to 17m3, gross weights extend from 3.0t to just over 4.0t while payloads run from 1,115kg to 1,900kg.

The aforementioned 2.0-litre diesel – the only engine on offer – is available at 109hp, 131hp or 161hp. The two most powerful options are up for grabs with stop/start.

Specification levels are either entry-level Standard or the more upmarket Professional.

The Peugeot Boxer is also produced as a window van, a chassis cab, a chassis crew cab, and as a platform cab. In addition, Peugeot makes the cab, engine, transmission and front wheels available as a package for special conversions minus the chassis.

We elected to tackle an L2H2 335 3.5-tonner with 131hp on tap  and in Professional trim.


Load area

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Access to this light commercial vehicle’s 11.5m3 cargo bay is by means of a sliding nearside door plus twin rear doors that can be opened to 90°, then to 180° if you press a button found on each of them that releases the door stays.

A full-height steel bulkhead separates the load area from the cab.

The cargo-securing facilities include six floor-mounted tie-down points, while the gross payload is a healthy 1,575kg.

It’s good to see that the doors and sides are part-panelled to protect them against minor damage, that the wheel boxes are covered too, and that tailored protection covers the load bed.

It’s also good to find two load area lights as well as a shelf above the cab, which is accessible from the load area.

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Interior and equipment

First impressions matter, and Peugeot could without doubt stand to improve the quality of the cab’s plastic trim, especially so far as the dashboard is concerned. It looks a bit cheap when compared with the material used in some of the Boxer’s key competitors.

On the positive side, however, cab access is easy and there is no lack of storage space. Each of the doors boasts two bins, the glove box has a shelf above it, and you will find a lidded bin on top of the fascia on the passenger side. 

Other stowage facilities are dotted around the cab, which has received one or two minor modifications and upgrades. Look down and you will find a couple of cup-holders at the bottom of the dashboard with a tray in between.

Two is all you need in this case because this Boxer has a single passenger seat (a twin-passenger bench seat is also on offer) with plenty of space between it and the driver’s seat. There is easily enough room for a toolbox, overalls, and a pair of wellington boots.

It also means more shoulder room for the driver, who already enjoys plenty of headroom plus a good field of vision ahead and to either side of the vehicle.

The driver’s seat is height-adjustable, as is the steering wheel.

Also worthy of note is a removable container that you can put sweet wrappers and other rubbish in and empty the next time you see a handy waste bin. Remember that smoking is banned in cabs in the majority of cases so don’t use it as a receptacle for cigarette ends or ash.

One of the big plus points of opting for Professional trim is the level of equipment that is included.

For your money you get a cab air-conditioning system that embraces the aforementioned glove box, an alarm, cruise control, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth with a USB socket, and a DAB radio with a CD player. Satellite navigation is included in the deal too, and the map display is on a dashboard touchscreen, which needs to be a bit bigger, especially since it also shows what the rear-view camera can see when you engage reverse.

The camera is included in the optional City Pack.

The foregoing equipment is in addition to everything embraced by Standard trim.

It includes a driver airbag, a 12V socket, electric windows, and large electrically adjustable and heated exterior rear-view mirrors with lower wide-angle sections. The ability to fold them back electrically is included in the City Pack.

Our Peugeot Boxer came equipped with an optional Safety Pack, which includes a passenger airbag, a tyre pressure monitoring system, and lane departure warning, which buzzes if you drift out of your lane on a motorway or dual-carriageway. While this piece of technology undoubtedly contributes to road safety, it can also become mildly irritating, and switching it off was one of the writer’s guilty pleasures.

You can switch the van’s standard hill descent control and traction control system on and off too.

If you are looking for the handbrake lever than you will find it between the driver’s seat and door – not an arrangement we are especially keen on. Make sure you release it fully.

Disc brakes – ventilated at the front, solid at the rear – are fitted all round. The Boxer comes with ABS, electronic stability programme, electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency brake assist.

Worthy of mention is the optional Heating Pack, which includes a heated driver’s seat plus a programmable Webasto auxiliary heater. The presence of both is more than welcome on icy winter mornings.


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Engine and gearbox

The Boxer’s four-cylinder diesel engine delivers its maximum power output at 3,750rpm.

Top torque of 350Nm bites at 1,750rpm and the engine is married to a six-speed manual gearbox.

Selective catalytic reduction plus a diesel particulate filter are used to meet Euro6. The 15-litre AdBlue tank will need topping up every 6,200 miles or so.


Independent suspension with MacPherson-type struts is fitted at the front while longitudinal leaf springs help support the rear.

Our test vehicle’s 15in wheels were shod with Pirelli Chrono Four Seasons 215/70 R15 tyres. Electric rack-and-pinion power steering delivers a 12.64m turning circle between kerbs, increasing to 12.84m between walls.

With a tad over 130hp on tap our Boxer offered plenty of performance. Carrying a test load of 30 25kg sand bags, which meant it was roughly half-laden, it accelerated strongly through the gears and rode and cruised quite happily at the maximum legal motorway speed.

Not that going up and down the gearbox is an especially enjoyable experience. The gear change is less than smooth and the same could be said of the Boxer’s unladen ride once we’d off-loaded all those bags of sand.

The front-wheel drive Peugeot clings on doggedly through bends, however, and is easy to manoeuvre at low speeds. Nor did we have any issues with in-cab noise levels.

Average fuel consumption was 42mpg, slightly below the 45.6mpg official combined figure.

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Buying and running

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The Boxer is covered by a three-year/100,000-mile warranty with no mileage limit in the first two years, while service intervals are a long two years/32,000 miles. Peugeot recognises that some vans lead tougher lives than others, however, so the interval is cut to one-year/12,500 miles for more arduous applications.

In passing, it is interesting to note that the air and fuel filters should only need swapping every four years/32,000 miles, falling to two years/25,000 miles if the vehicle is on particularly demanding work.

Roadside assistance is provided free for the first 12 months of ownership. Bear in mind, though, that it does not provide cover for non-vehicle warranty-related problems such as running out of fuel, putting petrol in the tank instead of diesel, losing the van’s keys or getting a puncture.

At least our Boxer was provided with a spare wheel rather than one of those wretched tyre inflator/sealers, which are next to useless if you get a big gash in a tyre sidewall because you’ve been obliged to drive across rough ground.

The side rubbing strips helped protect our demonstrator’s optional metallic paint.

While running a Boxer may not attract quite the kudos of running a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, there is no denying that it enjoys some distinct advantages in its latest incarnation. Peugeot seems to have managed to give what we had viewed as a somewhat dated also-ran a new lease of life, and in Professional trim it’s a more than sensible bet.

Peugeot Boxer Professional L2H2 335 BlueHDi 130

Price (ex VAT)    £28,335
Price range (ex VAT)    £22,335-£31,795
Gross payload     1,575kg
Load length     3,120mm
Load width (min/max)     1,422/1,870mm
Load bay height     1,932mm
Load volume     11.5m3
Loading height     565mm
Rear door aperture    1,562×1,790mm
Side door aperture    1,250×1,755mm
Gross vehicle weight    3,500kg
Braked trailer towing weight     2,500kg
Residual value    18.3% *
Cost per mile     54.3p
Engine size/power     1,997cc, 131hp @ 3,750rpm
Torque    350Nm @ 1,750rpm
Gearbox    6-spd
Fuel economy    45.6mpg (combined)
Fuel tank    90 litres
CO2    163g/km
Warranty    3yrs/100,000mls
Service intervals      2yrs/32,000mls
Insurance group     38E
Price as tested    £30,245
* after 4yrs/80,000mls
 Source: KwikCarcost

Options fitted

Heating pack    £750
Safety pack     £460
Metallic paint    £400
City pack     £300

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Ford Transit

  • Price (ex VAT) £24,320-£36,135
  • Load volume     9.5-15.1m3
  • Gross payload     872-2,169kg
  • Engines     105hp, 130hp, 170hp 2.0 diesel

Verdict: The Ford Transit continues to sell astonishingly well thanks to impressive engines, a slick gear change and a well thought-out cab. Aftersales support is ubiquitous and residual values are top-class. This automotive icon is now available with a SelectShift six-speed automatic gearbox that should appeal to home-delivery fleets.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

  • Price (ex VAT) £24,015-£49,305
  • Load volume     7.5-17m3
  • Gross payload      714-2,510kg
  • Engines    112hp, 140hp, 163hp 2.1 diesel, 190hp 3.0 diesel

Verdict: If you are ever unfortunate enough to be rushed to hospital there’s every chance you’ll go there in a Sprinter-based ambulance. Due to its durability, reliability and stress on safety this Merc has cornered key sectors of the market, including home delivery. It’s ideal if you’re going to work your van hard. Don’t forget a new model is on its way.

Vauxhall Movano

  • Price (ex VAT) £23,775-£36,465
  • Load volume     7.8-17.0m3
  • Gross payload      920-2,200kg
  • Engines    110hp, 130hp, 145hp, 163hp, 170hp 2.3 diesel

Verdict:  The Movano has been a bit of an also-ran in this sector of the market, but it’s not without its plus points. You get lots of payload capacity and cargo space depending on the model chosen, decent engines and a reasonable standard of kit. Remember it shares the same basic design as Renault’s Master and Nissan’s NV400.