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BOXER PACKS A BIG PUNCH FOR PEUGEOT; EXECUTIVE MOTORS It's more refined and versatile and easier to handle Peugeot Boxer.

Byline: Bill McCarthy

THE last time I drove a Boxer van, it was the base for a 25ft motorhome - which is a pretty big beast, writes Bill McCarthy.

Not only long, but pretty high and at first sight, quite a handful to manoeuvre.

But appearances can be deceptive. So easy was the motorhome to drive, my wife even volunteered to take it to Devon.

Nothing has changed with the latest version of the Boxer introduced in October last year. If anything it is more refined and even easier to handle than its predecessor, even more versatile and most importantly for a boxer, packs a hefty punch.

Not only is it practical, it is pretty stylish as well. Not the main consideration when choosing a van, but every little helps.

The front is dominated by a large glass windscreen and deep side windows that give optimum visibility. It features a large black wrapround bumper situated below deep, oval headlamps and the stylish grille sports the iconic Peugeot lion.

Access to the interior is easy thanks to well-placed grab handles and the test model featured two rear door and side access via a sliding panel door.

The cabin is more car-like than ever while still being extremely practical. Three passengers can fit comfortably in the cabin with plenty of shoulder and legroom.

The gearbox is situated in the front fascia which created even more floor room.

There are storage compartments galore including under the seats and all the controls are laid out in a logical manner.

There are plenty of refinements like a high-quality radio/CD, air conditioning and electric windows, anti-theft device, driver airbag, ABS, brake assistance and three point safety belts are also included.

Huge door mirrors provide good rear view and the addition of sensors make reversing less traumatic, but the handling is so assured that going backwards is a complete doddle.

The three diesel engines provide plenty of grunt and economy.

The test model featured the 2.2litre 120bhp HDI diesel. I didn't do that many miles, but did plenty of local shuttles in heavy traffic - a real strain on fuel economy. The fuel gauge seemed reluctant to move.

And it was so easy to drive. The commanding position and the easy steering meant it genuinely felt like a big car.

The Boxer is the first vehicle in Peugeot attempt to renew its entire commercial range.

It now offers a choice of three diesel engines, three different wheelbase lengths, three body lengths and two height options.

Three styles are also available including panel and window vans plus chassis cabs and single crew cabs. Something for just about every business.

Stowage capacity has also been increased with a range of eight cubic metres up to 13 cubic metres in the longest version and a pay-load from 1.1 tonnes to 1.5 tonnes, excluding the driver, depending on the model.

The test medium wheelbase test model accommodated a huge amount with only a small intrusion from the rear wheelarches.

Prices start from pounds 15,150.

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LOAD OFF YOUR MIND... The Boxer (above), its load space (below) and interior (below left
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Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 23, 2007
Words:523
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