Review: Peugeot Bipper (2008 – 2018)

Rating:

Small but usefully practical small van, easy to drive in town with a tight turning circle, cheap to run thanks to economical 1.4 HDi engine.

Noisy on the motorway, cabin tight on space for taller drivers.

Recently Added To This Review

2 August 2010

Warranty extended to 100,000 miles. Three year warranty extended from the previous 60,000 mile limit. Read more

24 September 2008 Voted International Van of the Year 2009

At a dynamic level, members of the jury applauded the vehicle’s engines, the availability of an electronically-controlled manual gearbox and its agile road holding. Read more

11 August 2008 2 Tronic gearbox added

The five-speed electronically controlled manual gearbox is based on the standard manual gearbox, but uses an electro-hydraulic control system which allows the driver to select one of two operating modes:... Read more

Peugeot Bipper (2008 – 2018): At A Glance

The little Bipper is one a family of small vans - it's the same as the Citroen Nemo and Fiat Fiorino - and like its counterparts the Peugeot version is aimed at professional users looking for a vehicle which is easy to drive and easy to park. Thanks to the asymmetric hinged rear doors and the sliding side doors, the Bipper is also very easy to load and unload, even in the narrowest of spaces.

Every Bipper model uses the same 75PS 1.3-litre turbodiesel engine, which makes life simple when it comes to choosing which engine you want. There is a choice with the transmissions, so you can pick between a standard five-speed manual gearbox or Peugeot’s EGC (electronic gear control) automated manual that does away with the clutch pedal.

With all its available space, the Bipper can transport a payload of up to 610kg. Access to the load area is made easy by the asymmetric rear doors which ensure all-round access to the rear load space, both height wise and width wise. The two doors can open to an angle of 90 degrees or even 180 degrees if required, thanks to an innovative check strap design.

Much of the Bipper’s extra space and usefulness comes from the front passenger seat that not only folds forwards but also folds downwards. This leaves a long, flat load floor that is uninterrupted and ideal for transporting longer items that would otherwise be left unsecure poking out of the back door or require a larger van.

What does a Peugeot Bipper (2008 – 2018) cost?

Peugeot Bipper (2008 – 2018): What's It Like Inside?

Many a van maker will tell you its products are bigger on the inside than they appear from the outside, but Peugeot is one of the few that can claim this with considerable confidence. The load bay is accessed through side-hinged rear doors that open out wide to 180-degrees to leave an unhindered opening. A low load sill of 527mm also makes it simple to lug in heavier items without risking back ache.

A standard sliding side door on the passenger side comes with the Bipper in SE and Professional trims, but not the base S model, and it opens to reveal a cargo bay offering 2.5 cubic metres of space, which works out at 1886 litres. The normal floor length of the Bipper is good for the class, but when you use this van’s party piece by folding the Multi Flex passenger seat forwards and down, you can fit in loads of up to almost 2.5m in length inside the van. This has obvious advantages for users who need to carry materials for their work and want to leave them securely locked up.

A ladder frame protects the driver in all models, while the Professional model also comes with a half height bulkhead with mesh grille. For S and SE models, there is the option of a full steel bulkhead with window. To secure loads in the back of the Bipper, there are six tie-down hooks.

Moving into the cab of the Bipper, it has seating for two, including the driver. The dash doesn’t have the design flair of some rivals and gives away the Peugeot’s age, but it’s no less clear and easy to use for that. We like the chunky rotary controls for the ventilation, simple dials and the stereo mounted high on the centre console to be within easy reach while driving.

The driving position offers plenty of room for legs and feet, while the seat itself is supportive and well padded in all the right places. It’s the same for the passenger seat and the Bipper’s cab offers good room for both occupants’ heads, elbows and shoulders. Our only gripe is you have to pay extra for the Comfort pack to get a reach and rake adjustable steering column, which helps make the Peugeot more comfortable and also easier when trying to judge the front of the car when parking. The Comfort pack also includes driver’s seat height adjustment, lumbar support, a lidded glovebox and integrated clipboard, though this latter item is deleted if you order a passenger airbag.

There’s plenty of storage dotted around the Bipper’s cabin, including a dash-top tray and a couple of drinks holders. Air conditioning is an option, but electric windows and door mirrors are standard on the SE and Professional models. The two higher spec models also come with remote central locking as standard but this is an option for the S version.

What's the Peugeot Bipper (2008 – 2018) like to drive?

While the Peugeot Bipper may be a hit with most users for its larger than expected load capacity for such a compact van, a happy coincidence is the Peugeot is pretty good to drive. It doesn’t feel cramped inside, yet it also has all of the benefits of a compact van on the outside, so it can zip through densely trafficked city streets with nonchalant ease. It’s also a cinch to park or slot into bays with minimal room to spare. Throw in the Peugeot’s tight turning circle and the Bipper is every inch your city friend.

Given Peugeot’s heritage with softly sprung cars and vans, the Bipper’s ride is a little firmer than we expected and is set up more solidly than its Citroen Nemo cousin. For some, this will be a boon as the Bipper is even better than the Nemo at tackling corners and tracking the course intended by the driver. Light steering with good feel also helps on this front and the Bipper is just as happy darting through town as it is down a country lane.

For others, however, the firm ride might be more onerous than a bonus. A few too many ripples and steps in the road’s surface can be felt in the cab, and surprisingly given the firm ride there’s a fair degree of body lean in bends. It makes the Peugeot a little tiring on longer trips when you want to settle in to the rhythm of the drive. Still, wind and road noise are kept at bay to make the cab decently quiet at higher speeds.

There is also little noise from the 1.3-litre turbodiesel engine used in the Bipper, which replaced the previous 1.4 HDi turbodiesel unit. With 75PS, the 1.3 engine is no ball of fire, but it’s happy to be worked hard and delivers 190Nm of shove at 1750rpm to allow the Peugeot to overtake slower traffic on dual carriageways and motorways without needing any help from gravity.

We’d take the standard five-speed manual gearbox every time in the Bipper as it has a light, precise shift that suits the no-nonsense feel of the engine. The optional EGC (electronic gear control) transmission does away with the clutch pedal but demands the driver anticipates gear changes and lifts off the throttle accordingly. Try to drive the EGC transmission as you would a more traditional automatic gearbox and you’ll experience lurching as it shifts from one gear to the next. Even with a sympathetic right foot, however, the EGC gearbox is far from smooth and the delays as it dithers from one gear to another is ultimately too frustrating to live with unless you really cannot drive a manual transmission van.

As for the rest of the Bipper on-road manners, it's settled in cross winds and has strong brakes that cope admirably well with its maximum payload of 660kg. A maximum braked trailer towing weight of 600kg limits the Bipper’s usefulness on this score, but then it is easy to forget this spacious van is in the compact class.

Real MPG average for a Peugeot Bipper (2008 – 2018)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their vehicles could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

80%

Real MPG

39–62 mpg

MPGs submitted

7

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.