We've been running long-term test vans for a few years now and both us and our readers have, I think, found the information revealed pretty useful.
After all, there’s a big difference between borrowing a brand new van for a week that’s been specially prepped by the manufacturer and keeping a van for six months, piling on thousands of miles in all sorts of different circumstances.
This time around we’re trying something different.
This month, a new Peugeot Partner will be launched and we’ll be getting one on test for six months.
Until then, we’ve got an example of the old Partner, now called the Partner Origin, which will continue to be sold as a bargain-basement model alongside its brother.
I’ve already driven the new Partner in left-hand drive format and, believe me, it’s a belting little van.
But it will be interesting to compare this old model with the new one in a key-for-key situation.
Let it be said first and foremost that I hold the Partner in tremendous esteem.
Some 3,200,000 have been sold around the world since its launch in 1996 and I’ve driven hundreds of them in the past 12 years or so.
The Origin is not exactly the highest-specced vehicle on the roads.
It doesn’t have central locking, which can be a right pain if you are used to that handy little gadget.
It doesn’t have electric windows or heated mirrors – in fact is doesn’t even have any windscreen wipers on the rear doors screens.
And it doesn’t have a side loading door, which I always considered a bit unnecessary until I had to load up without one.
But that doesn’t mean to say this van isn’t worthy of a second look for fleet buyers.
The price – £10,140 – won’t exactly break the bank and you still get the sweet 1.6HDi common rail powerplant and the pleasant ride and handling characteristics of the higher- specced models.
And for fleet operators wanting to cosset their drivers, extras are available.
There’s ABS brakes (which I would like to see as a standard fitment in these days of duty and care) at £320, metallic paint at £235 and a side sliding door at £235. You could even go mad and fit aircon for £550!
Three weeks into our test, I’ve now become used to walking round the van checking that I’ve locked all the doors.
I’ve even resigned myself to crawling into the back doors to load up too, although it doesn’t half leave a dent in your right knee with that corrugated metal floor (there isn’t a flat plastic wipe clean load liner in this model).
But when it comes to practicality, this van is a star.
Three cubic metres of loadspace doesn’t sound a huge amount but that space is good and square and you’d be amazed how much you can cram in.
My daughter moved house recently and among the items I managed to squeeze in was a bed settee, much to my amazement.
The doors didn’t quite close but I wedged them shut with a couple of ratchet ties and we reached our destination without mishap.
And what about fuel economy in these days of raging price increases?
This engine is legendary and I’m getting on for almost 50mpg on longer trips.