To meet the differing needs of business users, the Partner van range offers a wide selection of bodystyles, the choice being between two lengths (the L1 at 4.38m long and the L2 at 4.63m), plus a crew cab version with a folding bench seat in row two. There's also a floor cab for body converters.
As for competition, well the Partner must battle it out against some established names at the larger end of the compact van market. Volkswagen's Caddy, Renault's Kangoo and Ford's Transit Connect are the big names it must compete with but it also has the added problem of its sister vehicle, the Citroen Berlingo. With very little other than the badges differentiating Berlingo from Partner operators might have a tough choice on their hands and decisions may come down to the quality of dealer support.
Equipment levels are reasonable, with even base variants getting features like a CD stereo, power steering, a ladder frame protector for the driver's seat and electric front windows. Standard safety stuff runs to ABS, emergency braking assistance, ESP with traction control, Hill Start Assist and Direct under-inflation detection, using a pressure sensor fitted to each wheel. As an option, buyers can specify Active City Brake, a system which scans the road ahead for potential collision hazards as you drive at urban speeds.
Further up the range, there are features like cruise control, a speed limiter, rear parking sensors - and even a reversing camera. There's also the option of a Grip Control system that provides enhanced traction. This allows the vehicle to continue to make progress on roads or tracks and surfaces with low grip.