- We like...Huge space for people and things
- We don't...Dearer than near-identical Citrn
Van-based, low-cost MPV is great fun. But Citrn's Berlingo offers the same for less‘You’ve bought what? A Tepee? And that’s a car, right?' The Peugeot Partner Tepee. Tee-hee. We’ll bet that this shocker will cost Peugeot a few sales. Which is a pity, because this MPV has much going for it.
As the name suggests, it’s based on the Partner van. But don’t let that put you off, because it’s a cracker to drive. You sit high, and any fears you may have about piloting a mini-truck such as this quickly fade. The big windscreen helps you plan the Tepee inch-perfect, while the huge door mirrors and the optional parking sensors on ours take the scare out of reverse parking.
The 100bhp 1.6 diesel in ours is the most power you can pick and it’s lively from low revs. And it’s quiet, too, making itself known only when you allow the revs to build. The dash mounted shifter helps you pick through the gears quickly and, while it’s no road-burner, it’ll move along quickly when needed. Fuel consumption is first-rate at 50.4mpg best overall and CO2 emissions are low at 147g/km.
Its suspension and running gear share much with Peugeot’s 308, so it rides smoothly and corners neatly, although sizeable road lumps do transmit thumps into the cabin.
This is the range-topper and, as the ‘Outdoor’ part of the name hints, it’s built for rough’n’tumble: the engine has a bump-guard, while the suspension is raised so that it’ll tackle a muddy track.
Inside, it’s nicely tricked out with ample spaces to store your belongings and five seats in a light, spacious cabin. As you’d expect, all the passengers seats tip and tumble or lift out, so that you can turn it into a van at a couple of minutes’ notice.
Entry/exit for the rear cabin is through sliding doors to each side. These open wide enough to make the job easy and are a boon in busy car parks because they mean no doors banged against neighbouring cars.
The tailgate is a whopper. It makes a great shelter from the rain and opens high enough not to bump your heads against. A dangling strap is thoughtfully provided so that shorter drivers can close it easily. The boot is a big square box with a sturdy-looking double-fold luggage cover atop it. It’ll swallow four full-sized suitcases and leave space for more.
The Outdoor model is well equipped, offering alloy wheels and air conditioning as standard, but you can also boost its talent for storage by adding, at extra cost, an extra box hanging from the roof and what Peugeot calls the Zenith Roof that, for £550, provides four glass roof panels and extra overhead ventilation, lighting and storage. It even contains an air freshener to make the cabin smell sweet.
So far, so good. But before you sell yourself on this super-useful Peugeot, think on this. Citrn’s new Berlingo is the same car, aside from badges and trim and minor bodywork differences. Model for model, the Citrn is a few hundred quid cheaper. You might think that the Peugeot badge confers marginally more class. But is it worth paying extra for?
We’d say not. But you compare, then decide.
- Engines1.6 HDi
- 0-60 mph14.3sec
- Insurance groups
Motors.co.uk value verdict: