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Peugeot Traveller 2020 review

Find out more about the Peugeot Traveller in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

£24,709
Average price
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3
Out of 5

Pros

  • Impressively spacious
  • Economic diesel engines
  • Electric version available

Cons

  • Van roots aren't hidden
  • Noisy cabin
  • Average interior quality
  • MPG

    46 - 57

  • CO2

    0 - 148 g/km

Model review

Van-based MPVs are nothing new, and in fact they’ve been popular choices for many years. And while the overall MPV segment is in decline – due to the rising popularity of SUVs – these van-based models continue to sell well, not least because nothing can get close to offering the levels of practicality. 

And the larger the better on the roominess front, which is why models like the Peugeot Traveller are fantastic. Based on the mid-size Peugeot Expert van, the Traveller debuted at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show as a stylish new large MPV. It’s based on the firm’s EMP2 platform and is essentially the same model as the Citroen SpaceTourer and Toyota Proace Verso

Featuring efficient diesel engines, a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and various seating configurations providing room for up to nine people. Three different sizes were available at launch, too – XS, M and XL, which are 4.6m, 4.95m and 5.3m long respectively. Medium and XL (now called Long) are just offered now, though. It also featured a number of new touches for this segment – including a head-up display, hands-free sliding door and a voice-controlled satellite navigation. 

Latest Model

While Peugeot hasn’t changed the Traveller much since it first went on sale in 2016, the firm has introduced a new electric model – the e-Traveller. Ideal for inner-city shuttles and taxi services, it comes with a 50kWh battery enabling a 143-mile electric range. 

Electric models also feature Grip Control, which enables additional ability away from tarmac, along with the same impressive amount of interior space. It stands out next to the regular Traveller with its blue styling cues and charging grille, while the cabin benefits from specific graphic displays and a new drive mode selector function.  

Value for money

Van-based MPVs used to be bought for their low pricing, but over the years they’ve gone more upmarket and are therefore more expensive than they used to be. Given prices for the Traveller start from £36,000, this is certainly not a cheap MPV, though few can get close when it comes to spaciousness. Low-spec versions make more sense, as the top-spec versions cost nearly £50,000, making the Traveller just a bit too expensive. That said, these versions get plenty of upmarket features – such as massaging seats and a head-up display. 

However, you really should negotiate a big discount off a Traveller or head to the used market, where you’ll find one-year-old versions available from £20,000, which is an enormous saving off the list price. 

Looks and image

Van-based MPVs are never the most stylish of choices – they are based on a commercial vehicle after all. However, if you want a bit more style the Traveller is undoubtedly the way to go in this class. With its angular headlights, cool LED running lights and intricate grille, it helps to make this Peugeot look that bit more interesting than its rivals. Unlike other van-based MPVs, you won’t find any plastic bumpers either, with all surfaces being painted. 

Head inside and the Traveller certainly carried over the van-like feel, with the model having the same upright dash and high-mounted gear shifter. Unlike the rest of the Peugeot line-up, you don’t get the firm’s ‘i-Cockpit’ dial system, which means this Peugeot looks a bit outdated next to the rest of its range. That said, all versions come with a seven-inch media system with smartphone mirroring. Unfortunately, the material quality hasn’t improved much either, though if you intend to use it as a family car or taxi, solid and wipeable materials are probably favoured over more upmarket touches. 

Behind the wheel, the Traveller drives as you would expect, and it’s not something that enjoys being driven quickly. That said, it’s very easy to drive thanks to its brilliant visibility and light controls, while efficient diesels add to the appeal. 

Space and practicality

Unsurprisingly, space and practicality is what the Traveller does best, with a huge amount of room on offer. 

The regular model is available with up to eight seats, while the Business variant can be had with nine – adding a middle seat between the driver’s and front passenger’s seats (like in a van). The Business version is also offered in a ‘Lounge’ configuration, which features four armchairs for maximum comfort. 

While three body types were available originally, just a Medium and Long wheelbase are now offered. Even the former can easily seat adults in the rear seats, while with eight or nine seats in position, the boot still measures 603 litres or 989 litres with the Long variant. You can remove the seats, though they’re bulky and difficult to take out. However, if you do, you would be left with more than 3,000 litres of space with just the front two seats in place. Which variant you go for depends on your needs, but we reckon the standard Medium model should offer more than enough space for most. 

Engines

A choice of diesel engines are available with the Traveller, with the line-up starting with a 118bhp 1.5-litre diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. 

The rest of the engines are all 2.0-litre units, and this range begins with a 118bhp version, which is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. A 148bhp variant is then offered with a six-speed manual gearbox, while at the top of the range is a 174bhp engine mated to the eight-speed automatic gearbox. 

There’s quite a difference in performance between the engines, with the 118bhp option managing the sprint to 60mph in 11.8 seconds, while the 175bhp option can do it in 8.6 seconds and would reach a top speed of 115mph. 

As we mentioned earlier, there is also an electric e-Traveller on the way shortly, featuring an electric motor producing 135bhp and a 50kWh battery, which allows for a 143-mile electric range. While this model’s appeal will be limited to urban travel largely, the battery can be charged to 80 per cent in just 30 minutes using a 100kW rapid charger. 

Running Costs

For a vehicle of this size the Traveller is rather good on fuel – all versions will achieve a claimed 40mpg, though the 1.5-litre diesel is the one to go for, for maximum efficiency – this will return 47.1mpg, with CO2 emissions of 169g/km. 

But if you want the best running costs, the electric model is the one to go for as this will be exceptionally affordable to run due to how affordable charging is. It’ll also be exempt from road tax, and also low emissions zones as well. While prices haven’t been announced for it yet, it’s likely to be quite a lot more expensive than the regular diesel versions. 

Things to look out for

Due to the limited popularity of the Traveller, not a huge amount is known about its reliability. However, given it uses a platform shared with some of Peugeot’s popular road cars – such as the 308 hatchback – and given its engines are used across Peugeot and Citroen cars, that should put it in good stead. 

Rivals

With the demand for large van-based MPVs not being especially high, the Traveller doesn’t have a huge amount of rivals. Perhaps its closest competitors are the models it shares its platform and looks with – the Citroen SpaceTourer and Toyota Proace Verso. If you fancy something a bit more upmarket, take a look at the Volkswagen Caravelle and Mercedes V-Class. If you’re looking for a bargain large MPV, consider the Hyundai i800, though this was discontinued in 2019. 

Depreciation

With limited badge appeal and bulky looks, desirability isn’t something common in the large MPV sector. So, while the prices for the Traveller are high when new, you should be able to negotiate a good discount off the price of one. Or alternatively look to the used market, where huge savings are available off nearly-new examples. 

Which Traveller to Pick

Cheapest to buy when new

1.5 BlueHDi 120 Active Standard [8 Seat] 5dr

Most MPG

1.5 BlueHDi 120 Active Standard [8 Seat] 5dr

Fastest model (0-60)

2.0 BlueHDi 145 Active Standard [8 Seat] 5dr

Trims Explained

Trims explained Four trim levels are available on the Traveller – Active, Allure, Business and Business VIP. The first two trims are aimed at private buyers, while the latter two aim to target those using their vehicles for business use. Prices and equipment highlights are as follows.

Active

Standard equipment is generous and includes a seven-inch touchscreen with DAB radio, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with automatic lights and wipers, LED daytime running lights, cruise control and electric and heated mirrors. It also comes with rear parking sensors, remote locking, climate control and 17-inch wheels.

From £36,930

Allure

Upgrade to the high-spec Allure model and you get 17-inch alloy wheels, satellite navigation, an upgraded sound system, voice recognition and Xenon headlights. Elsewhere it comes with a head-up display, blind spot monitoring, leather seats and front seats that are heated, electric and massaging. The list continues with a reversing camera, electric sliding doors, power folding mirrors, a head-up display and front parking sensors – leaving you wanting for very little.

From £43,465

Business

Business models are the only variants available with nine seats and feature a harder-wearing cabin with plastic flooring, for example. On top of the standard specification it gains 16-inch wheels and air conditioning.

From £35,560

Business VIP

This VIP model broadly mirrors the Allure trim level – including features like a head-up display, satellite navigation, 17-inch alloy wheels, Xenon headlights and leather seats. Elsewhere it comes with dual-zone climate control, electric sliding doors and electric, heated and massaging front seats.

From £46,920

Summary

  1. Hugely practical van-based MPV
  2. Seating for up to nine
  3. Various seating configurations available
  4. High list price…
  5. But big discounts off nearly-new models
  6. Van-based roots clear with the way it drives
  7. Electric model on the way
  8. Efficient diesel engines for a big vehicle
  9. Cabin quality could be better
  10. If space is key, few things are better than the Traveller

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