First drive: Peugeot Partner Tepee

  • New Partner based on Peugeot 308
  • Priced from £11,125
  • On sale now
Forget your estate cars and 4x4s - if you want to move as many people and their stuff as cheaply as possible, get a compact MPV.

That's what this Peugeot Partner Tepee is all about: loads of cabin space in a simple, affordable car.

On the road
Don't think this is a van with some windows and rear seats added, either. The Partner Tepee is based on the 308 small family car - rather than a van, as was the previous Partner - so it should be less van-like to live with.

It has worked: the Partner Tepee feels like a slightly wider, taller 308 hatchback. The ride is generally comfortable and, although there's lots of body lean, you'll enjoy driving the Tepee.

It's reasonably quiet at speed, too. Shame, then, that it doesn't cope with potholes and broken surfaces as well as the supple old model.

In the cabin
You'll enjoy sitting in the new version much more than in the old one. It's still more utilitarian than plush inside, but perfectly acceptable.

Some drivers will want the steering wheel to sit at a more upright angle, and the cabin plastics are hard and shiny, but everything feels solidly put together. It should withstand family life.

There's certainly enough room for five people to prevent squabbles, and there are storage spaces everywhere, so no one will have to leave their favourite toy behind. The huge, rectangular boot has a low loading lip, too.

Engines and pricing
Most buyers will go for the 90bhp 1.6-litre diesel. It's smooth, quiet and just punchy enough that you don't have to rev it hard to keep up with traffic. The 90bhp 1.6 petrol is sweet but gutless.

Still, you can get both petrol and diesel engines in 110bhp form, although the diesel will set you back over £15,000. That's a lot of money for what is, essentially, a basic MPV - and price is the Partner Tepee's biggest stumbling block.

Even the 90bhp diesel is £12,605, and that's before you've paid extra for side and curtain airbags, stability control, air-conditioning (large windows and an airy cabin will mean a sweaty summer without it) and three separate folding/removable rear seats.

It won't cost much to run a Partner Tepee, though, and if you aren't fussed about creature comforts, it makes a decent choice.

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