UK drive: Peugeot Partner Tepee

  • MPV driven on UK roads
  • Our initial impressions
  • Big on space, short on equipment
A car named after a tent is pretty unusual, but Peugeot’s new Partner Tepee does things a little differently to most MPVs – apart from its sister car, the Citroën Berlingo Mutispace.

Why? Because it looks like a van with added seats and windows. That might have the more image-conscious among you running for the hills but, as a practical, five-seat MPV, the Tepee is hard to beat.

Let’s start with outright space, because there’s plenty of it. There’s enough headroom for five basketball players and, although legroom isn’t as ample, no one’s likely to complain.

Access to the rear seats is particularly easy thanks to the sliding side doors. The only issue is that small kids might struggle to see out, because the rear seats are mounted surprisingly low.

You won’t struggle for boot space, because the huge loadbay and low floor mean you can just throw everything in. The Tepee is handy when you need more space, too, because the rear seats can be folded or removed entirely for a van-style loadbay.

This was our first chance to get behind the wheel of the car on British roads, and the driving experience goes beyond being merely acceptable. Okay, it’s not the sharpest MPV to drive, but the Tepee’s ride is supple, it’s nimble around town and it’s easy-going on the motorway.

Refinement is pretty good, too – the 1.6 HDi 110 diesel model we drove was smooth, flexible and quiet.

Despite Peugeot’s best efforts, the cabin is more functional than funky, but it’s comfortable enough and feels solidly built.

Unfortunately there’s one area where the Tepee falls short: equipment. Only top-spec Outdoor models – which also feature raised suspension and a 4x4-style bodykit – have side and curtain airbags, and air-conditioning as standard, and they’re not even an option for the entry-level Urban trim.

• The Partner Teepee is on sale now from £11,215.

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