What Car? says...
How many people can you legally squeeze into a car? If it’s a big saloon, you’re looking at five tops. A chunky SUV, MPV or even some estate cars can swallow seven – but surely that’s the limit, right? Not necessarily.
You see, the Peugeot Traveller can hold up to nine of your nearest and dearest including your good self. If that seems excessive, you can get versions with five, six, seven or eight seats, too. And you’ve got a choice of three lengths.
If that sounds more like the kind of flexibility you’d get from a minibus, that’s because it basically is. Like the near-identical Citroën Spacetourer or rivals such as the Volkswagen Caravelle, Ford Tourneo and Mercedes-Benz V-Class, the Traveller is essentially a van with windows, alloy wheels and a smattering of luxury accouterments.
Over the next few pages, we’ll look at just how practical the Traveller is, what it’s like to drive and which version is best. Don’t forget to look at our new car deals for big savings on this and many other new cars.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
There are four engine options for the Traveller. Kicking off the range is a 1.6-litre diesel with 94bhp that’s attached to a six-speed manual gearbox. It’s cheap, but it’s likely to struggle with a few people on board; it’s also only available in the shortest body and in Business trim. The next engine up, another 1.6-litre diesel but with 113bhp, is better but only if you don’t mind leisurely acceleration.
We’d recommend spending a little more to get the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel with a manual ’box. Its larger size provides more low-end power, meaning it doesn’t need working as hard to get up to speed. Performance will only ever be adequate, but the Traveller isn’t the kind of thing you’d want to hustle along a country road anyway.
The final option is a 2.0-litre diesel with 178bhp and a standard automatic gearbox. It certainly makes motorway work easier, thanks to the additional power, and the automatic ’box is smooth when changing gear in automatic mode. The trouble is that it’s only available in Allure trim or in the longest body in Business and Business VIP trims, making the car very expensive. Refinement is good in both 2.0 diesels, with little vibration and hushed manners when you’re at a cruise.
If you’re ambling along, the Traveller is a comfortable companion for the most part. Smooth but undulating roads are soaked up with a gentle waftiness that suits the relaxed nature of the driving experience. This calm is shattered when you run over broken road surfaces or expansion joints, though, with the Traveller bobbling around noticeably.
Get to a corner and there’s no mistaking that the Traveller is a van underneath. The steering is quite slow and there’s an awful lot of body roll if you corner with even moderate enthusiasm. Grip levels are lower than in a regular MPV, with the front end always gently washing wide if you’re going too quickly.
Although there isn’t four-wheel drive, you can get something called Grip Control. This is a switchable traction control system with different modes for snow, mud, sand and other surfaces. You also get all-season mud and snow tyres thrown in, making for a surprisingly effective winter wagon.
The interior layout, fit and finish
The first thing you’ll notice when you clamber into the Traveller is just how high up you sit. Even with the height-adjustable driver’s seat on its lowest setting, you tower over SUVs for a truly commanding view of the road.
Visibility is for the most part very good, thanks to the Traveller’s boxy shape. Only the disappearing nose makes it tricky to park since you’re never quite sure where the front bumper is. To help, Active models get rear parking sensors, while Allure trim gets front parking sensors and a rear-view camera system.
Look around the interior and it’s clear that you’re in something that’s basically a van. There may be lashings of chrome-effect trim and even a leather-wrapped steering wheel on Allure and Business VIP models, but the acres of hard plastic give the game away.
All versions get a 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, a DAB radio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring and a USB socket. Sat-nav is optional on Active trim and standard on Allure and upwards. The system is fairly easy to navigate but some of the icons are small and it can be a bit sluggish to respond to commands.
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
Unusually for an MPV (but not for a van), the Traveller is available in three lengths. While the smallest, Compact, is likely to feel a little cramped if you opt for three rows of seating (an option on all models), the middle Standard option has plenty of space for people as long as you don’t mind a very small boot or only two rows of seats.
As for the Long variant, it can seat three rows of people in comfort with room for luggage. Compared with a Seat Alhambra or Ford Galaxy, even the Standard variant feels much more spacious and is suitable for full-sized adults in all three rows.
Most versions come as standard with five seats (two in the front, three in the back), with three seats optional in the third row. Business VIP models get two seats for the second row as standard, with a sliding central armrest with the option of pop-out tray tables. Business models get the option of a three-seater front bench to allow up to nine people aboard.
The second and third row seats can be slid backwards and forward, and can be reclined to prioritise space or comfort on all models. If you really want the maximum amount of space, rows two and three can be removed entirely for a load area that’s as cavernous as a van’s (surprise, surprise). Just bear in mind that the seats are pretty hefty, so we’d recommend calling on the help of a friend to remove them.
If all that wasn’t practical enough, there’s also a cornucopia of storage solutions dotted around the interior. There are some of the biggest door pockets we’ve ever come across, two gloveboxes, a cubby on the top of the dash and a handy shelf by the USB port that’s the perfect size for a smartphone.
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
All Travellers have a price that starts with a three, while you can easily spend significantly more than that if you want a larger, high-end model with one of the 2.0 diesel engines. There’s no doubting that you get an awful lot of motor for your money, but we’d recommend an Active model with the 148bhp 2.0 diesel engine.
This gets you a 7.0in touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as a DAB radio, auto lights and wipers, dual-zone climate control and rear parking sensors. Sat-nav can be taken care of by your smartphone via the infotainment system, while you might want to consider adding a third row of seats.
Allure is too expensive to recommend, although Business trim could be worth considering if you need nine seats.
In terms of length, Long can be a little unwieldy, so unless you need the extra luggage space stick to Standard.
As for running costs, they might be a little higher than you’d think, given the relatively small diesel engines. Because the Traveller is a big heavy thing, CO2 emissions range from 137g/km to 155g/km depending on engine – this is worth bearing in mind if you’re a business user. Fuel economy will be worse than the likes of the Ford Galaxy or Seat Alhambra but on a par with similarly sized van-based MPVs.
The Traveller should be commended for its five-star Euro NCAP rating, with higher scores than the Galaxy in all categories but pedestrian protection. Even so, you have to pay extra for automatic emergency braking and a Mercedes-Benz V-Class is better at protecting adults.
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|RRP price range||£36,915 - £50,235|
|Number of trims (see all)||2|
|Number of engines (see all)||2|
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)||electric, diesel|
|MPG range across all versions||41 - 41|
|Available doors options||5|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)||£86 / £3,191|
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)||£172 / £6,382|