What Car? says...
Praise be to the Peugeot e-Traveller because you can now drive your extended family through London without burning fossil fuels or having to resort to one of those expensive horse-drawn carriages.
Yes, you read that right: this very large eight-seat (or seven, if configured as such) van-based MPV is actually an electric vehicle. The e-Traveller is not only quiet enough to avoid startling the horses trotting down The Mall, but also avoids the congestion charge.
Instead of using a diesel engine (as is traditional with van-based MPVs), you get an electric motor with up to 134bhp. The motor gets its juice from a 50kWh battery pack that you can charge at a rate of up 100kW if you can find a charger capable of that speed.
The e-Traveller's body and electric tech are essentially the same as you’ll find in a Citroën e-Spacetourer and Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life. If you’re wondering where this Peugeot fits into that hierarchy, just know that both those rivals have stripped-out and rather basic entry-level versions to keep the price low, while the e-Traveller is 'the posh one', aiming to take on the Mercedes EQV.
So does the Peugeot e-Traveller successfully fit into the niche but expanding sector of zero-tailpipe emissions people carriers, and how does it compare with the best MPV rivals?
Read on through this comprehensive review to find out whether it's good to drive, how comfortable all those passengers will be, whether the running costs are manageable, which trims and engines we rate and much more.
When you're ready to buy a new vehicle of any make and model, don't forget that you can track down the best prices using our free What Car? New Car Buying service. It has lots of Peugeot e-Traveller deals.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Your Peugeot e-Traveller engine choice is simple because there's only one option: an electric motor borrowed from the Peugeot e-208 and Peugeot e-2008. There are three drive modes – Eco, Normal and Power – which vary the available power considerably, up to a maximum 134bhp.
The Power mode gives you the full whack, with the potential for 0-62mph in a not bad (for a massive passenger van) 10.8sec. If you stick the e-Traveller in Eco when you’re running low on juice, you’ll only have 80bhp to play with and a vehicle that will struggle to top 65mph on a level motorway.
Speaking of range, the e-Traveller has an official figure of 148 miles, and that's fairly typical for this size of van-based MPV. You can expect to get significantly less (potentially under 100 miles in our hands) if you’re travelling on a motorway while loaded up with people and luggage. The Mercedes EQV has a much longer potential range north of 200 miles.
You can improve the range by using the gearbox’s ‘B’ mode for increased regenerative braking. This puts energy back into the battery while slowing the vehicle down, lowering your overall consumption. Even without it engaged, the brakes are pleasantly progressive as they switch between regeneration and the vehicle’s mechanical brakes.
Ride quality – which is usually of greater importance than performance in a people hauler – is generally fine. Compared with a non-electric Toyota Proace Verso (which has the same platform), the e-Traveller isn’t as settled over scruffy road surfaces.
That may change with passengers on board, but it will still end up feeling quite bouncy over undulations at speed. Plus there’s a significant ‘thwack’ sound that reverberates through the interior when you hit a big pothole at town speeds. Fortunately, there’s no real motor whine of note while you’re driving the e-Traveller, and wind and road noise are well contained.
On the road, you won’t be mistaking the e-Traveller for a smaller MPV like the Volkswagen Touran, but it is at least just as easy to drive. The steering is pretty accurate, although it does involve a lot of arm twirling when parking. At higher speeds, the body leans a bit in tighter bends, but you get used to that after a while, and generally appreciate the e-Traveller’s decent grip levels that allow you to maintain your pace down a country road.
The interior layout, fit and finish
One of the benefits of going for the Peugeot e-Traveller over regular MPVs and seven-seat SUVs is that you tower over other vehicles. That’s thanks to its commanding driving position, even in the seat’s lowest setting (you get height adjustment as standard). In typical van fashion, you sit above the pedals, which could take some getting used to if you’re coming from a car or SUV.
The boxy shape of the e-Traveller makes it easy to judge the width, but you can't see the stubby nose from the driving seat, although if you go for the top-end Allure version, you get front parking sensors, which you can’t add to the Citroën e-Spacetourer or Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life.
Citroën gives you rear parking sensors as standard to help when reversing in tight spaces, but a rear camera is only available as part of an expensive visibility pack on Active, or standard on Allure trim.
The e-Traveller doesn’t sound like a van, but it can’t hide its commercial vehicle heritage inside. Even the poshest Allure trim, with its ‘brushed aluminium’ inlays and leather seats, can’t hide the acres of hard plastic. At least rear air-con is standard, and the overhead console comes with plenty of air vents for good ventilation. A Mercedes EQV is quite a lot more premium inside, though.
All versions of the e-Traveller get a 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, a DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, and a USB socket. Sat-nav is an option on Active and standard on Allure. It’s a fairly easy system to navigate but some of the icons are small and it can be a bit sluggish to respond to commands. Allure models have a grander nine-speaker sound system that sounds plenty good enough, although it’s probably helped by the lack of engine noise getting in the way.
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
You can have your Peugeot e-Traveller in either Standard or (with top-end Allure trim) Long, and you can fit eight people inside comfortably, with plenty of head, leg and shoulder room to go around. The difference is, you’ll have an easier time hauling around the luggage of those eight people in the Long version because it has a bigger boot.
The benefit of opting for such a large vehicle is that you can fit six actual people across the second and third rows.
The seats can be reclined for additional comfort and have Isofix mounts so you can fit child seats. They also slide so you can trade boot space for leg space if required, and all rows get a 12v socket for charging various devices.
A seven seat configuration with two ‘captain’s chairs’ for the second row is available for additional cost. They can be spun round if you fancy ignoring the driver and having a conversation with the people in the third row.
The e-Traveller in Allure trim has a panoramic sunroof as standard, and it lets lots of light into the rear without making much difference to the very generous headroom available.
Even with all three rows in place, there’s enough space in the e-Traveller’s boot to handle lots of holiday luggage. You have to leave a good space behind the car when you park, though, because the long tailgate is hinged from the top and needs plenty of room to swing open. Top-spec Allure helps with this by including a rear glass window that can be opened separately.
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
The Peugeot e-Traveller is more expensive to buy than the Citroën e-Spacetourer or Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life. Both rivals have stripped-out entry-level versions that qualify for the Government’s electric car grant making them even cheaper, while no e-Traveller qualifies. The premium Mercedes EQV is much more expensive than all three.
You can recharge the e-Traveller’s batteries pretty quickly. According to official figures, it’ll take around 30 minutes to go from a 10-80% charge if you can use a 100kW charging station. A domestic 7kW wallbox charger will complete a full charge from empty in 7.5 hours.
There are two trim levels available. Entry-level Active cars get manual air-con, cruise control, a digital radio with a 7.0in infotainment system, 17in alloy wheels and rear parking sensors. The Allure trim – which you have to have if you want the longer L model – adds Xenon headlights plus front parking sensors and a reversing camera, leather trim, electrically heated and adjustable front seats, a better stereo, and keyless entry and start.
Safety kit includes automatic emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and driver drowsiness monitoring (in the Driver Assist pack). Blind-spot warning is standard on Allure trim to help spot traffic along your flanks.
Peugeot didn’t do particularly well as a brand in our latest 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey, coming in joint 22nd place with Mercedes and Vauxhall. Citroën did much better, coming 11th out of the 30 manufacturers included.
Every Peugeot gets a three-year warranty, and the battery pack is covered under a separate eight-year or 100,000 mile warranty.
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