Peugeot Partner Tepee BlueHDi 120 Allure
Refreshed looks hints at improved refinement
- Handsome styling is a refreshing change from the MPV norm
- Higher driving position makes driving safer and more relaxing
- Performance from diesel engines is more than enough
- Spacious, flexible cabin strikes sound balance between refinement and versatility
- When driven empty it can feel noisy and it's easy to pick up the occasional rattle
- Despite the space available, you will need to be reasonably agile to get in or out of the third row
- It's not difficult to spend regular MPV money on this 'budget' option
- The car's tailgate is big and requires a considerable effort to close
It might be a van at heart but Peugeot's Partner Tepee offers buyers a more affordable alternative to the growing number of upmarket, plush people carriers on the market. If you need a versatile and durable car for family duties, the Partner Tepee - here in mildly refreshed form - is an appealing proposition.
Peugeot's reputation for offering practical, versatile and attractive multi-purpose vehicles is a long-held one. The Partner Tepee model has been a huge success and this refreshed model builds on this with added driver appeal and refinement.
Although the changes are modest in this mid-life refresh, the car is now sharper-looking on the outside and a little more refined on the inside. Updates to the car's kit list help better position it alongside more conventional MPVs, too.
As you'd expect from a car-derived van, storage space is generous, the cabin feels light and airy and the car's tailgate is big enough to use as a shelter if it rains. What sets it apart form some similarly priced rivals is the extra two seats - making it a practical seven-seater.
Regardless of seat count, the Partner Tepee retains the ultimate practicality of its commercial sibling in that it allows all the seats to be removed and the full cabin area to be used for carrying cargo, something which few conventional rivals can do.
Our verdict on the Peugeot Partner Tepee BlueHDi 120 Allure
Subtle tweaks to the car's exterior, kit list and engine line-up have improved on what is already a pretty comprehensive package. For active types seeking an all-rounder they don't need to be too precious about, Peugeot's slightly rugged MPV remains a good choice in the face of conventional people carriers keen to reposition themselves increasingly upmarket.
For a car this size the Tepee promises modest running costs; sipping fuel in diesel form and requiring the minimum of maintenance and only a modest outlay if you stick to middle-order models.
Space and practicality
In seven-seat form the Partner Tepee has an advantage over similarly sized five-seat rivals if you need to fill space on a budget. All five rear seats can be separately folded and removed for more space, while up front oddment storage is good considering the car's practical leanings. A six-footer would find it uncomfortable in the back, but the facility is really meant for children. The sliding rear doors really help access and, with the rear seats folded, the Partner goes back to its roots albeit as a posh van.
Controls and display
The main dials are clear and easy to read day or night, while the column stalks are intuitive to operate. Gearchange, brakes and steering require little effort, while the upmarket infotainment display is also intuitive although the operation can be a little slow at times.
Known for its soft, supportive seats, the Partner Tepee Peugeot has succeeded where many rivals have failed. The various revisions have boosted the cabin ambience, but engine and wind noise are still noticeable thanks to the car's modest construction and upright stance.
Remote central locking and deadlocks are standard alongside the basic anti-theft package, but the car's spacious cabin does mean that it's important to keep belongings out of sight as the load cover can't do its job if some of the seats are folded, for example.
For a car in this price point there's little if anything to complain about. All the bases are covered here regarding airbags and electronic stability aids. Peugeot's enhanced stability system that apes all-wheel drive will be useful when road conditions are slippery, and you can now add trick systems such as active city brake and reversing camera at this budget price point.
It might be van derived but the Partner Tepee is a solid and competent operator. It will pitch and roll more than a regular people carrier, but the car's ride is more biased towards comfort. Don't expect rocketship performance, although the higher capacity petrol and diesel engines are the best choice if you don't fancy revving the lower cost motors hard.
Family car appeal
All the basics are present: practicality, flexibility, modest running costs and durable cabin materials. The third row of seats will please larger families and there's a lot to be said for the rear sliding doors - no more crashing into the adjacent parked car in a crowded supermarket car park. Extra space can be had in the shape of roof mounted storage boxes, and the car's large tailgate makes a good shelter against the rain on, say, a campsite.
First car appeal
Light controls and good visibility should help the novice. The lofty driving position is another plus point, although there are smaller Peugeots which would suit new drivers better if the car's generous versatility wasn't needed.
Quality and image
Fuss-free interiors and practical seating options are the key attractions of the Partner Tepee. The lower-spec models have part-trimmed interiors which more closely mirror the commercial versions, but fully-trimmed versions are more car-like. Build quality has also improved with every revision, but the focus remains on affordable, low-cost family motoring.
The Partner Tepee is a little taller than a regular family hatch. This makes entry and exit easy, while the raised driving position another plus point. Sliding rear side doors are a welcome bonus when parking in tight spaces, although the car's oversize tailgate will force you to park nose in when parking in car parks as it requires space and effort to operate.
Stereo and ICE (In car entertainment)
The standard fit audio unit does a fine job; this is hardly a car that's likely to benefit from a costly, premium entertainment system. That said, the option of a colour touchscreen infotainment system drags the car into the 21st century. Citroen's handy remote controls on the steering column are a welcome addition, too.
Colours and trim
Small changes to the car's exterior have boosted its appeal, and this is helped by a good choice of bold colours. Inside, the car's utility roots are obvious, but the acres of dark plastic should result in a durable finish.
The lofty driving position is a bonus here, as is the car's light but accurate power steering. The van-derived mirrors are a welcome addition along with the oversize rear window. Parking sensors can be had to make life easier still, as can reversing camera.
Space saver wheel fitted.
Petrol engine options - 1.6-litre (98bhp, 120bhp). Diesel engine options - 1.6-litre (75bhp, 100bhp, 120bhp). Transmission options: five and six-speed manual gearbox plus six-speed semi-auto. Trim levels: Active, Allure.
Fiat Doblo Similar commercial origins but less polish
Kia Carens Practical and good value plus car-like to drive
Citroen Berlingo Multispace Almost identical model wears the Citroen chevrons
Ford C-Max Best to drive, quality cabin but more expensive