The Partner Tepee is practical with a capital P. The sliding rear doors make entering and exiting the car a doddle and the amount of on-board storage is outstanding. It drives well too and is economical to run.
The goodVersatile, economical and very practical
The badLots of hard plastic inside the cabin
Peugeot Partner Tepee BlueHDi 120 Outdoor
If practicality comes before style on your wish list then the Peugeot Partner Tepee could be right up your street.
That’s because this car, complete with its upright stance, has been designed to be as versatile as possible and it succeeds on every count.
For example, the rear sliding doors offer easy access for anyone with mobility issues or for parents transporting young children and then there is the unbelievable amount of storage options. It seems everywhere you turn in the Partner Tepee there is another cubby hole or overhead shelf to tuck knick knacks away. In fact, after a week behind the wheel of my test car I was still discovering hidden storage areas.
Approached from any angle it will be instantly apparent that the Partner Tepee will not be a speed demon but it is a tidy looking vehicle with smart 16-inch alloys, roof rails, plenty of bumper trim, tinted windows, underbody engine protection, follow-me-home headlights, automatic lights and wipers, plus daytime running lights.
Move inside and the interior offers a bright and breezy environment with light flooding into the cabin and comfort levels are good. There is plenty of room in the back for three adults who benefit from the trio of individual seats.
On-board technology is plentiful and includes a touchscreen digital radio with Bluetooth connectivity and a USB socket. There is automatic dual zone air conditioning, one-touch electric windows, front and rear parking sensors, and the test car featured a reversing camera along with sat nav as optional extras.
The front-wheel drive Partner Tepee is powered by a 1.6-litre 120hp diesel engine mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. Priced at £20,295 (£22,345 with options) the test car was supplied in range-topping Outdoor specification and could complete the 0 to 62mph dash in 11.4 seconds topping out at 108mph. According to official figures, it can deliver combined fuel economy of 64.2mpg with carbon emissions of 115g/km.
The driver benefits from excellent all-round visibility thanks to the elevated seating position and all the dials, controls and readouts are perfectly positioned for ease of use. I also liked the individual armrests for the driver and front seat passenger.
But it’s on the practicality front that this vehicle truly excels. Start loading the boot and you will be there all day before it’s full! It has a storage capacity of 675 litres that increases to 2,650 litres with the rear seats dropped flat or a whopping 3,000 litres with the rear seats removed completely. And if you still want more storage there are plenty of alternative places throughout the car, including a standard glovebox and a second one on top of the dashboard behind the steering wheel, a full width overhead shelf, door bins, two rear lidded underfloor boxes and lots of trays. There are two shallow, but grippy cup holders, along with hooks and nets to prevent shopping bags and other items rolling around.
Getting in and out of the car is made simpler thanks to those rear sliding doors – these can prove invaluable in a narrow parking bay with limited room to assist a child or elderly person exiting the car.
And when it comes to performance the Partner Tepee is good fun to drive. It is willing and able to be pushed along country lanes and motorways where it easily keeps pace with fast-moving traffic. The acceleration through the manual gearbox is smooth and there is plenty of power on tap for overtaking. There is a little road surface and wind noise at higher speeds which is to be expected due to the car’s upright design.
Then, in busy town centres, the great visibility is a bonus as are the sensors when squeezing into a tight parking space. The Partner Tepee is also relatively agile and easy to manoeuvre which is another plus factor.
Safety features are comprehensive with the likes of anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce assist and emergency brake assist, electronic stability programme, a front impact bar and numerous airbags.
All in all, the Peugeot Partner Tepee may not be to everybody’s taste, but it is an exceptionally practical car for an active family and boasts all the latest connectivity options and good levels on-board technology.