The Peugeot Rifter replaces the outgoing Partner Tepee model and offers five or seven-seat flexibility. Boasting distinctive styling, it has a modern high-tech interior packed with creature comforts. There is also the option of Advanced Grip Control to keep you moving during more adverse driving conditions.
The goodPractical people mover that's also big on style
The badLots of hard plastic that is practical but looks quite cheap
Peugeot Rifter GT Line Long BlueHDi 130 manual
I may not have made a fortune, but if I had a pound for every time I was rather smugly asked if I was on an airport run during my week-long test of the Peugeot Rifter I would now be £11 richer.
That’s because the Rifter with its high-sided design, van-sized dimensions and seven-seat flexibility is a fabulously stylish people mover and would be the perfect vehicle to transport passengers to airports, railway stations or simply carry a five-a-side footie team to away fixtures.
The Rifter, which replaces the outgoing Partner Tepee model, is available as a five or seven-seater and our model, in flagship GT Line trim, came in LONG guise which meant it had a long-wheel-base and could carry seven people.
Versatility along with practicality are vitally important factors for buyers looking for inspiration in the MPV sector and the Rifter delivers on all counts. For example, when not in use, the rear two seats are folded flat and free up extra space in the boot. The trio of individual second row seats have oodles of leg, shoulder and head space for three six footers to sit comfortably and the sliding rear doors make for very easy access.
The boot is absolutely massive and the low lip makes loading heavier or awkwardly shaped items much easier. In addition, the rear screen on the tailgate can be opened separately which is convenient if you’re just throwing a coat into the back without having to open the complete tailgate, plus there’s an abundance of storage spaces throughout the Rifter.
Storage options include a really deep central compartment with sliding cover, a closed upper glovebox with an open lower section, huge door bins, cup holders for the front and rear occupants, fold-out trays and pockets for the people in the second row, underfloor storage in row two, overhead storage up front and plenty of trays and other smaller compartments.
With all passenger seats folded flat the Rifter can accommodate in the region of 3,000 litres of kit and that is a lot of luggage.
However, the Rifter is much more than a huge practical box on wheels. It looks attractive from all angles thanks to its neat grille with 3D-effect trimmings, LED daytime running lights, tail lamps with the Peugeot ‘claw’ design, gloss black roof bars, privacy glass and smart alloys.
Our test car, priced at £26,510 (£27,705 with options), was powered by a punchy 1.5-litre 129hp diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and it could reach 62mph from a standing start in a very respectable 10.9 seconds, topping out at 116mph. According to official figures it could deliver combined fuel economy of 46.3mpg with carbon emissions of 119g/km (WLTP).
The Rifter’s interior is neatly laid out with plenty of techno treats and creature comforts at your disposal. There is a clear and easy-to-operate eight-inch touchscreen with 3D navigation and TomTom live updates, Mirror screen for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink connection, wireless smartphone charging, a DAB radio and a compact multi-function steering wheel with flat top and bottom.
As well as the touchscreen with its menus to navigate most of the car’s functions, there are convenient climate control switches so you can quickly adjust the temperature and air flow without taking your eyes from the road.
Our car also featured Peugeot’s Grip Control system with different modes to help keep the car moving through snow, mud or sand.
With plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment, it’s easy to get comfy and the elevated seating position means the driver is treated to excellent all-round visibility.
Out on the open road, the Rifter was well balanced and the road holding was confident and assured through long bends. In town centres, it proved a lot easier to manoeuvre than initial appearances would lead you to believe. The steering is nicely responsive and the reversing camera along with parking sensors are really useful when squeezing into tight parking spaces.
Despite its spacious interior, very little engine or road surface sounds filter through into the cabin, but you can expect to hear some wind noise at higher motorway speeds.
My only other slight gripe was the really flat passenger seat. It may sound trivial but I have a habit of throwing my keys, phone, purse etc on the passenger seat when I get into a car. On two occasions they slid off the seat and down the side of the door when cornering. By the third time of asking, I had learnt my lesson and started using the many storage options on offer.
All in all though, the Peugeot Rifter is an impressive people mover that’s also packed with a raft of safety features to protect occupants and pedestrians alike. Realistically it will appeal to a fairly niche market, but it does tick all the right boxes for someone looking for seven-seat flexibility along with all the creature comforts we demand these days. As for me, I’ve got an airport pick-up!