£16,800 - £21,160 Price range
44 - 68 MPG
The Peugeot Partner Tepee is one the most popular, low cost MPV’s on the market today. It offers a very practical interior with many features that make family life that little bit easier.
Critics have even said that, thanks to its strong diesel engines, it’s fun to drive. However, despite Peugeot’s best efforts to make the Partner Tepee look like a proper family MPV, it still looks like a van. If image plays a part in your purchasing decisions, it may not be the vehicle for you.
The Partner Tepee is based on a van, so as you might expect, the interior offers all the space you could ever need for a family car. It will seat five comfortably, and has the option of 7 seats, with plenty of legroom for passengers in both the front and rear. Headroom is also excellent.
The Tepee offers an very large boot (675 litres) that will accommodate almost all the items a big family needs to carry. You can also choose folding rear seats that make the Partner Tepee very practical for carrying extra passengers.
Unfortunately, the cabin is covered in cheap and shiny plastics, but they do feel solid and durable. The addition of sliding doors with very large windows makes it not only very easy to gain access in tight spaces but further enhances the feeling of space.
Critics have noted that the Partner Tepee is in fact much better to drive than its appearance might suggest. The underpinnings are basically the same as the Peugeot 308 so it offers decent levels of grip, and the handling isn’t too bad either – but be prepared for excessive amounts of body roll in the corners.
The Tepee rides reasonably well but road noise can become excessive and hitting large bumps can cause the car to shake dramatically, which in turn can reduce passenger comfort. Despite its van-like looks, there’s surprisingly little wind noise at speed.
The seats are comfortable on long journeys and the steering wheel adjusts for both reach and rake, so it should be easy for most drivers to get comfortable.
The Partner Tepee is limited to a variety of 1.6, four cylinder engines, both petrol and diesel. The petrol comes in 98hp or 120hp forms, with 75hp, 92hp and 115hp diesels. All of the engines on offer do a decent job of hauling the family MPV around but the general opinion is that the diesel engine makes a more sensible choice, thanks to a good balance of performance and economy.
The petrol engines are lively, but the entry level 1.6 98 is a little weak, only returns 42.2 mpg and is no quicker than the similarly-powered diesel. Avoid the 75hp diesel too – at 17 seconds from 0-60mph, it’s alarmingly slow. If you insist on petrol, go for the 1.6 with 120hp, but the HDI 92 diesel is the best choice here.
The 1.6 HDi is a tried and tested engine used throughout other Peugeot and Citroen models, so its mechanicals are well known and generally reliable. There are three flavours on offer, with 74, 91 and 113hp options available. Acceleration ranges from a sluggish 17 seconds or so to a sprightly 12.1 for the 0-60mph sprint - but most will be happy with the 14-odd seconds of the 91hp model, which offers the best balance.
The diesel unit is refined whilst on the move, but can sound a little agricultural on start up. There's decent mid-range urge and running costs are relatively low - nearly 60mpg is available with the EGC automated gearbox, but all do over 50mpg.
As is often the case with passenger cars based on commercial vehicles, the safety rating is not great. The Partner Tepee’s is based on a 2014 EuroNCAP test of the Citroen Berlingo and it returned just three stars. Child occupant protection was a highlight, at 74%, but the rest of the ratings don’t make for especially comfortable reading.
It’s perhaps mildly surprising though. The platform under the Partner scores well when part of the PSA group’s family car range and, though previous Partners have done without some safety kit now thought of as essential, the Tepee features twin front airbags, ISOFIX mounts in three seats and stability control. “Outdoor” models add grip control – a selectable terrain response system – and additional airbags are options.
If you are after a cheap no thrills family hauler then you won’t be disappointed with the Peugeot Partner Tepee. There are few other cars that offer such exceptional space for the money. However, it can start to become expensive when adding essential optional extras when purchasing.
Entry level versions are sparsely equipped, so bear in mind before purchasing that the price can soon rocket if adding extras. Go for a mid-range spec car and you should happy with the levels of equipment on offer. Depreciation is not excessive, so when it comes to sell it you shouldn’t lose too much of your hard earned money.
The Partner has plenty of room in the back and is surprisingly good to drive. The downside is that it doesn’t include much kit or look very stylish.
It’s not one for the snobs, but it’s a real no-nonsense, practical family car. Steer clear of pricey higher tier trims though, or you may regret not going for a slightly more cultured vehicle.
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