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Peugeot Partner Tepee Outdoor HDi 110 5-door

Click to view picture gallery“Peugeots Tepee might not win any
  beauty contests, despite its Outdoor
  ‘active lifestyle
specification goodies,
  but it is functional. Where it really
  excels is in its use of space, seating
  versatility and cargo carrying.
  Exactly what families want, in fact

PARTNER TEPEE PRICES RANGE FROM 11,605 up to 15,745 the seven-seat option pack adds another 570 or 800, according to which version it is fitted. There are four levels of specification: Urban, S, Zenith and the more lifestyle Outdoor variant which has increased ground clearance, under-body protection plates, alloy wheels, air conditioning, internal roof rack, cruise control and side and curtain airbags. This model is meant for the active outdoor family and the subject for my test review.

The problem with the current poor performance of the new car market is that the majority of families are either changing their cars and buying second-hand or downsizing to stay within their budget. MPVs, mainly the large ones, experienced a sales drop of 48% in March as they continued their downward spiral.

There has also be a surge in versatile, boxy-shaped new MPV models being pushed onto the market, such as the Fiat Qubo, Nissan Note, Kia Soul, Toyota Verso and, the best one so far this year, the Citroen C3 Picasso. The Partner Tepee not only has to compete against these but also the already-established MPVs: Ford S-Max, C-Max and Galaxy, Chrysler Grand Voyager, Citroen C4 Picasso/C8, Fiat Multipla/Doblo, etc. And all in a market sector declining as the 'supermini' becomes more attractive to downsizing families.

Where the Peugeot Expert Tepee excels is in its use of space, seating versatility and cargo carrying. It is very practical use of a 4,380mm-long box, and the sliding side rear doors and huge tailgate mean access for people, dogs, wheelchairs or pure recreational kit is very easy. And, depending on the model, seats can be folded or removed as well.

Furthermore, in addition to the 505-2,800 litres of load space, the Partner Tepee has lots of extra storage space plus, on some models, a false roof construction which adds even more pockets and cubby-holes. So much so that trying to find where 'stuff' has been packed is a novel game to keep the children amused.

So the packaging of the Tepee is good even if, despite its Outdoor 'active lifestyle' specification kit, it's not the most attractive ride on the block. But whatever else you might say about it, you can't say that it isn't functional!

Engine-wise there is a good choice: two 1.6-litre petrol engines (90 or 110 — go for the 110 unit if petrol is a must) or alternatively there are three 1.6-litre diesel engine options: 75, 90 or 110. Not all engines are available with all specifications but the Outdoor version in five- or seven-seat form is available only with the 90 and 110 turbodiesel units. The extra torque these engines give makes much more sense especially when carrying people, their kit or just a bulky load.

real value for money
for a large
motorised holdall...”
Not the most aerodynamic MPV in the world, the Partner Tepee is actually quite fun to drive especially if it's for family transport. Just throw in the kids, dog, tent and what-have-you and hit the trail.

Being a tall vehicle there is plenty of body roll, so strap the passengers in tightly and avoid carrying people who might suffer from car sickness. The grip is, however, predictable and the ride comfort is good over most surfaces although bumps from potholes and road noise do intrude. All passengers will like the upright seating positions which, with the huge windows, give excellent visibility so the passenger can see for themselves if 'they are there yet'.

The interior has quite large areas of durable and easy to clean plastic which looks of reasonable quality, and the vehicle feels well put together. The instruments and controls are well positioned and logical to use. The Partner Tepee Outdoor model also has, as standard, height-adjustable driver's seat, electric windows and electrically-operated and heated door mirrors, loads of pockets and storage bins, remote central locking, a retractable and removable parcel shelf and, in five passenger spec, removable or folding individual rear seats.

Unfortunately, although the Partner Tepee has a good array of safety features, Electronic Stability Control is a 350 option — and it shouldn't be for a family vehicle which can also carry heavy loads. Otherwise the equipment levels are pretty good, even for the basic 1.6-litre 90bhp Urban model with a price tag of 11,605 that represents real value for money for a large five-seater motorised holdall.

However, my Tepee Outdoor test model is right at the other end of the price scale. In its five-seat form, as tested, it costs a hefty 15,745 which isn't such good value. There are also must-have extra-cost options and the residual values for mid to large MPVs are certainly not currently very good.

I cannot say anything new about the well-known 1.6-litre 110 (107bhp) turbodiesel engine. It is widely used by Peugeot, Citroen and others and the unit is refined, quite nippy and well able to provide more than enough speed for long motorway trips. Top speed is 106mph and 0-62mph takes 14.3 seconds. The 177lb ft of torque (from just 1,750rpm) makes it a very flexible engine at low and stop/start speeds yet responsive in the mid-range.

Officially, this model will return 50.4mpg — 48.7mpg during my test. The CO2 emissions are 147g/km which now means an annual road tax bill of 125. Keeping the running costs low is a competitive 4E insurance group rating.

Against? Top models are expensive and there's no ESP as standard. That noted, this vehicle, for its medium car length, offers owners as much space as they are ever likely to need for whatever use. Engine performance is good and it's generally comfortable and although it certainly isn't a pretty vehicle — definitely function over fashion — it's still fun to use. — David Miles

Peugeot Partner Tepee Outdoor HDi 110 5-door
| 15,745
Maximum speed: 106mph | 0-62mph: 14.3 seconds | Overall test MPG: 48.7mpg
Power: 107bhp | Torque: 177lb ft | CO2 147g/km | Insurance group 4E