Peugeot's practical seven seater driven on Irish roads
Pros: Seven seat practicality, well-equipped, load-lugging abilities
Cons: Limited engines, interior quality, handling
When practicality matters above all else, it is hard to look past large MPV models such as the new Peugeot Rifter. An interesting new rival to the likes of the Ford Tourneo Connect and Volkswagen Caddy Life, it’s capacious inside, with seven large seats and more storage areas than you can shake a stick at. The Rifter replaces the Peugeot Partner Tepee of old and it is likely to prove popular with large families or those with mobility requirements, and we recently spent a week with it on Irish roads to see how it compares to rival models.
The Rifter is slightly different to the rest of the MPV pack as Peugeot has given it crossover-inspired features. The ride height is taller while the plastics and side lines are more rugged for a tougher look. We are driving the long-wheelbase version which is more van-like in appearance however and it isn’t exactly high on styling appeal. In base Active specification, the Rifter is equipped with 16-inch Steel wheels, aluminium roof bars and body coloured mirrors, while our Allure grade test car is equipped with alloy wheels and an upgraded grille.
The Rifter takes inspiration from the rest of Peugeot’s latest range inside, which is a good thing. Peugeot’s sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel and touch screen infotainment system make an appearance. The Rifter offers a raised driving position with a commanding view of the road, while the steering wheel and seat itself offers a reasonable range of adjustment to get comfortable. The cabin is immensely spacious with ample head and legroom for even the tallest of passengers, with three individual rear seats with three sets of ISOFIX mounts and tray tables at the back of the front seats. There is underfloor storage compartments beneath the second row of seats, and the two rear sliding doors makes it easy to get in and out for small children.
The Rifter is immensely practical and well-suited to carrying up to seven passengers in comfort on long journeys thanks to its boxy body shape. This long wheelbase version offers 209 litres of boot space with all seven seats in place, while this increases to an immense 1,050 litres with the rearmost seats removed. Fold the middle row of seats down into the floor increases load capacity to 3,500 litres, making it capable of lugging very bulky loads. Removing the rear seats is simple by tugging a chord and lifting the seats out, while the front passenger seat also folds forward for further practicality. If you need space and lots of it, then the long wheel base model is a worthy upgrade from the regular Rifter. That said, it is trickier to drive and park at 4.7 metres in length, though the reversing camera comes in handy.
The Rifter is offered with the choice of a 1.2-litre Puretech petrol engine or a 1.5-litre BlueHdi, and either a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic. We drove the 1.5-litre diesel model with the automatic transmission, and it is surprisingly suited to the Rifter’s large dimensions with 130 horsepower and much-needed low down power delivery. Although it’s far from exciting to drive, the diesel-powered Rifter is competent at motorway speeds and it offers low running costs, with annual motor tax rated at €200 and reasonable fuel economy too. Out on the road, the Rifter is relatively smooth and refined, although it gets unsettled over bumps and harsh surfaces. It isn’t particularly rewarding to drive due to its long chassis and tall ride height, but that said it is easy and gets the job done.
The Rifter scored a four star Euro NCAP safety rating with strong ratings for adult and child occupant protection. It is equipped with hill start assist, lane keeping assist, speed limit recognition, active safety brake and various other systems as standard. There is also a speed limiter, cruise control and tyre pressure sensors, while the second row of seats features three sets of ISOFIX mounts and space for large child seats, which is a plus for family buyers.
Prices and features:
Prices for the Peugeot Rifter start from €25,840 for the entry specification Active five-seat model, while there is an additional €950 charge for seven-seats. There are three levels of specification available; Active, Allure and GT Line. As standard, the Active is fitted with electric and heated mirrors, Peugeot’s i-Cockpit display, rear LED lights, two USB charge points, Bluetooth connectivity, remote central locking, air conditioning and Peugeot’s eight inch touch screen system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
The mid-range Allure model adds 16-inch alloy wheels, an electric parking brake, rear electric windows, parking sensors, two underfloor storage compartments, a leather steering wheel, a large front storage compartment, three individual rear seats, foldable front passenger seat and a visibility pack with automatic lights and automatic windscreen wipers. The range-topping GT Line adds a safety plus pack. 17-inch alloy wheels, a black front grille, GT line badges, black roof bars, dual zone climate control, keyless entry, tinted rear windows and an opening tailgate window.
Carzone verdict: 3.5/5
The seven-seat Peugeot Rifter is a strong option for those who need to prioritise practicality above everything else. It can easily ferry seven passengers in comfort, while it is well equipped and undercuts several rival models on price. That said, the Rifter’s engine range is somewhat limited while the interior quality is low rent in certain places. That said, the Rifter is a well-priced seven-seat MPV and one to shortlist for buyers with large families or mobility needs.
Test Car Details:
Model driven: Peugeot Rifter Long Body Allure 1.5 BlueHDi
Prices from: €24,440
Price as tested: €32,970
Annual Motor Tax: €200
Engine: 1.5-litre BlueHDi Diesel
0-100km/h: 9.7 seconds
Body style: MPV
Boot Space: 1,050 litres
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