Open gallery Close by Matt Saunders 28 January 2012 Follow @TheDarkStormy1 Share
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The Partner Tepee is Peugeot’s badge-engineered version of the equally convolutedly sounding Citroën Berlingo Multispace. It might look like a van with windows but the Partner Tepee/Berlingo Multispace has been designed as a passenger car from the outset.
Unsurprisingly, the Peugeot Partner Tepee is almost identical to the Berlingo to drive. And that means good refinement levels, reasonably sophisticated handling and generally a surprisingly car-like driving experience. The Partner also shares its sibling’s dynamic flaws, which means a firm, slightly crashy ride and an awkwardly angled steering wheel (although considering its light commercial underpinnings, that’s easy enough to forgive). Otherwise, the seating position itself feels quite car like.
The Tepee is an affordable way to cart passengers. Just take care with the options listMatt SaundersRoad test editor
Two diesel engines and a pair of petrols are offered. The diesels are the most obvious models to choose, and we’d recommend the least powerful of the two outputs. The 99bhp version is offered in both trim levels and is backed up with 187lb ft of torque at 1750rpm. Even so, it takes a leisurely 13.4secs to reach 62mph. It can’t deliver the punch of the more powerful 118bhp version, but the performance gap doesn’t feel that great. It’s not going to win any drag races, but it feels quicker than its acceleration benchmark suggests.
Petrol choices comprise of a 97bhp, 1.6-litre VTi and 108bhp version of Peugeot’s 1.2-litre PureTech engine, but with performance no better than the equivalent diesels, there seems few reasons to tick the box for one. They are cheaper to buy, but the diesels are of course the more economical options. Peugeot quotes the same 53.3mpg on the combined cycle and 139g/km of CO2 for all three versions of the 1.6-litre oil burners. The two petrols fare less well, returning 39.8mpg/164g/km and 38.87/169g/km for the 97bhp and 118bhp versions respectively.
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Gearboxes are either a five-speed manual, or a five-speed auto available on the 89bhp diesel only.
The Partner Tepee comes in two trim levels – Active and Outdoor. The entry-level trim equips the Partner Tepee with 15in steel wheel, front foglights and LED day-running-lights outside, and inside there is air conditioning, Bluetooth, USB connectivity and cruise control inside. Upgrade to the Outdoor model and you’ll find the Partner Tepee adorned with 16in alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, parking sensors, electrically folding mirrors, automatic wipers and lights, and Peugeot’s touchscreen infotainment system.
However, making the Partner into the flexible MPV it ought to be requires an expensive trip to the options list, with the overhead storage, removable rear seats and ESP being extra-cost items. Even a moderate options workout is pushing the Partner towards Renault Scenic money.
If you choose your engine and options carefully, then you can come out with a versatile and effective family car and flexible load carrier, but it’s far too easy to get carried away with that options list and price the Partner Tepee out of contention.