MULTI-purpose vehicles are better known as people carriers because that is exactly what they do.
Despite the more recent growth of models called crossover or even mini-MPVs for the family market there's clearly still a demand for the ‘big buses' as they are nicknamed.
What car makers have had to do is to specialise these types more and specifically aim them at the business end of the market for executive use, such as for running chauffeur VIP shuttle services for up-market hotels, restaurants and airlines.
With all this in mind Peugeot has introduced the Traveller Business MPV models solely aimed at that lucrative sector and they are made in the same French factory that also builds its sister brand Citroen Space Tourer and Toyota's Proactive people carriers.
Peugeot's versions may be based on the Expert van platform but that's where the similarities end - the Traveller Business is a totally different kettle of fish.
The Traveller Business is offered with three different body lengths - Compact, Standard and Long - and two choice of turbocharged diesel engines, a 1.6-litre with either 85bhp or 115bhp or a two-litre with either 150bhp or 180bhp.
Capable of carrying eight passengers plus a driver the wide choice of versions is simply aimed at widening the ever growing business catchment area so as to suit the many needs and demands of corporate clients.
Prices reflect this with the on-the-road price for the cheapest 95bhp powered Compact in Allure trim coming in at £28,120 with the flagship Business VIP 180bhp Long model topping the £40,000 mark.
Driving the mid range size version with Peugeot's well proven 115bhp under the bonnet for some 500 miles with seven adults as passengers it showed both how comfortable and relaxing it is and how easy it is to drive with such a volume of space and weight.
Fears that the 1.6-litre engine would be underpowered in such circumstances proved unfounded. The 115bhp engine more than coped well in everyday driving conditions.
It did mean working the six-speed gearbox when required, particularly up steep inclines, but overall it was surprisingly quite - an effortless experience and with such a high seating position the all round visibility, particularly for the drive, was excellent.
Today's MPVs are more car-like than ever before and the Traveller Business is a prime example.
It handles very lightly for such a big vehicle and along with a simply laid out dashboard (with its seven-inch easy-to-use touch screen) and all the finger-tip controls t's relaxing to drive - even for someone more used to driving an average sized family car.
Fuel consumption was reasonable. Even when loaded up it achieved 47.8mpg and with only the drive on board it topped the 51mpg mark. The fuel tank has a capacity of 15.5 gallons giving good range of some 700 miles.
Peugeot claims this 115bhp Traveller has a top speed of 99mph but in reality driving on motorways it was more than competent in keeping up with the general flow of moving traffic and, crucially for a people carrier, it was exceptionally quiet on the move at that speed.
Being aimed at the executive market the interior furnishings and fittings breath quality with leather seats and a light and airy inside with a panoramic roof and dark rear privacy glass.
Getting in out of the back seats with ease is important for this kind of vehicle and the Peugeot comes up trumps with twin hands-free electric sliding doors and easy to fold middle row of seats for easy access to the rear three seats.
Luggage space too is decent enough with 2,100 litres to roof height available on the Compact, increasing to 2,500 on the Standard and a slight further increase in the Long version.
Should the chauffeur/owner want to remove those last row of three seats to accommodate more luggage and just five passengers it's not the easiest of jobs as I discovered until you do it a few times but then most operators will probably not have to face that dilemma.
The Peugeot Traveller Business is clearly aimed at the business end of the market this newcomer stands up well in terms of quality an luxury plus value for money.