VAN-BASED MPVs might be overlooked by some for lacking style and sophistication but any shortcomings they may have are more than compensated for when it comes to practicality.
Peugeot's Partner Teepee is certainly a case in point.
As the name would suggest it is based on the French firm's Partner van.
While one might assume it is going to have the rough and ready character of a van there's certainly an element of that but to be fair it has much more besides.
While the Partner Teepee's van DNA is instantly evident from its chunky profile, the designers have done a decent enough job of softening its commercial aspect.
Its high waistline gives it an authentic MPV kind of look and this is further enhanced by the liberal use of glass, with a deeply raked windscreen and large windows throughout.
Sit inside and all that glass helps to create a really open and airy environment and the high driving position almost has an SUV-style air about it.
One of the first things you notice is the number of handy and useful storage areas the Partner Teepee has.
There are all manner of spaces for all sorts of oddments, to the point where it would be easy to put something somewhere and forget it was there.
Space is in abundance throughout the vehicle with rear seat passengers benefiting from a more than generous amount of head and legroom.
The boot is suitably cavernous - as one might expect - probably on a par with most large SUVs. There's 675 litres of boot space, which increases to 2,650 litres with the rear seats folded. Alternatively you can turn it into a ‘van' proper by removing the rear seats entirely. If so it offers an impressive 3,000 litres of load-lugging capacity.
Then there's the sliding doors.
They might require a little more elbow grease to open and close but really do come in handy on occasion, particularly in supermarket or multi-storey car parks where space can be tight.
They also make for easy access generally, be it for those who are less mobile or parents getting youngsters in or out of child seats.
The Partner Teepee may have a certain ruggedness but it does not lack when it comes to onboard technology or creature comforts.
This top of the range Outdoor model came with tinted windows, follow-me-home headlights, automatic lights and wipers and daytime running lights.
It also had a touchscreen digital radio with Bluetooth connectivity and a USB socket, dual zone air conditioning and electric windows.
This particular car came with sat nav as an extra. If specifying it would set you back an additional £400.
Other add-ons included metallic paint (Â£520) which certainly gave a fairly ordinary vehicle a more distinguished appearance, Active City Brake (Â£250) and a reversing camera with front and rear parking sensors (Â£210), which given the Partner Teepee's overall bulk is probably worth the modest outlay.
Even with the extras this model would set you back Â£21,115, which isn't bad for what is ultimately a pretty capable and versatile family car.
The 120bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine in this car proved a consummate unit with plenty of power on tap to power you along at a reasonable pace.
Refinement levels were relatively high and it's capable of delivering great economy too.
Given the abundance of glass and its high driving position the Partner Teepee offers great visibility when on the move.
As far as the overall driving experience goes it might be van-like in some respects, though less so than I was expecting.