Peugeot Rifter - a

new way of leisure

Peugeot Rifter, 2018, front, static
Peugeot Rifter, 2018, front, action
Peugeot Rifter, 2018, rear, action
Peugeot Rifter, 2018, interior
Peugeot Rifter, 2018, rear seats
Peugeot Rifter, 2018, rear window
Peugeot Rifter, 2018, boot

THOSE of a certain age and comedic bent will recall the Monty Python Spam sketch which eventually concludes that your local greasy spoon cafe is big on reconstituted pork products and little else.

In many ways the same goes for the modern small SUV market, ultimately you end up trotting out the same old menu of soft roaders, 1.5 diesels and three-pot petrol engines.

Well, now for something completely different as they used to say- the Peugeot Rifter.

What is it? According to Peugeot a ‘leisure activity vehicle'.

It is practical, fresh, efficient on the road and technically well equipped with the I-Cockpit applied.

What it isn't is a van with windows.

Think Citroen C3 Aircross but a version not for the school run more the Ben Nevis bounce.

The Rifter addresses a subtle change in how we enjoy our down time. It is perfect for outdoor pursuits from camping, cycling to fishing and even canoeing.

Yes, drop the multi- shifting versatile seats on one side and a canoe will fit in.

It comes in two sizes, a seven seat Long model and the more usual five seat Standard, bothwith sliding rear doors, both claimed to be "perfect for everyday explorers".

The large tailgate includes and opening window.

It may not come with four-wheel drive but high ground clearance and the option of the Peugeot Grip Control system is a workable compromise.

Engines are more workhorse than galloping steed. There are two 1.2 petrol versions , a 110bhp six-speed with a 130bhp automatic coming later.

The four BlueHDi diesels come with three manual versions and an automatic eight-speed 130.

On the fuel front all engines are good with the petrol versions rated at 51.4mpg with emissions of 126g/km to 68.9 for the 75bhp diesel (109g/km). The bigger diesels come in at 65.7mpg with a CO2 figure of 114g/km.

Handling is better than the body shape suggests but buyers are likely to be more interested in safety and comfort than tearing across the twisting moorland roads.

As a result technology coversautomated safety features like adaptive cruise control, camera surveillance and rear camera.

In addition, given its likely uses, the car has trailer stability control.

Connectivity and navigation are delivered via an eight-inch touchscreen and there is a voice command function.

Technically well-equipped it may be but the deal breaker for vehicles like this is the interior.

In the past there has been and inclination to stick some storage boxes in the roof and a bit of minimal seat folding. Not the Rifter.

The numbers thing first; carrying capacity is 775-litres in the Standard boot and 4,000 in the Long with seats folded and the third two removed.

There are 28 truly useable storage spaces scattered throughout the interior and by sticking the passenger airbag in the roof a bigger than usual glove box is fitted.

In reality prospective Shackleton types need to see the car in the flesh to decide what would work best for their given pastime.

Whatever it is, the interior is extremely bright and airy with a panoramic sunroof and electric blind.

Prices start at £19,650 and true are three well recognised trim levels, Active, Allure and GT Line.

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