Peugeot Rifter GT

Line Long BlueHDi

130

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

THIS is truly a vehicle for those who love open spaces - because the long-wheelbase version of the Peugeot Rifter offers an astonishing amount of room.

From the outside it disguises the fact it is based on the Partner van rather well as - despite the inevitable boxy shape - it has enough styling cues to give it the feel of a rugged SUV thanks to the thoughtful use of cladding, natty roof rails and smart 17-inch alloys.

Step inside and you enter a space where seven people can be accommodated, although you may need a search party to find the two passengers in the third row of seats.

That's because this Rifter - a five-seater model is also available - is a cave boasting 1,050 litres of space, expanding to a Grand Canyon-emulating 4,000 litres with the middle seats folded flat and those at the rear taken out.

Easy access is guaranteed by sliding rear side doors and a huge top-hinged bootlid.

On the flagship GT Line model the tailgate window also opens giving a simple way to access the luggage compartment. There is also a panoramic sunroof accentuating the cabin's light and airy feel.

It is also choc full of cubby holes and storage bins offering a further 180-litres of room - more than enough for a family's needs, or indeed a well equipped five-a-side team.

The door bins are especially worthy of mention as they can hold several big bottles of water ensuring hydration for the aforementioned team while they can eat their lunch of tray tables located on the back of the front seats.

A locker in the dashboard can even provide a home for a laptop and there is also a deep centre storage box with a sliding cover between the driver and front seat passenger.

The other thing you notice about the interior is that for a huge motor, it has a relatively tiny steering wheel - festooned with controls - you look over rather than through to see the dials and digital readouts.

This unusual set up allows you to view Peugeot's i-Cockpit instrument pack situated high up on the dashboard which works well in the Rifter as the driving position is upright.

An eight-inch colour tablet-style touchscreen, featuring an efficient sat nav system, takes centre stage when it comes to in-flight entertainment and it can also be hooked up to your smartphone.

Helpfully there are separate controls for the heating and air con which make it easy to maintain a pleasant atmosphere without having to hunt around for the right menu.

Power is provided by a range of efficient petrol and diesel engines with the 1.5-litre oil burner underneath the bonnet of this Rifter easily propelling it from 0-62mph in a shade under 11 seconds with the help of a smooth six-speed manual transmission.

Fuel economy is good with the 130bhp BlueHDi - fitted with stop-start technology - achieving a claimed 64.2mpg, while carbon dioxide emissions are low at 117g/km.

Despite being a big beast the Rifter is surprisingly nimble and, if you have the optional parking sensors and camera, is relatively easy to park.

The ride is comfortable with most of the potholes littering our roads these days having little effect and while there is some body roll through corners, it is well contained.

Safety for you and yours is ensured through a plethora of airbags and electronics, tyre pressure sensors, hill start assist plus lane departure and blind spot warning indicators.

FAST FACTS

Peugeot Rifter GT Line Long BlueHDi 130

Price:£25,959

Mechanical:130bhp, 1,499cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via a 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:116mph

0-62mph:10.9 seconds

Combined MPG:64.2

Insurance Group:15

C02 emissions:117g/km

Bik rating:27%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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