Peugeot Rifter GT

Line Long BlueHDi

130

Peugeot Rifter, front
Peugeot Rifter, front
Peugeot Rifter, front
Peugeot Rifter, front
Peugeot Rifter, side
Peugeot Rifter, rear
Peugeot Rifter, rear
Peugeot Rifter, rear
Peugeot Rifter, front
Peugeot Rifter, interior
Peugeot Rifter, interior
Peugeot Rifter, interior

IF I had a penny for every time I was jokingly asked if I was on an airport run during my time driving the Peugeot Rifter I would be 11 pence better off.

That's because the Rifter with its high-sided design and seven-seat flexibility is a fabulously stylish people mover and would be the ideal vehicle to transport passengers to airports, railway stations or simply carry a five-a-side footie team to away fixtures.

The Rifter replaces Peugeot's outgoing Partner Tepee model and despite its van-like dimensions it's actually quite agile and simple to drive.

The car is available as a five or seven-seater and our model, in flagship GT Line trim, came in LONG guise which meant it had a long-wheel-base and could carry seven people.

Versatility is of the utmost importance in the MPV sector and the Rifter delivers it in spades. For example, when not being used the rear two seats are folded flat and free up extra space in the boot. The trio of individual second row seats have oodles of leg, shoulder and head space for three six footers to sit comfortably and the sliding rear doors make for very easy access.

The boot is simply massive and the low lip means loading heavier or awkwardly shaped items is made simple. The rear screen can be opened separately which is handy if you're just throwing a coat into the back without having to open the tailgate, and there's an abundance of storage spaces throughout the Rifter.

Options include a massive covered central compartment, an upper glovebox with a lower open one, huge door pockets, cup holders for the front and rear occupants, trays and pockets for people in the second row, underfloor storage in row two, overhead storage up front and plenty of trays and other smaller compartments.

With all passenger seats folded flat the Rifter can accommodate in the region of 3,000 litres of kit - that's a lot of luggage.

But the Rifter is much more than a huge box on wheels. It looks smart from all angles thanks to the likes of a neat grille with 3D-effect trimmings, gloss black roof bars, LED daytime running lights, tail lamps with the Peugeot ‘claw' design, privacy glass and smart alloys.

In addition, the Rifter is impressive on the road where it handles really well.

Our car, priced at £26,510 (£27,705 with options), was powered by a punchy 1.5-litre 129bhp diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and it could complete the 0-62mph dash in a very respectable 10.9 seconds, maxing out at 116mph.

According to official figures it could deliver combined fuel economy of 46.3mpg with carbon emissions of 119g/km (WLTP).

The interior of the Rifter is neatly laid out with plenty of techno treats at your disposal. There is a clear and easy-to-operate eight-inch touchscreen with 3D navigation and TomTom live updates, DAB radio, Mirror screen for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink connection, wireless smartphone charging and a compact multi-function steering wheel with flat top and bottom.

In addition to the touchscreen with its menus to navigate most of the car's functions, there are convenient switches so you can quickly adjust the temperature and air flow without taking your eyes from the road.

Our car also featured Peugeot's Grip Control system with different modes to help keep the car moving through snow, mud or sand.

Out on the open road, the Rifter was nicely balanced and the road holding was assured through long bends. In town centres, it proved a lot easier to manoeuvre than initial appearances would lead you to believe. The steering is nicely responsive and the reversing camera along with parking sensors are most helpful when parking.

Despite its spacious interior, noise intrusion from the engine and road surface are not too bad apart from a little echoing, but you can expect to hear some wind noise at higher motorway speeds.

My only other gripe was the really flat passenger seat. It may sound trivial but I have a habit of throwing my keys, phone, purse etc on the passenger seat and on each occasion they slid off the seat and down by the side of the door when cornering. By the third time of asking, I had learnt my lesson and started using the many storage options on offer.

All in all though, the Peugeot Rifter is a fabulous people mover that's also packed with a raft of safety features to protect occupants and pedestrians alike.

FAST FACTS

Peugeot Rifter GT Line Long BlueHDi 130

Price: £26,510

Mechanical: 129ps, 1,499c, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 116mph

0-62mph: 10.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 46.3

Insurance Group: 15

C02 emissions: 119g/km

Bik rating: 31%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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