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Peugeot Partner Tepee

Expanding the family is expensive, and quite apart from the extra paraphernalia required to bring up the extra offspring, very often you'll need a larger car. Multi-purpose vehicles, or MPVs for short, are big business, but in the same way that they inflate the amount of room on offer, the price tag is greater, too. But there is a solution that may well be less glamorous, but in terms of cost per square metre, few vehicles can compete.
And far from offering an inferior driving experience and lacking in creature comforts, the latest breed are far from utilitarian. Freshly updated ready for the summer, the Partner Tepee has been treated to the second facelift of its product life, and is arriving in showrooms about now.
The main differences are a bolder front end, so it falls into line with Peugeot's latest design thinking, together with a new touchscreen infotainment system. All of the engines now meet the latest Euro-6 emissions regulations, and there's a smattering of new technology, including autonomous emergency braking later this year.
All of these upgrades result in a price increase of between £900 and £1,145, depending on version. Here in the UK, there's a choice of three 1.6-litre BlueHDi engines in 74, 98 and 118bhp power outputs, and a combination of Active or Allure specification. Our Frenchregistered test car was powered by the 118bhp edition of the engine, but equipped to Outdoor specification - a combination unavailable in the UK.
Here, the most powerful engine is exclusively offered with Allure trim. With a chassis based on the last generation 308 hatchback, this Partner Tepee actually goes and steers rather well.
The 118bhp engine delivers some pizazz away from the lights, with a reasonable spread of oomph across the rev range. The engine is pretty refined, but you'll never forget the source of power, with the diesel clatter remaining a constant backing track, no matter what speed you are doing. Through bends, the Partner is surprisingly composed, with minimal lean and decent grip, but is let down by the steering which is relatively heavy and slow to respond.
The bluff shape of the Partner means there's a little wind noise when up to speed, though tyre and road sounds are kept nicely in check. If it's space that you desire, there are few vehicles that can touch it for carrying capacity, apart from the Citroën Berlingo Multispace, it's sister car. In addition to the endless number of storage compartments littered all around the car, there's a humungous 3,000 litres with all of the seats folded down, and even 675 litres with all five-seats in use, with a low loading sill for extra ease and convenience. The generous proportions even allow the option of seven chairs, should you need to carry more people, though just one version is on offer.
Sliding side doors mean access to the rear seats is excellent, with three proper sized chairs on offer. Legroom both front and rear is pretty good, and no-one could possibly have any complaints about the generous amount of headroom. As you would expect considering the vehicle's van roots, the dashboard has been designed for durability rather than luxuriousness, but feels nicely screwed together and like it is built to last. The driving position is best described as upright, and affords great allround visibility, especially thanks to the large, deep side windows, while parking sensors and a rear camera are included in the price tag of the top-spec Allure editions.

Model tested Allure 1.6 BlueHDi 120
Price £19,245
Made in Vigo, Spain
Configuration 5-door MPV, 5-seats, front-wheel-drive
Drivetrain 1560cc, 4-cylinder, 8-valve, turbocharged diesel with stop-start and selective catalyst reduction
Transmission 6-speed manual
Power output 118bhp @ 3,500rpm
Maximum torque 221lb ft @ 1,750rpm
Top speed/0-62mph 108mph/11.4 secs
CO2 emissions (tax band) 115g/km (C) Euro 6
Economy (urban/extra urban/combined) 57.6/67.3/64.2mpg
Fuel tank size/range 53 litres/749 miles
Insurance group/BIK rate 17/21%
Size (length/width with mirrors) 4,384/2,112mm
Boot space (minimum/maximum) 675/3,000 litres
Kerb/max towing weight 1,398/1,300kg

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