Home / Auto / Peugeot Rifter 2018 REVIEW – Road test, price, specs and impressions

Peugeot Rifter 2018 REVIEW – Road test, price, specs and impressions


Peugeot Rifter

This new Peugeot Rifter could change buyers’ minds (Image: NC)

Based on Peugeot’s next generation Partner van, the Rifter takes over from the just-as-oddly-named Tepee.

Passenger car versions of vans appeal to two car-buying sectors: the private taxi market where reliability, low cost, and big interior space are ideal; and customers requiring the biggest car boot possible for wheelchairs or adventure weekend equipment such as sailing gear or mountain bikes.

It’s these weekender customers that Peugeot is aiming to appeal to most.

That said, it expects the Rifter to sell in similar volumes to the outgoing Tepee, which last year sold 3,000.

Yes, at one level the Rifter is still a box with wheels, as the car’s designer admits, but this gives it the advantage of a purposeful tough stance.

The new styling includes raised suspension and plastic wheel arch trim to give it greater ground clearance and a rugged look.

The roof bars also help with this and the car will be available in two different lengths.

The shorter version coming as a five-seater while the longer one is a seven-seater.

Despite only planning to sell a few thousand Rifters each year in the two bodystyles, Peugeot will still offer five different turbocharged engines – two petrols and three diesels.

The petrols are both 1.2-litre units with either 110bhp or 130bhp, while the diesels are all based on a 1.5-litre engine and are offered in 75bhp, 100bhp and 130bhp forms.

While Rifter buyers aren’t really looking for a performance vehicle, when you’re carrying kit and people it’s useful to have enough shove to make sure the driving experience isn’t a chore.

To that end the 75bhp diesel has a glacial 0 to 60mph time of 17 seconds.

A better bet is any of the other engines that have usefully more poke to them.

The 130bhp diesel has the best overall performance with a 0 to 60mph time of 10.4 seconds and a top speed of 114mph.

Fortunately there’s little change in the economy figures between the diesel engines so you don’t have to pick the slow one to get the best fuel figures.

The average 68.9mpg of the 75bhp diesel is also shared with the 100bhp diesel, while the 130bhp only sees a drop to 65.7mpg.

The Rifter doesn’t behave like a van in the way it drives. Peugeot has done well to tune the suspension of the Rifter so that, even when unladen, the rear doesn’t feel like a typical van and the overall experience is comfortable.

Peugeot Rifter 2018

The new Peugeot Rifter 2018 costs from £17,500 (Image: PEUGEOT )

On a motorway the refinement and stability levels are positively car-like and on twisty roads there is some body roll but it’s in no way excessive.

In fact, the steering is well weighted and allows accurate positioning on the road.

The manual six-speed gearbox fitted to the 130bhp diesel has a positive action and enhances the driving experience.

It can also be specified with Peugeot’s Grip Control electronic traction system that provides extra purchase in slippery conditions, despite its front wheel drive.

The seating position can be adjusted low enough so you can’t see the bonnet but the downside is that it makes judging the position of the front of the car in town and city driving a touch tricky.

However Rifter buyers will be more interested in the interior rather than the driving experience, and the headline figures are pretty amazing.

The boot space in the short version, before you fold the rear seats, is a whopping 775 litres under the parcel shelf.

A Skoda Superb estate has just 660 litres. Want to treat your Rifter as a van?

Peugeot Rifter 2018 interior

The new and improved interior of the Rifter van (Image: PEUGEOT)

Then fold the seats in the long wheelbase version and you’ve got a huge 4,000 litres of space.

If that isn’t impressive enough, the Rifter comes with 186 litres of space in cubby compartments around the cabin.

And the materials used in the cabin and dashboard are not van-like.

There are some harder plastics but the main dashboard is stylish and uses an adaptation of Peugeot’s wraparound iCockpit, which means the controls are all driver-focused and car-like.

As well as having comfortable seats up front there are three full-width seats in the second row, all with Isofix child seat points, and the long wheelbase versions gain two more seats at the back that can be folded down or removed entirely to give extra boot space.

The Rifter’s car-like design means buyers have more choice than ever when looking for a practical vehicle that can cope with everything that life throws at it.

What’s more, the pricing point is expected to be some way below that of SUVs, estate cars and people carriers. For those that don’t care about the van heritage, the new Peugeot Rifter represents a very appealing and sensible package

Peugeot Rifter 2018

The Rifter has modern and appealing styling (Image: PEUGEOT )

Logbook lowdown

Price: £17,500-£21,900

Engines: Turbo-petrol – 1.2, 1.2-litre 130bhp; Turbo-diesel – 1.5, 1.5 100bhp, 1.5-litre 130bhp

Power: 0 to 60mph in 10.4 seconds, 114mph top speed (1.5TD 130bhp)

Fuel economy: 68.9mpg (1.5TD 75bhp) CO2 emissions: 109-131g/km

Rivals: Citroën Berlingo Multispace, Fiat Doblo, Ford Tourneo Connect, Volkswagen Caddy Life, Renault Kangoo

Rating: 8/10



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