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Peugeot Rifter (2018 - 2020)

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By Jonathan Crouch

Introductionword count: 99

It's easy to see the appeal of a van-based mid-sized MPV. You get a lot more space than a more car-like People Carrier of similar size - and for a lot less money. You can also see though, why customers steer away from utilitarian models of this sort. Who wants to look like a delivery driver? So what if you could have a five or seven-seat vehicle of this kind with car-like looks and LCV-based versatility? That's what Peugeot's Rifter set out to provide. Here, we look at the combustion versions of this model sold between 2018 and 2020.

Modelsword count: 7

5dr SUV (EV) [Active, Allure, GT Line]

Historyword count: 352

So, would you buy a van-based MPV? Once, not very long ago, the idea of strapping your offspring into the back of something designed for parcels and plumbing equipment seemed a little odd but, as with so many things, time has brought much greater acceptance of the idea. It helps of course that the product has become much more car-like. Take, as an example, Peugeot's offering in this segment, the Rifter, first launched in combustion form back in 2018. This was that French maker's version of the third generation version of Citroen's hugely successful Berlingo mid-sized People Carrier, so even if you haven't heard the name before, you can rest assured that you're buying into a well established product. This Rifter also shared its engineering with Vauxhall's offering in this sector, the Combo Life. Thanks to SUV styling cues and this smart, sharky front end, you won't be immediately pigeon-holed as a delivery driver when you drop the kids off at school. Nor does the interior feel particularly utilitarian. And there's just as much camera-driven safety tech and media connectivity as you'd get in any modern family hatch from this period. Certainly more than you'd find in other significant van-based mid-sized MPV models in this sector from this time like the Ford Tourneo Connect and the Volkswagen Caddy Life. As with those competitors, this Peugeot offered a choice of short and long wheelbase body shapes and five or seven-seat interior configurations. Plus, to distance itself from its in-house Citroen and Vauxhall rivals, this car adopted its brand's more focused 'i-Cockpit' instrument binnacle design. It was all a decent step forward from Peugeot's previous contender in this segment, the Partner Tepee, which launched in 2008 to replace the previous Partner Escapade and sold until the launch of this Rifter in mid-2018. You probably won't remember those two models, but there's a fair chance that buyers in this sector looking for a small used MPV might take a good bit more notice of this one. In 2020, Peugeot discontinued sales of the combustion version of this Rifter, limited this model to a full-electric powertrain.

What You Getword count: 550

Peugeot reckoned that this Rifter would bring 'dynamism' to the van-based mid-sized MPV segment, which was over-stating things a bit but at first glance, this MPV was certainly a little more visually interesting than practical products of this kind had previously tended to be. The distinctive Peugeot family nose borrowed from the sharky look pioneered by the second generation 508. From the side, you might pick up the designers' intention to give this model something of an SUV vibe, delivered courtesy of heavily emphasised strangely indented wheel arches, substantial swathes of black plastic lower cladding and standard roof rails. It all creates a chunky, Tonka toy-type vibe suggesting that this Rifter might be up for the odd adventure. Peugeot offered buyers not only a 4.4m 'Standard' body shape but also an alternative 4.75m 'Long' body style which was intended to deliver a lot more space for those wanting to get their Rifter fitted out with a third seating row. Inside up front, quite a few changes were made over previous models that Peugeot had offered in this segment. One area of distinct improvement lay in the area of infotainment, courtesy of a large 8-inch capacitive centre-dash screen which came fitted above entry-level trim. Slightly more intriguing though, was the other key enhancement, this one applicable to all models - the brand's much talked-about so-called 'i-Cockpit' design, which used a much smaller little three-spoke wheel. You view the dials over the top of its rim, rather than conventionally through its spokes. We've saved arguably the best bit though, until last: cabin practicality. If you were to add up the capacity of all the 28 different nooks and crannies available within the interior of this Rifter, you'd arrive at a figure of 192-litres - about as much as you'd get in the entire boot of a city car. Enough on what the front of the cabin's like: what about the second row? Both short and long wheelbase Rifter models offer access to this part of the car via sliding side doors. The sliding doors are rather heavy to close from the inside and this format means you can't have door pockets either. Still, on the plus side, this second row offers enough space to suit a wide variety of passenger shapes and sizes. There are vast standards of headroom and because the centre transmission tunnel is virtually non-existent, it's straightforward to accommodate three fully-sized adults if need be. Let's take a closer look at boot space. Whatever way this Rifter is specified, its cargo area will be vast. The 'Standard'-length model has 775-litres of boot space to the window line - or up to 3,000-litres if you were to fold the rear bench and load to the ceiling. Most models got a fold-flat front passenger seat too. Activate that on a long wheelbase model and you could be looking at as much as 4,000-litres of total carriage capacity. And enough loading length to accommodate something as long as a kayak inside. If you just need the boot area, a nice touch is the way that the parcel shelf just mentioned can be positioned at two heights and can take a reasonable amount of weight. Enough so as you could put the family dog on top of it, with your shopping safe below.

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Category: MPV People Carriers

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This is an excerpt from our full review.
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