If anything deserves the title of credit crunch car, this must be a front-runner. You get loads of room for your money: in terms of interior square footage for the price, it’s decidedly hard to beat. Sue Baker crunches the numbers
The badges on our Peugeot Partner Tepee identify it as the high-spec, range-topping Outdoor version. That’s a really rather contrary choice of name for a car that encloses such a remarkable amount of indoor space. The mere external dimensions of 438cm in length, 181cm width and 186cm height don’t even begin to tell the story of what a cavern it is in there. I know I’m vertically challenged at a mere 5ft 3in, but I can sit in the driving seat with a 12in ruler stood upright on my head and it won’t touch the roof lining. If a trip to a smart wedding were in the offing, chaps could travel to it in the Tepee wearing their top hats instead of merely holding them. Open the tailgate, and it’s Gough’s Cave under the Mendips at Cheddar in there. Think about moving house, and you’ve already got the removal van. You think I’m exaggerating? Well of course I am, but not that much. To show you what I mean, here are a few statistics to be toying with.
I can tell you that the boot of a Rolls-Royce Phantom, just in case you’ve never bothered to measure one, is a lordly 395 litres. That’s more than double the size of a MINI boot, at 160 litres, but it’s a third smaller than a Maybach boot’s 605 litres. How about a Volvo XC90, which by most standards is a big car. It has a boot that stretches from a standard 249 litres, to a maximum 1,837 litres with the back seats folded. They’re all small fry compared with a mighty Hummer H2’s boot. Pack the back of this gargantuan brute with fluid packs, and you’ll tot up a cavernous 1,189 litres that soars to 2,624 litres with rear seats stowed out of the way. As well you might expect of a car wearing a £50,000 price tag.
Which brings me back to our bonny brick of a car, the Tepee long-termer. You can buy three Partner Tepee Outdoors for the price of an H2 and still have five grand to spare. But sorry Hummer, monolith of the road you may be, your boot space is meagrecompared with the room in our humble Peugeot. With the back seats out of the way, there’s 3,000 litres of cargo capacity in there. Indoors in the Outdoor, it’s huge.
Just to be fair, I searched really hard to find another car on the UK market with even more load space. I found a couple. The Cadillac Escalade can squeeze in 3,084 litres of goodness-knows-what, which is quite a few more pints than will fit into a Tepee. But we’re talking about an almost £50k yank tank here. Or you could go for a Chrysler Grand Voyager and max out at a mega 3,296 litres. The bill would be around £25k. The current price for our Partner Tepee Outdoor comes in at £14,545. My case rests. Litre of luggage space for £ spent, the Tepee has the rest licked. It works out at £4.84 per litre of carrying capacity. A MINI, maximum boot space 680 litres with seats folded, comes in at £18.15 a litre. A Phantom’s sumptuously carpeted boot space tots up at a breath-thumping £668 a litre. The Tepee isn’t the prettiest of cars, but it’s a honey compared with the cliff-faced Roller. You don’t get under-floor, under-seat and in-the-roof stowage in a Phantom. You do in the Tepee. This Outdoor model is kitted out with aircraft style overhead lockers. It’s a miracle of imaginative stowage.
I’ve got a gripe, though. Between the front seats is a storage tray that’s just another example of every nook and cranny in this car being taken up with places to put things. It’s the ultimate ‘stuff’ carrier. But the tween-the-seats tray is too shallow and anything you place there tends to slide out into the rear footwell pretty damn quickly. Luckily, with this car you’re never short of alternative places to tuck things away.
- Engine: 1560cc, 4-cylinder turbodiesel
- Gearbox: 5-speed manual
- Max Power: 90bhp at 4,000rpm
- Max Torque: 158lb ft at 1,750rpm
- Max Towing Weight: 1,300kg
- Combined Consumption: 49.5mpg govt figures (46.2mpg on test)
- CO2 Emissions (Taxband): 150g/km (C)
- Max Speed: 100mph
- 0-62mph: 14.3secs
- Insurance Group: 3
- Date arrived: November 2008
- Mileage on delivery: 440 miles
- Mileage to date: 1,916 miles
- Costs to date: None
- Faults to date: None