* The Peugeot Traveller.
* The Traveller's interior.
Traveller road test by Steve Rogers
so long ago no family was complete without a people carrier.
were born in the eighties, the brainchild of Renault whose innovative Espace
brought a whole new meaning to big family motoring. With seven comfy individual
seats it was a bit like taking a trip in a miniature luxury coach.
French company caught its rivals napping but habits change, the people carriers
were a bit too big, not to mention expensive, and were pushed out by the
smaller MPVs – Peugeot 5008, Ford S-Max, Vauxhall Zafira, Citroen Picasso etc.
we are left with are the diehard Volkswagen Sharan, Seat Alhambra and Ford
Peugeot has come up with a new people carrier. Well, sort of. The Traveller is
not bespoke, it's based on the Expert van, a very good one as it happens, brim
full of cutting edge technology, and just the job for throwing in such luxuries
as heated and massaging leather front seats, tinted windows, thick pile carpets
and few more homely touches.
PSA group - that's Peugeot and Citroen - has joined forces with Toyota so if
you think the Japanese company's Proace, Citroen Space Tourer and Pug Traveller
look like triplets you would be right because only the front grille and badge
setting them apart, oh and Peugeot would say its Traveller is far more
luxurious, and it would be right. More expensive as well.
it work as a people carrier? Surely the firm suspension needed for commercial
work compromises ride comfort for passengers.
might, except this is not a heavy duty van, so the starting point offers the
best of both worlds. My first journey was solo along B roads and the van DNA
was obvious. Road rumbles came up through the suspension and it became obvious
that Traveller does not have the composure of a big car.
decent A roads and motorways the ride is fine and it got better with six people
and luggage to settle it down, in fact Traveller got universal praise for
comfort from the four back seat passengers.
seat configuration is two-three-three with the second and third rows each
having a 70/30 split, all on runners so there are a multitude of combinations. Legroom
is ample for all adults but be aware boot space is limited on the shortest of
the three versions when all the seats are in play.
maximise capacity for our trip one two-seater was taken out so there was extra
luggage space which was just as well given the boxes of wine that materialised.
Versatility is the key here and movement between the rows is fairly easy. For
carrying big items, and I mean big, all the seats can be lifted out but the doubles
are heavy beggars so get a mate to give a hand.
it is being used as a van or people carrier Traveller has car like driving
habits. Driving position is good with adjustable steering column, nicely
weighted steering, and dashboard mounted stick for the six speed gearbox.
test car was the six speed automatic with a manual option operated from
steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. The change is smooth enough but
throttle response from start is a tad slow and can catch you out at busy
features found on high spec cars are all here, electric windows, air
conditioning, navigation, automatic wipers and headlights with auto dipping function
along with a 360 degree rear camera which, incidentally, has brilliant
passengers get roof mounted heating controls, although it wasn't that effective,
but the wide opening powered sliding doors went down particularly well along
with the glass roof panels which pour light into a dark area.
useful feature not found on many cars is cabin storage space. There are loads of
cubbies on the Traveller.
isn't forgotten either with the excellent blind spot alert, a huge help on
motorways picking up an overtaking car that can be out of site for a split
second. Adaptive cruise control is another good safety feature on busy
motorways as well as keeping the driver on the right side of average speed
cameras. And should it snow the Traveller has Peugeot's highly praised grip
control system which does exactly what it says on the tin, providing extra grip
in slippery conditions.
prize goes to the windscreen head up display, perfectly positioned in the
driver's eyeline for speed and navigation instructions. It's a brilliant aid
and the sooner it is standard on all cars the better.
is performance aplenty from the most powerful engine option, a 2-litre turbo diesel,
which averaged between 39 and 41mpg over 1400 miles.
a couple of irritations: Lighting is needed for the temperature switches on the
dashboard and the cruise/speed limiter stalk is hidden behind the steering
wheel and difficult to use.
don't see a lot of family's heading for the Traveller. It might be well
equipped but £39k will buy a very decent big SUV. But it is perfect for VIP travel
and taxi work.
turbo diesel 180bhp auto
First year road tax £830