Peugeot Bipper MPV (2009 - ) review
Read the Peugeot Bipper Tepee MPV (2009 - ) car review by Auto Trader's motoring experts, covering price, specification, running costs, practicality, safety and how it drives.
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Two trim levels are available, S and Style. Basic models come with remote locking, electric front windows and a radio and CD player, while forking out for the pricier model – which is what we recommend doing – earns you air-conditioning, roof bars and front fog lamps. Conspicuous by their absence on both trims are alloy wheels, rear parking sensors and a Bluetooth phone connection. They’re all available as options, but many rivals get them as standard.
Thanks to its tall, boxy shape, it’s obvious the Peugeot Bipper Tepee is based on a van, but that said, it’s quite a funky van. With a big grille and protruding front bumper, it has a friendly look that will appeal to some family-focused customers. Granted, the Tepee doesn’t look as interesting or as elegant as the Citroen C3 Picasso or Nissan Note, but it has a certain individuality that some buyers will love.
The Bipper Tepee has a distinctly van-like interior, with an upright driving position behind a simple, functional dashboard. Not only does that mean everything is as easy to use as a knife and fork, the seats are comfortable and visibility is excellent, too. However, there’s little inside to excite you. The plastics are hard and unappealing, while the colour scheme is rather drab.
There’s just one engine available in the Bipper Tepee, a 1.3-litre diesel with 74bhp. You can have it with either a conventional five-speed manual gearbox or an irritatingly jerky semi-automatic ‘box, but whichever you pick, performance is pedestrian at best and sluggish at worst. You’ll often need to make a downshift to make it up even moderate inclines, and overtaking is best avoided altogether. Most of the Bipper’s rivals are pokier, and therefore more relaxing to drive.
The key to this car is its boxy shape, which gives a tall, wide and reasonably long load space. The boot measures 356 litres with all five seats in place, and with the rear seats folded down, you get the sort of volume that the Tepee’s van-like proportions suggest. That said, folding the chairs, or removing them altogether, requires a bit of muscle because they’re quite heavy. The rear seats don’t have the sliding function that those in many rival MPVs do, so versatility is a little bit limited, but the sliding rear doors make it easy to get into the car in tight parking spaces. One you’re in, headroom is generous and legroom is pretty good, too.
The Bipper Tepee is based on a van, and that in itself should make it as tough as old boots. It should also give it the ability to take high mileages in its stride. Peugeot performs reasonably well in Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index, sitting in the top half of the manufacturer standings.
Ride and handling
You want an MPV to have a comfortable ride, and to that end, the Tepee has a fairly soft suspension. The approach is largely successful; the car stays comfortable on most sorts of road, mopping up the majority of lumps and bumps effectively. However, you’ll often hear the suspension going about its work, and the payoff for the softness is that you feel plenty of body roll in bends. The light steering won’t give you much confidence, either, but it’s a big plus point at lower speeds, because it makes the car very easy to manoeuvre.
While the diesel might not offer great performance, it’s cheap to run. It returns an official fuel figure of 62.8mpg when combined with the manual gearbox, and the figure increases to 68.9mpg when you opt for the semi-auto. CO2 emissions are correspondingly low, making this a cheap company car. It’s affordable to buy, too, but bear in mind that limited appeal on the used market will mean fairly weak resale values.
Electronic stability control is fitted as standard across the range, along with driver, passenger and side airbags. However, curtain ’bags aren’t available, even as options. The Bipper itself hasn’t been crash-tested by Euro NCAP, but the near-identical and now-defunct Citroen Nemo Multispace scored only three out of five stars. Granted, the Peugeot does have more safety kit than the Citroen did, but the signs still aren’t all that encouraging when most rivals these days score the full five stars.
The Peugeot Bipper Tepee gives you lots of interior space without taking up much space on the road, and it’s affordable to buy. That in itself will be very attractive for some buyers. However, there are compromises to be made, namely in performance, luxury and equipment.