When a family has outgrown a standard car based 7-seat MPV the options become, at best, limited. People carrying is a job where practicality takes precedence over style. There is no denying that the imposing Peugeot Traveller 8-seat people carrier is van derived but we must acknowledge that the Expert van it is based on is not a bad looking vehicle to start off with. At 1.9m tall the Traveller is not that tall for a van and it will fit in to most car parks without the driver feeling the need to duck!
The Traveller has lots of space plus it features double the amount of ISOFIX child seats most car based MPVs offer with six! Available in Ireland in two body lengths of ‘Standard’ and ‘Long’, the entry standard model 8-seater has three rows of full size seats. Two individual seats up front for the driver and passenger and two three-seat benches behind in rows two and three. Our test car even featured massage settings on the front two heated seats.
Some interesting options are available like a HUD head up display (€545) and a huge split panoramic sunroof is available for €1,170 that really brightens up the rear of the cabin. On the safety side €780 buys a ‘safety’ pack that includes lane departure warning, speed limit recognition, driver attention alert, intelligent speed adaption and smart beam headlights.
Three diesels are available with the entry point a 1.5 litre Blue HDi with 120hp. The more powerful choice is a 2 litre with 150hp, while the range topping Business VIP automatic models produce more power at 180hp. Six speed manual and EAT8 8 speed automatic gearboxes are available. WLTP emissions are low and model dependent, ranging from band B1 127g/CO2 (€270) to band C (€390) 145g/CO2.
The latest version of Peugeot’s faux all wheel drive ‘Grip Control’ is available with Traveller. A dash mounted dial allows the driver select the type of terrain the Traveller needs to traverse and then electronic wizardry coupled with winter tyres makes the two wheel drive car move as if it had all wheel drive traction. Snow, sand, off-road, highway and off are the dial’s options.
On the convenience side there is an ‘easy entry’ pack (€1,150) that features keyless entry and start, twin electric sliding side doors, an electric hands free tailgate and electronic locking fuel flap. The tailgate glass area can open independently to the full tailgate – handy when searching through luggage on the ferry or loading shopping in tight car parks. Dark privacy glass for rows two and three (€135) is available as are 17 inch diamond cut alloys (€720). In car entertainment options include a ‘HiFi’ pack for €1,325 that upgrades the sound system and adds a subwoofer. €585 buys the 3D Nav 7 touchscreen DAB radio option.
Pricing starts from €38,600 for the Active Standard model (€40,410 Long) – when you compare this to say a VW Transporter Shuttle it is very cheap. With the level two ‘Allure’ Standard you get a more luxurious experience – again for a fraction of the cost from €44,250 (€46,060 Long). The Business VIP grade in standard and long versions offer a VW Caravelle rivalling experience. Pricing for these executive focussed machines starts at €54,930 (€56,650 Long). A five year warranty is standard with Traveller and all Peugeots.
On the road the driving position is commanding and similar to a large SUV. The blocky nature of the Traveller’s body makes manoeuvring it and placing it on the road a doddle. In no time you are driving the big machine just like a car as it shrinks around you. Dynamic driving is not what the Traveller is about but it corners and manages twisty routes better than you’d expect. My main niggle concerns the slow steering that makes slow speed manoeuvring a bit of a chore. If it was geared for a a faster response it would need less arm work and be more enjoyable.