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SOMETIMES IT PAYS to go beyond your first impressions. To my eyes, the Peugeot Partner Tepee looks as exciting as a teetotaler’s Saturday night, but the more I drive it the more I like it.


Being based on a van has its advantages. For a mid-sized car there’s a lot of space inside. Headroom is very generous, and there’s plenty of legroom front and rear, too.


There’s an open and airy feel to the cabin. The deep windows let in lots of light, which together with the high seating position gives small children a much better view out than they get in most MPVs.


Kids will like the sliding rear doors, too, which make it easy for passengers to get in and out when the car’s parked in a narrow space. If my daughter’s anything to go by small children will think the sliding doors are ‘magic’ and won’t want to go back to travelling in a car with boring old hinged doors.


If anything, luggage space is even more impressive. There’s 675 litres with all five seats in place, rising to a maximum of 3000 litres.


The Peugeot’s even surprisingly good to drive. The 92bhp 1.6-litre diesel is refined and pulls cleanly from low revs. Cornering is neat and tidy and unless the road surface is really rough the ride is comfortable.


We didn’t get the chance to tow with this particular Partner Tepee, a 1.6 HDi 92 Outdoor. However, we know from past experience that the Partner Tepee is a solid if rather slow tug. The biggest black mark is the restrictive towing limit of just 1300kg, which is well below 85% of the car’s kerbweight.


However, if you tow a lightweight tourer and practicality means more to you than looks, the Peugeot deserves a test drive, especially with its list price of just £15,845.