Driving a new multifunctional model from the French brand
It is not easy to sell three clones of equally good cars based on a common concept, and even more difficult to arrange each of the products so that it has enough space in the sun.
Here's a concrete example - the PSA EMP2 platform wears three nearly identical products: Peugeot Rifter, Opel Combo и Citroen Berlingo. The models are available in a short version with five seats and a length of 4,45 meters, as well as a long version with seven seats and a body length of 4,75 meters. PSA's idea is for Combo to be the elite of the trio, Berlingo the pragmatic choice, and the Rifter the adventurer.
The front of the car is designed in the style already familiar to us from Peugeot 308, 3008, etc., but at the same time it is unusually angular and muscular for a representative of the French brand.
Combined with a tall and wide body, complemented by 17-inch wheels and side panels, the Rifter really comes close to the popular category of SUV and crossover models.
The interior architecture is already well known from the other two platforms, which is actually very good news - the driving position is excellent, the eight-inch screen rises high on the center console, the transmission control stick fits comfortably in the driver's hand, dark tones.
The plastic is pleasing to the eye, and the overall ergonomics are at a very good level. In terms of the number and volume of places for storing and storing things, they are not inferior to passenger buses - in this respect, the Rifter is presented as an excellent companion on long trips.
There is even a console with stowage compartments on the ceiling - a solution reminiscent of aircraft construction. According to the manufacturer, the total luggage compartment volume reaches 186 liters, which corresponds to the entire trunk of a small car.
Instead of the classic rear sofa, the car has three separate seats, each with Isofix hooks for attaching a child seat, which can be adjusted or folded. The boot capacity of the five-seater version is an impressive 775 liters, and with the seats folded down, the long wheelbase version can hold up to 4000 liters.
Advanced traction control
Because Peugeot is committed to making the Rifter an adventurous and active lifestyle, the model is equipped with additional technologies to make it easier to drive on poorly paved roads - Hill Start Assist and Advanced Grip Control.
The braking impulses optimally distribute traction between the wheels of the front axle. At a later stage, the model will likely receive a full-fledged all-wheel drive system. Depending on the equipment level, the Rifter offers a very wide range of driver assistance systems, including adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, active lane keeping assist, fatigue sensor, automatic high beam control, reversing with a 180 degree view, and blind spots.
On the road
The tested car was equipped with the top engine in the model range at the moment - a diesel 1.5 BlueHDI 130 Stop & Start with 130 hp. and 300 Nm. Typically, a small displacement turbo diesel requires a certain RPM to feel really energetic.
Thanks to a well-matched six-speed transmission and powerful tractive effort at more than 2000 rpm, the character of the car is even more than satisfactory, the same applies to agility.
In everyday life, the Rifter proves every kilometer traveled that the qualities that buyers hypothetically look for in a crossover or SUV can actually be found in much more meaningful and affordable cars - the seating position in the front row provides a very valuable experience.
The visibility is excellent and the maneuverability is surprisingly good for a one meter and eighty-five centimeters wide car. The road behavior is safe and easily predictable, and the driving comfort is good even on really bad roads.
As for the internal volume, no matter how much they write about this, the functionality of this car is worth checking live. If we assume that there is a ratio of price-useful volume-practicality, then, without a doubt, the Rifter will become a real champion in this indicator.
In the Rifter, a person sits high above the road, has excellent visibility in all directions and a huge internal volume. Aren't these the arguments used when buying a crossover or SUV?
By opting for this type of modern car, buyers will undoubtedly gain more prestige and fuel their egos, but will not get any more practicality or better functionality. For a model less than 4,50 meters long, the Rifter is surprisingly spacious inside, offering great family travel options at a very reasonable price.