Whe Malaysians think of people carriers, the default choice for the luxury MPV market seems to be the Toyota Alphard and the Toyota Vellfire, with the majority of them coming from the grey market. Prices range from under RM200,000 to almost RM400,000 depending on year and spec, and it seems to be unchallenged, until now.
Brought in as the offical car of the SEA Games, the Peugeot Travller is an 8-seat, diesel powered, luxury MPV. We took it on a Route Hunters style road trip to the Penang Island Jazz Festival to see what its capable of. So if you’re thinking of buying those Japanese MPV’s, here are 8 reasons why this Peugeot is worth at least a test drive before making your purchase.
- Size Does Matter
It was the tagline to the Godzilla movie from 1998, and it suits the Peugeot Traveller. This car is huge, like chalet huge. In fact, one of our Route Hunters went as far to say “Do we have to pay ‘cukai tanah’ each time we park somewhere more than 24 hours?” To put things into perspective, here’s a data sheet showing how the Peugeot Traveller sizes up next to its competition.
The Peugoet Traveller is wider (1920mm vs 1850mm), longer (4956mm vs 4930mm), and has a longer wheelbase (3275mm vs 3000mm) compared to the Toyota duo, freeing up valuable cabin space
- The interior is a bottomless pit
The upside of having the biggest dimensions in its class is class leading cabin space, and the cabin of the Peugeot Traveller is a very nice place to be. There are 8 (compared to 7 in the two Toyota’s) leathe clad seats, which can be folded or completely removed (except for the front 2).
14 storage compartments provide a total of 54 liters of storage space in the cabin itself. You access the rear cabin via twin MASSIVE electric doors which can be remotely opened. All our luggage and Coleman equipment were easily swallowed up by the 550 liters of storage space with the seats up.
- Home-like interior
All seats are very well spaced, even the rear 3 could easily accommodate someone of my size, even for long durations (over 30 minutes). The seat itself provide plenty of support and behind the 1st row seats, there are trays just like you get in a commercial airliner. Extremely handy when trying to gobble lunch when stuck in one of Penang’s worst weekend traffic.
Even the panoramic roof in this car is split so the left and right ones can be operated independantly. If you have kids or friends that behave like kids, its going to solve lots of arguements.
The rear gets its own airconditioning system that you could double this MPV as a Refrigerated Transport vehicle! Also, it comes with, and I kid you not, a 3 pin 230V outlet in the car. We even brought an extention cord to charge our equipment on the go.
- Power to the People –mover
Despite being the size of a small chalet, the Peugeot Traveller does not require a calendar to measure its acceleration times. Powered by a 2.0 liter turbodiesel, the car produces 150bhp and 370Nm of torque from 1750rpm – 2500rpm, so even if the Toyota’s 2.4 liter petrol engine pumps out 177bhp, its nowhere near in terms of torque with only 235Nm. Even the 3.5 liter V6 produces only 340Nm at 4700rpm.
On top of that, both Toyota’s weigh in at around the 2 tonne figure. The Peugeot Traveller only weights in at only 1660kg thanks to clever engineering and materials. With that diesel engine propelling a relatively light weight for an MPV its size via a 6 speed auto box, the Peugeot Traveller does move pretty briskly and on our cross country drive, it returned a very decent 8.4 liters/100km over a distance of 1226 km despite getting stuck in some of the worst traffic crawls between Penang to the Klang Valley. Remember, we only spent on Diesel.
- Floats like a Butterfly, stings like a Bee
All that 370Nm is completely useless if there’s no way to harness the power and the Peugeot Travellers bulk safely and comfortably. The electric steering and suspension setup makes the Traveller a real agile thing to move around town. We tried the car with different drivers, and all of them could hustle it easily along twisty country roads and tight city streets.
There’s plenty of confidence even at speeds over 90 kph on B-Roads. The diesel engine pulls strongly and the suspension and brakes gives plenty of confidence to the driver. Even the lights illuminated a long way ahead and I had no worries hustling this car on country roads.
- Tech at finger Tips
One thing great about the car is the array of creature comfort tech it has. Firstly are the HUGE doors. Unlike a Hyundai Starex, this car has dual electronic doors, which opens and closes via the push of a button. You can even do this via the remote control or the buttons on the dash
One more funky detail is the fact that you select the gears via a rotary dial, Jaguar style. Besides being cool to use, it also frees up space upfront. There’s also a head up display which was especially usefull during the night drive as I could monitor my speed without having to take my eyes off the road.
The infotainment system is the 7 inch touchscreen which we are pretty familiar with, now with Mirrorlink and Apple car play. The handy part would be bluetooth function and its awesome proximity sensor – reverse camera combo. It takes multiple pictures as you reverse, stitches it, creating a 180 degree image of the vehicles surrounding and that allows you to squeeze in the tightest spaces with complete ease. Check out the video below on how it works.
- Safety First
Ok serious talk, this is the only MPV in this segment with a Euro NCAP 5 star rating. Which means in the event of a worst case scenario, where whatever autonomous braking and electronic gimmicks mean nothing, your loved ones and you are kept safe by one of the safest crash structures on 4 wheels.
Another feature that was extremely helpful was the Blind Spot Monitoring System which neither of the Toyota’s have. Handy when changing lanes in a car like the Traveller.
Complimenting the Euro NCAP 5 star body is 6 airbags, ESP, ABS, EBD, EBA, ASR, and DSC. What it meant was, despite a heavy downpour, your Peugeot Traveller will be sticking true to the road in any emergency manouvers. Check out this video where we bring the traveller down from the Malihon Resort in Balik Pulau on a very steep and twisty road with ease.
- Boss sudah gila pricing
The only two rivals that comes close to the all round ability of the Peugeot Traveller is the Toyota Alphard and the Toyota Vellfire. These are cars that cost RM408,400 and RM345,141 brand new from Toyota Malaysia. Grey import cars with no Euro NCAP rating published, no service history, no warranty, no after sales support cost between RM 170,000 to RM400,00.
The bigger Peugeot Traveller, which has more seats, better safety features, more torque with good fuel consumption, and almost similar creature comfort features cost only RM169,888. It also comes with 5 year / 120,000 km warranty from Nasim, an offical dealer of the brand.
It was a hectic week, the time we had the Peugeot Traveller with us. For RM169,888, we would anytime buy this car over a grey import Alphard or a Vellfire for the safety it provides, space, its diesel driveterrain, and its road holding capabilities. If we were to complain about something it would be the manual handbrake and the slightly hoppy ride on some really bumpy roads which is negligable compared to the rest of the car. This is the most amount of car you can buy for this price, and you are not shortchanged in any way. If you are in the market for an MPV in this price range, the Peugeot Traveller is definately worth a test drive.