THE name Bipper Tepee promises a fun, nifty little car, something with quirky styling and even quirkier personalisation options on the inside, perhaps. And, while it’s no Nissan Cube on the styling front, it’s fair to say that Peugeot’s Bipper Tepee is a reasonably fun-looking car. That said, it does bear more than a passing resemblance to two other members of a trio of people-moving mini-MPV ‘vanettes’ available in the UK – the Fiat Qubo and Citroen Nemo – because underneath they are essentially the same car. With its boxy shape and a face with a neat snout and exaggerated underbite, roof bars and a slightly higher ride height give the Bipper Tepee a spot of sportiness.
Presented as an economical and sensible choice of family car, the Bipper Tepee promises to be a frugal runaround for commuting during the week and a practical load lugger for outdoor adventures at the weekend.
Unfortunately, you’ll not be able to go too far, too fast in the Bipper Tepee. Okay, so you can’t expect sports car thrills from a vehicle that takes 16.8 seconds to reach 62mph, with a top speed of 99mph, but in this day and age it feels quite unusual to be in a car as slow as this. Around town the car is fine but out on the motorway it feels slow and noisy. This is not a car that majors in refinement. It has evolved from a van after all.
On a sweep down the A2 I was expecting a less than earth-moving experience. Even so I wasn’t expecting to have to push the Bipper Tepee quick so hard to get there: a trip out into the middle lane felt indulgent, into the outside lane positively foolhardy. Instead I sat in the slow lane and enjoyed the view. Which is good, thanks to the huge windscreen and high driving position. The view out of it is one of the car’s greatest assets, with a sloping dash and huge windows in the front and sizeable ones in the back, so passengers too get plenty of glass to look through.
Space and practicality is what the Bipper Tepee does best. There’s plenty of space for handbags, toys, snacks, books, drinks, newspapers and other weekend-away paraphernalia. The interior, though, is plain dull and plasticky. But then it’s also easy to clean. Which, as any dog owner or rearer of children will tell you, is a decision that is paramount in the buying process. If you need even more space the rear seat can be folded to return the Bipper Tepee to the van it once was. The sliding doors are very practical for rear-seat passengers, especially if you’re shoehorned between two Range Rovers in a Sainsbury’s car park.
Rear parking sensors are another option that might prove useful particularly as the rugged bumpers stick out quite so much. You wouldn’t want to back too close to a wall though if you wanted to get shopping into this car because its tailgate door is so tall. Having said that, it’s excellent for sheltering from the rain if you’re caught in a sudden downpour in the Peak District. If you’re looking for something cheap and cheerful and practical then the Bipper Tepee could be for you. It’s certainly no-frills, even no thrills – the most exciting thing about this little MPV is its name – but as a practical way of getting to the hills, as cheaply as possible, stuffed full with bikes and gear, it’s a clever choice.
THE FACTS: PEUGEOT BIPPER TEPEE OUTDOOR CAR
TOP SPEED: 99mph
CO2 G/KM: 113g/km
MPG COMBINED: 65.6mpg
VALUE FOR MONEY