Full electrification's the fashion at present, even for MPV buyers. Jonathan Crouch looks at Peugeot's e-Rifter

Ten Second Review

If you can afford the higher asking price and can cope with the 172 mile driving range, then there aren't too many other downsides in opting for the fully electric Peugeot e-Rifter, the only Rifter variant now on offer. It certainly might be tempting option if you're looking for a full-electric compact family car and don't want a compact SUV. Here, there's the option of a 7-seat cabin too, which is rare to find in an EV at present. Except with the Citroen and Peugeot models than share this one's design.


The segment for compact People Carriers has recently gained something of a fresh lease of life, courtesy of EV power. What used to be called the PSA Group has doggedly continued to sell small MPVs as sales in this sector have declined and now may reap the benefit, with fully electrified versions of the Citroen Berlingo, the Vauxhall Combo and the subject of this test, Peugeot's e-Rifter.

As with those two in-house rivals, it gets the 50kWh battery that Peugeot, Citroen and Vauxhall seem to fit to every EV they make, even the biggest MPVs. Here of course, a battery of that size is far more appropriate and it's been built into the car in a way that doesn't compromise cabin space. Sounds interesting.

Driving Experience

There's not too much to get used to in driving an e-Rifter. You're offered three driving modes - 'ECO', 'Normal' and 'Power'. You won't want to spend too long in 'ECO', unless you really are eeking out battery capacity, because it reduces the powertrain's normal 134bhp output to just 80bhp and also restricts the climate system to conserve power. Peugeot suggests that you do most of your driving in the 'Normal' setting, which increases the motor output to 107bhp. The top 'Power' mode isn't really intended for sporty driving but for situations when you're carrying heavy loads. The powertrain also has a 'B' setting which increases the level of regenerative braking to a point where the car slows so much when you come off throttle that you'll very rarely need to use the brake, unless you're coming to a complete stop.

You'll want to know about driving range, which is claimed at 172 miles for this Standard length model. Like all electric vehicles, this one has a bit of a weight problem - that drivetrain adds over 300kgs of bulk - but that arguably helps the e-Rifter when it comes to ride quality; you'll feel things like speed humps keenly, but at speed on the open road, it handles tarmac tears a little better than its combustion cousins.

Design and Build

There’s very little outward differentiation to identify this particular Rifter’s all-electric status. Unless you notice the lack of tailpipes and the addition of a charging flap, extra badging and trim accents are the only giveaways. As with a normal combustion-powered Rifter, you get a choice of wheelbases – ‘M’ (for ‘Medium’); or ‘XL’, the latter enabling the fitment of a third row of seats.

Because the battery pack is mounted beneath this MPV model's floor, cabin space is not compromised at all over comparable combustion engined Rifter models. Which means that there's simply loads of luggage space. Even the 5-seat short wheelbase 'M' model can swallow 775-litres in its boot, while the long wheelbase 'XL' version has a capacity of up to 1,050-litres. In addition, if you're taking really long items, the front passenger seat can be folded flat, allowing items like surfboards of up to 3,050mm long to be taken inside 'XL' models.

Market and Model

There are two trim levels on offer - 'Allure Premium' and 'GT'. Both use the same 50kWh battery, which powers a 134bhp motor. If you want a choice of body lengths - and the option of 7 seats - you'll need to specify base 'Allure Premium' spec. For that, pricing starts at just over £30,000 after deduction of the £1,500 government Plug-in Car Grant. You'll need around £35,000 if you want 'Allure Premium' spec with the 7-seat 'Long' body shape. This top 'GT' model comes only in 'Standard' length 5-seat form and costs from just under £35,000.

All 'Allure Premium' models are delivered as standard with a capacitive eight-inch touchscreen featuring both 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto'. Inside, 'Allure Premium' models also come with Puma cloth upholstery, a folding front passenger seat and a 1/3-2/3 folding second row bench.

The e-Rifter's safety tally's reasonable, all models fitted with Peugeot's Safety Pack that features Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Safety Brake, Cruise Control with a Speed Limiter, Speed Limit Recognition and Recommendation, plus Driver Attention Alert. In addition, all models also come as standard with rear parking sensors.

Cost of Ownership

We mentioned the WLTP-rated range in our Driving Experience section - 172 miles. To optimise range, you'll need to make full use of the car's regenerative braking system, regularly activating the provided 'B' mode via the central console to maximise energy recovery during braking. As you'd want, the e-Rifter supports up to 100kW rapid (DC) charging, with an 80% re-charge taking less than 30 minutes, while a full charge from a 7.4 kW single-phase wallbox takes 7.5 hours thanks to the 7.4kW on-board charger.

Customers with access to three-phase power can specify an optional 11kW on-board charger that will charge the e-Rifter in 4 hours 45 minutes, when using a wallbox that also supports this faster home-charging solution.

Maintenance intervals are much as they would be for a combustion model, but there'll be less for the workshop to do, so costs should be lower. There are plenty of Peugeot outlets to choose from, so you should never be too far from one. So you can budget ahead, the French maker offers a pre-paid servicing scheme that lets you pay either a one-off fee or monthly instalments to cover the cost of the routine upkeep of your car for as long as three years and 35,000 miles.


There must be plenty of people out there who want a family-shaped compact electric vehicle - maybe as a second car - but don't want an SUV. It would have to be realistically priced, have an acceptable driving range and not look too van-like. The e-Rifter, to our eyes anyway, ticks all these boxes.


CAR: Peugeot e-Rifter

PRICES: £30,450-£34,910



PERFORMANCE: 0-62mph 8.7s / Max Speed 93mph


BOOT CAPACITY: [litres] 775 {M}

WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: Length/Width/Height 4403/2107/1878 mm