Jeremy Clarkson: Laugh at the Peugeot Rifter all you want, but I loved it

Liking a van-derived Peugeot MPV? Has Clarkson lost it?

JEREMY Clarkson isn’t often complimentary about Peugeots. He quite liked the Peugeot 2008 but even having highlighted its good points, he couldn’t help concluding that he “felt embarrassed to be in a Peugeot, which has become a badge of honour for the terminally uninterested.”

So what would he make of the new van-derived Peugeot Rifter people carrier? Surely, if any car were to attract his ire, it’d be this?

Well, in The Sunday Times today Clarkson admits he was prepared to write a scathing review, saying he expected the Rifter “would be a no-star car”. Particularly after the car was delivered to The Grand Tour offices and his colleagues all laughed at the prospect of him driving around in it for a whole week.

And JC doesn’t hold back on criticisms. It’s “stupid-looking”, he says, and has a silly name that sounds like “one of the services offered by an escort at a Frankfurt airport hotel. ‘Ja. I do rifter.’”

Out on the road, things weren’t improved when overtaking an old lady meant having to put two wheels on a grass verge; the resulting vibrations were like “being hosed down by .50-calibre machine-gun fire”, he says.

Mind you, Clarkson muses, Peugeots are for people who are more likely to want to ban overtaking outright than ever attempt it themselves, adding that the Rifter is destined to spend its life in the “loser lane” of the motorway [no, we’re not sure which one this is, either].

But despite Clarkson’s criticisms, he appears to have warmed to Peuegot’s bluff-sided MPV. In fact, he loved it in many ways. Particularly good is the ride quality, he reports, calling it “almost certainly the most comfortable car you can buy” for use around town, while the interior and glass roof impressed as well.

Factor in the “massive” amount of interior space, “the light steering and the sixpence turning circle”, and it leaves Clarkson concluding the Rifter is “honest and good value and, if you just want a car, bloody good.”

You can read Jeremy Clarkson’s full review of the Peugeot Rifter at