Pug ugly or endearingly cute? Depending on personal taste, you take your choice, but there’s no denying that Peugeot’s oddly named Bipper Tepee Outdoor HDi 75 oozes character.
Coming from a manufacturer whose models have traditionally been designated by numbers, this oddly named £13,345 slice of French whimsy actually deserves to be taken seriously.
It’s oddball, undeniably, but its practicality is simply outstanding. Big, wide opening front doors and even more easy to access sliding ones at the rear, plus a deep boot, with a huge and easy to open, if rather heavy, tailgate make things easy for passengers and big loads alike,
Oodles of headroom and a high driving position help too and it’s a relatively wide car too, meaning there’s plenty of room for three full-gown adults in the back.
Of course, it’s no speed machine – 0 to 62-mph taking a pedestrian 16.8 seconds and the steam running out at 96 mph – and it rolls a bit on twisty lanes but the handling is predictable and holds no nasty sting in its tail.
Even black ice and driving snow were unable to wrong foot this perky little beast, The more I drove it, the more fond I became of it, foibles and all.
Negative aspects? Well, the gear lever linkage was far too stiff, though that is probably due to my test car having come virtually fresh off the production line.
As for the dipped beam lighting, well, someone walking ahead with a lantern would have thrown a brighter light on proceedings!
Fuel consumption from the 1248 cc diesel engine is a frugal 62.8-mpg in the combined cycle and I achieved over 70 mpg on a long clear run.
All in all, the Bipper is a thoroughly sensible and competent vehicle that’s cheap to buy, inexpensive to run and that will fill the day-to-day motoring needs of most buyers – other than the go-faster brigade, who probably wouldn’t want to be seen dead in one.