Despite the 2.2 JTD already doing sterling service on our fleet, we went along anyway to try out the other models in the range.
The new-look Ulysse is a latecomer to the MPV party and is the final instalment in the ongoing PSA Peugeot-Citroen and Fiat Auto collaboration, whch means it shares a platform, architecture and interior with the Citroen C8 and Peugeot 807.
Enough has been done to the outside though to ensure from a distance it is immediately apparent which badge adorns the front, which has not always been the case with platform-sharing MPVs.
And the Ulysse will make an impact, as it has undercut its French family rivals on list price by up to £1,000 in some cases. The entry-level Ulysse 2.0 Dynamic is priced at £17,335 on-the-road, rising to £24,435 for the range-topping 2.2 JTD 16v Prestigio. All models come with automatic dual-zone climate control, power steering, remote control central locking, electric front windows, six airbags and ABS. Eleganza, the next trim level up, gets cruise control, parking sensors, 15-inch alloy wheels and the Connect telematics system.
Icing and cherries on the MPV cake come courtesy of Prestigio which offers a full leather interior, electrically-adjustable heated front seats, rain sensitive windscreen wipers, light sensitive headlamps and a rear-view mirror that dims automatically. If that doesn't impress the neighbours, opt for the electrically-operated rear doors – a £500 option.
MPVs need to offer plenty of space and load carrying versatility and the Ulysse delivers, with 35 different storage compartments and 11 cup holders. Three engines are available: a 2.0 16v (134bhp) petrol, a 2.0 (107bhp) JTD diesel and the bigger 2.2 (126bhp) JTD.
Diesels are expected to account for two-thirds of sales with the 2.0 JTD likely to be the one picked by most business users. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard but drivers have the option of a four-speed sequential automatic box on the 2.0 petrol.
Behind the wheel
The Ulysse is a massive improvement over the old model. It is 27cm longer and 3cm wider than its predecessor, while front and rear overhangs have also been minimised to improve manoeuvrability.
The revised suspension is a huge leap forward, even though it makes for a slightly firmer ride, while the steering feels more direct than its immediate rivals. Electric sliding doors are a £500 option and are worth considering, even if it is just to impress the neighbours.
The 2.0-litre petrol engine is carried over from the outgoing car and still feels slightly under-powered. The 2.0 JTD diesel is better with 70% of its 199lb-ft of torque available from just 1,250rpm and offering swift acceleration from low speeds. But our favourite is the willing 2.2 turbodiesel we are already running, which offers 232lb-ft of torque at 2,000rpm. These are heavy creatures, so the lowest carbon dioxide emissions are 186g/km for the 2.0JTD. The lowest tax liability is therefore 24%.
The Ulysse will appeal to drivers who want a full-size MPV with plenty of kit. It offers good ride quality with enough gadgets to keep the children happy at a competitive price.
|2.0||2.0 JTD||2.2 JTD|
|Max torque (lb-ft/rpm):||140/4,100||199/1,750||232/2,000|
|Max power (bhp/rpm):||134/6,000||107/4,000||126/4,000|
|Max speed (mph):||115 (auto: 107)||108||113|
|0-62mph (secs):||11.2 (13.1)||13.4||12.6|
|Fuel consumption (mpg):||31.0 (auto: 29.4)||40.4||38.2|
|CO2 emissions (g/km):||218 (auto: 230)||186||199|
|Fuel tank capacity (l/gal):||80/17.6|
|Service intervals (miles):||12,000|
|Transmission:||5-sp manual/||4-sp auto option on 2.0 petrol|
|Prices (OTR):||£17,335||- £24,435|