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The Peugeot Traveller could be making its way to Malaysia for a third quarter 2017 local introduction. According to a Nasim source, Peugeot’s official distributor is exploring the possibilities of bringing in the big MPV in Q3 next year.

The source says that exports are possible should there be demand (Malaysia is the brand’s regional assembly hub), which points to CKD local assembly in Gurun, Kedah.

As Volkswagen does not sell the Transporter here, the Peugeot Traveller is set to be the only European alternative to the ubiquitous Toyota Alphard/Vellfire and Estima MPVs that are the staple of grey importers. UMW Toyota Motor belatedly got into the picture and now offers the latest Alphard and Vellfire with factory warranties.

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We first saw the Peugeot Traveller in December last year, when it was unveiled alongside twins Citroen SpaceTourer and Toyota ProAce in Europe. The three – the latest fruits of the PSA Peugeot Citroen and Toyota collaboration – are the same vehicle, but each wears its own family face. All are made in France by PSA.

The Traveller sits on PSA’s Efficient Modular Platform (EMP2) that also underpins its passenger cars and SUVs, making it 100-400 kg lighter than rivals, its maker says. Available in three lengths – 4.60m Compact, 4.95m Standard and 5.30m Long – it offers up to nine seats with 1,500 litres of boot space, or up to 4,900 litres thanks to removable second and third row seats.

There’s also a “Business VIP” layout that has four face-to-face seats with individual leather chairs. The multi-function roof with tri-zone climate control and soft diffusion (like in aeroplanes, Peugeot says) – equipment that are exclusive to the segment – and mood lighting, also contribute to passenger comfort.

Unique features in the (European passenger van) segment include hands-free sliding side doors (foot under the rear overhang, see the video below), head-up display and sign reading system with speed limiter recommendation, opening rear window, glass roof panel, Active Safety Brake and automatic main beam switching, new voice-control connected navigation and real-time traffic information, VisioPark reversing camera with 180-degree overhead rear view and rear view zoom, and Driver Attention Alert.

The big Peugeot is available with five BlueHDi diesel engines in Europe. The Euro 6 1.6L and 2.0L units put out between 95 hp and 180 hp, and all but the base engine come with auto start-stop and six-speed transmissions (manual and auto). There are no petrol engines in the range for now.

What do you think? Will there be demand for a torque-rich and fuel-efficient, five-star Euro NCAP French alternative to the Alphard and Vellfire?