Our Cars: Peugeot Rifter GT Line BlueHDi 100

15 April 2019: Why the Rifter is a 'cracking' car

The Details

Current mileage 1937 miles
Claimed fuel economy tbc
Actual fuel economy 52.2mpg

My colleague Georgia recently looked into the meaning behind the name of the Hyundai Kona, her current test car. In short, she found it translated into female genitalia in Portuguese.

But I've also heard sniggerings around the Rifter name. It's not a word I'm really familiar with, although the temptation to stick a 'd' to the left of the badge and pretend I'm Ken Block is there.

According to one online dictionary, rifter means 'a crack in sea ice'. That sounds an awful lot like a rift to me, but presumably there are deep marketing reasons why Peugeot hasn't called its van-based people carrier the Peugeot Rift.

Embarrasingly, a slightly less formal online dictionary identifies a rifter as "a butt crack, usually visible when bent over with loose pants." It goes on to give the example: "The plumber bent over and showed us his rifter."

Ken _block

Ken Block doing what Ken Block does. He should drive a (d)Rifter.

It's easy to see how the word for a crack in sea ice became a slang word for, well, a plumber's crack. It's less clear why Peugeot decided to name a car after it, but it's arguably better than the model the Rifter replaced - the Peugeot Partner Tepee.

As Georgia explained in her update on the Kona, car manufacturers have form for getting it very wrong with car names. Getting a model name that works universally it's quite a challenge, in fact. One well-known example is the Mitsubishi Shogun, which was sold elsewhere as the Pajero. Unfortunately, Pajero is a slang word for a man who indulges in self-pleasure in Spanish-speaking countries - so it was badged the Montero there.

Alongside the Peugeot Rifter, I also have a Toyota MR2 in my garage. That had to be renamed in France as 'MR deux', French for MR2, sounds like 'merde'. That's French for, well, poo... don't say you don't learn stuff reading these updates on our cars.

All that said and done, I think the Rifter is a good name for the Rifter. Why? Well, it is a cracking car. Yes, I went there.

« Earlier: Does the Rifter pass the M25 test?     Later: What are MagicWash windscreen wipers? »

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