Versatile seven-seater offers an impressive driving experience
Peugeot is reinventing itself as one of the most exciting brands on the market. A seven-seater MPV doesn’t sound like a recipe for thrills, but the 5008 is a surprise. Mature styling, a compliant ride and sweet handling are matched by a punchy yet frugal range of petrol and diesel powerplants.
Get ready for a family feud. Peugeot is moving in on sister company Citroen’s territory with the introduction of its own seven-seat MPV. But does the all-new 5008 have what it takes to overshadow the C4 Grand Picasso?
The 5008 is a refreshingly straightforward people carrier in the traditional mould. And by keeping the concept simple, the styling has benefited. Whereas the smaller 3008 crossover looks awkward, the 5008 hides its bulk with crisp lines and a simpler front end.
Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Peugeot 5008
Gone is the gaping grille and oversize snout seen on new Peugeots in recent years, replaced instead by more subtle features. There’s even some Gallic flair thrown in, with a chrome shoulder line that flicks up towards the rear and blends with the wraparound rear LED lights.
But it’s the interior that matters on a car like this, and Peugeot has done a superb job of ticking all the right boxes – starting with the seven individual seats. Each chair in the second row can tilt and slide independently, which is ideal for creating extra legroom in the third row.
The two rearmost seats fold flush into the floor when not in use, leaving a sizeable 1,247-litre boot. With the second row also collapsed, that rises to 2,506 litres.
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The seats in the boot aren’t exclusively for small children, either, and space is ample for adults to cope with longer journeys. To prove the point, there are standard-fit curtain airbags that extend all the way to the back – a feature none of the 5008’s rivals can match.
Slip into the comfortable driving seat, and you’re surrounded by a cockpit-style interior with no shortage of technology to play with.
Our top-spec test car came with a head-up display, leather upholstery throughout and twin TV screens, complete with wireless headphones, built into the back of the front headrests. A massive panoramic glass roof gives the cabin an airy feel and accentuates the space on offer.
Then comes the shock. Feed the light-but-accurate steering wheel into a bend, and the car grips surprisingly well without any significant body roll. Despite the extra weight and longer wheelbase, it feels nimbler than the 3008 and 308 with which it shares a platform. But best of all, the suspension still soaks up imperfections in the road surface with ease.
Fitted with a large 150bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel, it’s remarkably fun to thread down country lanes, and lives up to Peugeot’s claim that the 5008 will be “enjoyed by families, loved by drivers”.
The torquey engine uses all of its 350Nm to pull hard out of corners. It might even be too fast for some, in which case there’s a smaller, cheaper 1.6 HDi 110 diesel on offer, too. Petrol choices include the excellent turbocharged 1.6-litre THP 156 and entry-level VTi 120.
Three trims are available – Active, Sport and Exclusive – with prices starting from £16,895 for the VTi 120 Active. That’s £1,900 more than the cheapest C4 Grand Picasso, although the basic 5008 includes air-con as standard.
This late entry to the compact MPV party is proof that if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.
The high degrees of comfort and practicality were to be expected, but the impressive dynamics and overall feel of quality are bonuses that should make the 5008 a popular choice for large families.
Rival: C4 Grand Picasso Citroen's MPV concentrates on comfort over handling. It has a strong engine range, but the semi-auto box is jerky.