Classy, seven-seat Peugeot 5008 SUV lets families travel in space
Doctor Who has the Tardis, Peugeot the roomy, practical seven-seat 5008 SUV – both deceptively roomy and ideal for space travel, says motoring editor Andy Russell.
Anyone loving the new series of Doctor Who will, when it comes to space travel, love the new Peugeot 5008. It’s not as mind-bogglingly spacious as the Time Lord’s Tardis but, for a car not taking up much room on the road, offers loads inside.
It’s also very fashionable, reborn as a smart seven-seat SUV – as desirable at its people-carrier predecessor was, by comparison, dumpy and dull.
Looks and image
Peugeot’s smaller 3008 was the first SUV to win European Car of the Year, the 5008 confirms Peugeot’s image-builder was no fluke, taking the brand’s daring design to a new level and really standing out from the crowd.
The 5008’s bulk is also cleverly disguised with an alloy trim strip making the profile appear smaller and sleeker.
Under the bonnet
The all-turbo line-up has something for everyone – 131hp 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel, 181hp 1.6-litre petrol and 177hp 2.0-litre diesel. The most powerful engines are eight-speed auto only, the smaller ones also six-speed manual.
All do a good job but if you regularly haul large loads of cargo or passengers, the flexible 2.0-litre diesel is the pick with pretty potent performance, aided by a quick-shifting auto, refined cruising and 45mpg overall.
How it drives
Softer suspension than some rivals puts the focus on ride comfort, up there with the best in class, although it can feel floaty on undulating roads when travelling light but it just wafts along motorways. Smaller wheels benefit ride quality – the range-topping GT’s standard 19in ones make poor surfaces more noticeable but it’s tyre noise not fidgety feedback.
That soft suspension means some body lean on twisty roads but it’s not disconcerting and the 5008 still makes good progress, responding well to the helm.
There’s no four-wheel drive but optional advanced grip control boosts front-wheel traction in difficult conditions.
Space and comfort
The deal-breakers are interior space and versatility. With six-footers up front, three adults won’t feel cramped in the three individual middle-row seats which slide to vary legroom, a flat floor so no awkward raised hump and decent shoulder room.
The two rear seats are geared for children but outer middle row seats tilt and slide mean for easy access and, if those in front give up some legroom, adults can cope for short journeys. Unfortunately, the panoramic sunroof, standard on GT, eats into headroom for middle-row passengers.
Space is not an issue for carrying loads though with a flat-side, class-leading 952-litre boot with the two rearmost seats folded into the floor and covered by panels that fold out to create a long, uninterrupted load deck.
Folding the 40/20/40 middle row seats creates a 2,042-litre cargo bay and the front passenger seat back folds flat, on all but entry model, to take items up to 3.2m long.
Cabin materials have a quality look and feel usually reserved for premium models.
At the wheel
If you think car fascias are samey you haven’t sampled Peugeot’s innovative i-Cockpit where you look over, not through, the small steering wheel at a 12.3in customisable digital head-up display so your eyes don’t stray far from the road.
The swooping design divides opinion, especially the toggle switches, while the touchscreen to control most functions – including heating and ventilation – can be difficult to use on the move and shows up finger marks.
Full marks for an interesting mix of materials but I do wonder if fabric inserts will prove family friendly.
The more time you spend with the Peugeot 5008, the more you appreciate its all-round abilities – SUV, people-carrier, family estate. Is there no end to its talents?
SPEC AND TECH
Price: Peugeot 5008 GT BlueHDi 180 £38,529 (range from £26,259)
Engine: 1,997cc, 180bhp, four-cylinder turbo diesel with eight-speed automatic gearbox
Performance: 0-62mph 9.2 seconds; top speed 134mph
MPG: Urban 53.3; extra urban 60.1; combined 57.6
CO2 emissions: 129g/km
Benefit-in-kind tax rate: 26pc
Insurance group: 23E (out of 50)
Warranty: Three years or 60,000 miles
Will it fit in the garage? L 4,641mm; W (including door mirrors) 2,098mm; H 1,646mm