| Week at the Wheel | Peugeot 5008 |
Inside & Out:
Can you tell what it is yet? No? Well, it's a Citroen C4 Picasso. Yes, beneath its Peugeot branded skin is another big French MPV. You'd hardly tell though, on any level, because the 5008 is rather more conventional both inside and out.
The driving position is high and upright, and because the gearstick is on a big shiny plastic plinth, it's close to the wheel and comfy to use. Sadly the sharp angle of the dash puts the small satnav screen miles away and there are lots of buttons to contend with. It's a really flexible cabin though, with plenty of space, a massive boot and seven-seat flexibility. Folding and un-folding the extra pair of chairs is a doddle too.
Engine & Transmission:
The 1.6-litre THP 156 petrol, so called because of its power output, is a nice smooth unit, but not really suited to serious people carrying work. Big cars like this are far better served by the low-end torque of a good turbodiesel engine. Don't get us wrong, it's not wheezy - all its 177lb.ft arrives at just 1,400rpm thanks to a quick scrolling turbo - but fuel consumption suffers badly if it has to be worked hard. And worked hard it shall be if it's saddled with a couple of kids, their car seats, their buggy and their mum.
Unfortunately its gearbox is standard Peugeot issue. The company just doesn't seem to be able to engineer the slack out of its stick shifters (RCZ
Ride & Handling:
Following on from the styling differences between this and its chevron emblazoned progenitor, the 5008 also drives in a distinctly more conventional fashion. Where the Picasso lollops about, the 5008 is actually quite taut. These things are relative - the Peugeot still leans heavily into corners and still rocks about on its springs during heavy braking - but it could be a lot worse.
There's enough give in the springs for them to take much of what the road throws at them, and it's also nice and steady on the motorway. In fact, it even has a nice meaty steering rack and a useful amount of grip, making it one of the more inviting MPVs to drive.
Equipment, Economy & Value for Money:
Our Exclusive specification test car comes in at just over £21,000 with the THP engine. That's about a grand less than a Citroen Grand Picasso THP Exclusive, which will also cost an additional £3,000 or so to add satnav and leather. The Peugeot undercuts the Citroen by about £1,000 on that front too. Exclusive spec comes as standard with cruise control, climate control parking sensors and alloy wheels. Be wary of Active versions, which don't have alloys, though all cars get manual air conditioning at least.
The 156bhp THP petrol engine, linked to a six-speed manual gearbox, returns a 39.8mpg on the combined cycle, which is substantially lower than the 53.3mpg of the HDi 110 diesel engine. The petrol unit will command £180 per year in VED, but more pertinently will go through unleaded at a much higher rate than its official figure if you're using the car around town.
While there's a lot to commend about the Peugeot 5008 (particularly how much more enjoyable it is to drive than its Citroen Picasso sister car), it's still not quite up with the class best. Its cabin is flexible, so it performs its people-carrying task competently, but the Renault Grand Scenic
has more class, and the Ford S-Max
is in another league altogether.