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Driven: Peugeot 5008. Image by Peugeot.

Driven: Peugeot 5008
Almost every bit as good as its smaller 3008 brother. Almost, but not quite.

 



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Peugeot 5008

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

Good points: The superb i-Cockpit is almost worth the entry fee alone, general refinement of the whole vehicle

Not so good: Handsome looks not quite as proportional as the 3008, rear row of seats for occasional use only

Key Facts

Model tested: Peugeot 5008 PureTech 130 EAT6 Allure
Price: 5008 range starts from £24,495; PureTech 130 EAT6 Allure from £27,695, car as tested £29,370
Engine: 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol
Transmission: front-wheel drive, six-speed EAT6 automatic
Body style: five-door SUV
CO2 emissions: 120g/km (VED £160 first 12 months, then £140 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 54.3mpg
Top speed: 117mph
0-62mph: 10.4 seconds
Power: 131hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 230Nm at 1,750rpm

Our view:

When Peugeot was working on the all-new 5008 seven-seat SUV, all it had to do was look at its worthy 2017 European Car of the Year winner, the magnificent 3008, and simply upscale the formula. So that's precisely what has happened - and, just in case you've blanked it from your mind with countless sessions of expensive therapy, here's what the previous 5008 looked like, so you can see just how far we've come in such a short space of time.

And so, the precis version of the road test of this lovely, lovely 5008 PureTech 130 EAT6 Allure runs like this: it's like a 3008, only bigger. Which means it's bloody exceptional. But is it as exceptional as a 3008? Well... not quite. If we're being honest, about the weakest area of the 3008 is its handling, and enlarging the bodywork that sits upon the chassis is not going to improve that situation, so don't expect the 5008 to corner like some oversized, family-lugging 208 GTi. And, while this is entirely subjective and 'eye of the beholder' stuff, we don't think the edgy styling of the 3008 works when stretched out over the 5008's frame. It's also, like so many of these 'seven-seaters', really only a 5+2, because those back pews are for the tiniest of children only - and when they're in situ, boot space is non-existent.

But that's it for the gripes. And the superlatives then come thick and fast. The interior is every bit as splendid as that on the 3008; it's easily the best in the class. It's the same wonderful composition of that glorious, configurable TFT instrument cluster, those superb piano-key shortcuts on the lower stack, the clear and intuitive infotainment screen, the interesting beltline of fabric, that button-sized steering wheel - all of it is just sublime. About the only minor critical observation we can make is the 'crooked stick' lever for this model's EAT6 automatic gearbox is a bit odd ergonomically, but it's honestly not a problem. Thus, full marks for the 5008's cabin.

Full marks, too, for the 1.2-litre PureTech three-cylinder engine. Of all the turbocharged triples out there, and there are a lot of very good ones, Peugeot's 131hp mill has to be one of the best. It sounds fantastically deep-chested when being extended in a way smaller 1.0-litre lumps do not and it never once feels out of its depth, even on motorways when it's trying to torque its way out into faster-moving traffic in the outer lanes. Furthermore, while the following number is nowhere near the claimed combined economy, a 38.1mpg average over 384 miles is incredibly good for such a tiny capacity unit in a vehicle that's tall and more than 1,300kg, and 40.3mpg on the M1/M25 is even more admirable.

Yet it's the sheer smoothness that pervades everything the 5008 does that wins you over. It's so suave and sophisticated. The ride quality is marvellous, both in terms of its primary and secondary responses, and it works as well at low, city speeds as it does when the Peugeot is pounding along at a constant 70mph. All the major controls are weighted to perfection, even if the steering lacks for much in the way of meaningful feel, while the noise suppression is as good as anything else in this class - if not setting the standard. Put simply, the 5008 ingratiates itself on you within the first five miles of making its acquaintance, and then it just goes on to get its claws into your soul, making a very strong case for ignoring any other comparably priced/sized seven-seater and heading straight to your Peugeot dealership instead.

The final knockout blow comes when you look at the price of the car as tested. With its keyless entry and go, its wireless smartphone charging, its 3D sat nav, its cruise and climate controls... in short, with a kit list that doesn't really leave you wanting for anything - and it's less than £30,000. Seriously, that's tantamount to a bargain when you're getting such unstinting all-round quality as this 5008 Allure offers.

Yes, the Korean rivals in this class are bigger, meaning if you've got five kids and they're all older than about eight, the Hyundai or Kia alternatives might be a better option than the 5008. You also probably think you want a Land Rover Discovery Sport for its driveway badge cred, but we can tell you now that it's an inferior product to the Pug at a vastly inflated price, so you'd be making a mistake choosing that instead of the 5008. The Nissan X-Trail is worthy but it simply doesn't feel anything like as cutting edge as the French car. And you won't even get seven seats as an option in a Renault Koleos... yet.

All of which leaves one major obstacle in the 5008's way, and it's a Skoda-shaped obstacle which goes by the name of Kodiaq. Now, this is a titanic tussle. Our heads say the Skoda is the better option, but there's no doubting it's less interesting to look at inside and out, with its cabin not having anything like the pizzazz of the 5008. However, the Czech machine has the stronger drivetrains and a bit better interior packaging.

It's a tricky one to call. It might just be that we have to err on the side of pragmatism and give the nod to the Skodiaq here, but the 5008 is a blindingly close second place - it's like Yohan Blake at his peak up against Usain Bolt; both of them are capable of winning on any given day. So whether you do rate the Peugeot as first or second in this class, one thing is damned certain: whatever has been slipped into the tasses de thé down at Peugeot's head office, it's clearly working some sort of magic. This is a marque that, only a few years ago, was so far from challenging from class honours in every segment it competed in that it wasn't even funny, and yet here it is, heading into 2018 with two genuinely world-beating crossovers/SUVs in the form of the 3008 and 5008, and having plenty of strong products (like the 208 and 308) to rely on elsewhere. For fans of this resurgent brand, this can only be extremely good news indeed. We've always been fans of Peugeot. We're big fans of the 5008. Try one, and even the Doubting Thomases among you will be too.

Alternatives:

Hyundai Santa Fe: A little bigger than the Peugeot, the handsome Hyundai is a superb all-rounder but its interior can't hold a candle to the 5008's, while the Korean's 2.2 diesel is feeling its age.

Land Rover Discovery Sport: So much better than the Freelander which preceded it and wearing a truly desirable badge, the Disco Sport is a fine machine but it is not what you'd call good value.

Nissan X-Trail: Feels a more rugged machine than the 5008, especially in 4WD guise, but the capable Nissan lacks for any of the design flair inside or out that the Peugeot displays.


Matt Robinson - 17 Nov 2017









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