Peugeot 5008 review: A seven-seat SUV success?

In ditching the old 5008’s uninspiring profile, Peugeot is hoping to tempt buyers away from the Skoda Kodiaq, Citroen Grand C4 Picasso and Nissan X-Trail SUVs. Mission accomplished?

You could tell the old 5008 was a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) because it was a largely forgettable car that had all the grace of an ironing board. The price you paid for being sensible was too high and it was much the same story for its 807 predecessor.

How times have changed because the new 5008 is, like everything else these days, a wannabe SUV and it looks all the better for changing tack. Not quite as striking as the smaller 3008 crossover, but still a hundred times trendier.

The benefit of taking the 5008 over the 3008 is that it gets a third row of seats, taking the total to seven, but both cars share a lot in common, including that brilliant interior sadly missing from the updated 308 hatchback.

There are quite a few SUVs to choose from nowadays, although insisting on the flexibility of seven seats narrows your choices dramatically. Is the Peugeot 5008 a viable option to the likes of the Nissan X-Trail and Skoda Kodiaq?

Peugeot 5008 review: The nitty gritty

As basically a stretched version of the 3008, the 5008 shares a lot of similar design elements, including those sleek rear lights split into three strips, the sporty twin-exit faux exhaust system and meaty, Peugeot-branded front grille.

Dimensionally-speaking, the Peugeot 5008 is 4,640mm long and has a wheelbase of 2,840mm, making it 190mm longer than the 3008 and 110mm longer than the original 5008.

Ground clearance has also been increased to make the 5008 better off road, although there is currently no option of all-wheel drive so you are better off in the Land Rover Discovery Sport if you live up a mountain. You can spec mud and snow tyres, though.

Choosing an engine for the 5008 will be a similar process for 3008 buyers because the engine line-up is the same. There is a choice of five engines, three with varying horsepower such as the 1.2-litre PureTech 130 petrol.

A more powerful 1.6 THP 165 petrol is also available (only as an automatic), as well as two 1.6 BlueHDi diesels (100 and 120), a 1.5-litre BlueHDi diesel and a range-topping 2.0-Blue HDi in 150 or 180 outputs.

Our car was fitted with the four-cylinder 2.0 BlueHDi 150, which has a six-speed manual gearbox. It provides adequate pep to the point where you have to be quite gentle with the throttle to see the best fuel economy figures. 0-62mph takes 9.6 seconds.

On a related note, the 5008 inherits the Sport mode seen in other new Peugeots. In a diesel, it feels out of place and there is already enough punch to never touch the button, but those who love a synthetic engine noise may use it.

As for trim levels, Active represents the budget end, followed by Allure. Above that is GT Line, which is the sweet spot in terms of engine choice and standard equipment. GT is the most generous, but you can only have it with the biggest and most powerful 2.0-litre diesel and an EAT8 automatic.

Prices start from £24,495 for the 1.2 PureTech 130 S&S Active, rising to £31,245 for the 2.0 BlueHDi 150 S&S GT Line. A GT will set you back even more and is arguably overkill for the 5008.

Our car came in at £31,245, thanks to metallic paint (£525), leather heated seats with massage function (£1,990), Focal HiFi sound system (£590), panoramic roof (£870) and the Visio Pack 2 (£450).

Peugeot 5008 review: How does it drive?

A mixture of the light steering, small steering wheel and 1,480kg kerb weight make the 5008 a pleasingly agile workhorse. The suspension can be a bit spongey, but that is better than too firm on bumpy roads and the net result is a mainly smooth, unfussy ride quality.

It rides a little less comfortably than the Grand C4 Picasso and the Kodiaq is sportier, but the Peugeot manages to hold your attention, even if the steering is numb. The larger size makes it less enjoyable than the 3008, but only mildly.

For those who like a quiet car, even the beefier 2.0-litre BlueHDi diesel settles down to the point where you can barely hear it. Wind noise is as unobtrusive, which will be good news for motorway driving.

The 5008 is also good for those who value visibility with exception to the relatively small back window, while the front seats are more than comfortable enough – especially with the optional massage function fitted.

The steering wheel position and level of reach, meanwhile, is also top-notch, as is the smoothness of the six-speed manual although you could knock it down a point for having too chunky a gear knob.

Peugeot 5008 review: The interior, practicality & boot space

The Peugeot 5008 is large enough to make sense for most families, especially those with something other than the usual 2.4 children. Seating seven has its uses, although the rearmost row is best for children or small adults.

Folding down the third row is easily done and gives you 952 litres of room, which can be expanded to 1,060 litres by sliding the seats forward. Better than the Kodiaq’s 720 litres and Grand C4 Picasso’s 739 litres.

With them up, however, and the space restricts you to a small food shop. On the flip-side, flatten the second row of seats and you get a hefty 2,150 litres, once again bettering the Kodiaq’s 2,065 litres but not the Grand C4 Picasso’s 2,180 litres.

Usefully, the GT Line and GT trim levels feature an automatic tailgate, which can be initiated using the key fob or with a swipe of your foot under the rear bumper in case your hands are occupied. All models also get roof bars for attaching things to the, well, roof.

Though space is plentiful, there is a strange gap behind the second row of seats that runaway items can disappear into, an issue shared with the Tesla Model X. Another issue is that the panoramic roof, as nice as it is, eats into headroom for those lucky enough to be considered tall.

Being able to adjust the front seat height means there is no such problem for the driver and front passenger. Not only that, the small steering wheel sits below the dials, preventing it from obscuring them as it does in the 208 and 308.

The interior styling is excellent. The 5008 gets the 3008’s futuristic look and, with the right spec, a stylish grey fabric across the dashboard. A touch of adjustable ambient interior lighting is another welcome addition usually seen on premium SUVs.

It really is a sleek cabin design that helps undo Peugeot’s reputation for being underwhelming and poor quality. The central group of buttons, for instance, are better quality than what you find in far pricier cars, not to mention ergonically sensible.

One negative is the small steering wheel, which is a little odd to hold when upside down. Luckily, then, reaching full lock takes few spins and can be easily done with one hand.

Peugeot 5008 review: Running costs & emissions?

Owing to the low kerb weight, the 5008 sips fuel conservatively. The 148bhp 2.0 BlueHDi we tested, for instance, offers 61.4mpg and we managed an average of 45mpg with a considerable portion of slow-moving urban boredom.

CO2 emissions come in at 118g/km for that output, while the 178bhp version only sees those numbers adjust to 58.8mpg and 124g/km. Bearing in mind it is available as a six-speed automatic only.

The 1.2-litre PureTech sounds too small for an SUV, but it works nicely. The CO2 emissions of 120g/km make it cheap to tax in the first year, too, while the fuel economy of 54.3mpg is impressive if difficult to achieve in realistic situations.

Peugeot 5008 review: Should I buy one, then?

Most buyers will be best off with the 3008 as that is cheaper to buy, cheaper to run, nicer to drive and nicer to look at. But if seven seats and a big boot are vitally important, the 5008 is a pleasantly capable and stylish alternative to the competition that also happens to be unusually practical.

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