The 5008 is the first production model using Peugeot's new design language. This was previewed early in 2010 Peugeot with the radical SR1 concept, a swish roadster with more than a hint of Aston Martin about it – and an entirely new approach to the family face.

The 5008 is also the Peugeot that promised a return to form for a car company that, on the sly, will even admit its last good-looking car before this renaissance was the Pininfarina-styled 406 coupé of 1996.

Low boot lip makes loading heavy items easier but a large clearance is required behind the car to open the tailgate fully

Whether by design, to tie in with the SR1, just by coincidence, or to differentiate it from the similarly timed 3008, the 5008 was designed without Peugeot’s trademark gaping, mouth-like grille. The 5008 received a less conspicuous collection of front-end vents and orifices and, to our eyes and those of most people, looks much the better for it. The rest of the package is neatly, if undramatically, designed too.

Similarly unadventurous are the 5008’s underpinnings. It rides on an extended version of the architecture from the 308 SW, which also underpins the 3008 crossover and Citroën’s C4 Grand Picasso. Both the Grand Picasso and the 5008 are pure, simple, no-nonsense MPVs in the class that the Vauxhall Zafira did so much to popularise.

Beneath the steel monocoque, as with the 3008 and C4 Grand Picasso, the 5008 employs a pair of MacPherson struts at its front end, with its rear suspended by a torsion beam.

Under the bonnet, the engine range mirrors that of so many of Peugeot’s other medium-sized models. There is one petrol and one diesel - a three-cylinder, turbocharged 1.2-litre unit producing 128bhp, while the only oilburning option is a 118bhp 1.6-litre unit, with both units driven through a six-speed manual gearbox. Only the diesel engine is available with an automated six-speed 'box.

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