From £17,7097
Handsome seven-seater offers a smart interior with certain key practicality benefits, but it’s a slightly mixed bag to drive.

Our Verdict

Peugeot 5008

The Peugeot 5008 is a step forward for the brand, but it is not enough to transform the MPV market

What is it?

The Peugeot 5008, which is no longer a people-mover, as you may have noticed. That may seem odd, considering it’s a car whose reason for being is that it has seven seats, where its sister car, the 3008, does not. Now the 5008 is an SUV – albeit an SUV that won't ever be available with four-wheel drive.

But be that as it may, whichever three letters are used to describe the new 5008’s particular niche, or Peugeot’s reason for repositioning it, what matters is whether this is a good seven-seater. And, after first inspection, we’d say that it is – although perhaps not the very good one they’d have you believe.

The car goes on sale in the UK in June, in a range that mirrors that of the shorter 3008. It will be offered with a choice of petrol turbos engines making between 128bhp and 163bhp, and 99, 118, 148 and 178bhp diesels, most of which can be mated to a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed torque-converter automatic gearboxes. Rated CO2 emissions do a lot to recommend the car and will mitigate the effect of what are likely to be fairly expensive prices when they’re announced later this year for company car drivers. Generous equipment levels will have the same effect, of course.

And for anyone disappointed by Peugeot’s decision to leave out a conventional four-wheel drive system here, it makes amends with an option called Advanced Grip Control, which bundles multi-modal traction control and a hill descent control system with Continental ContiCrossContact hybrid on and off-road tyres.

What's it like?

There are clearly bigger and more expensive large family cars you might buy, so the 5008 has to strike a perfect compromise between fairly compact and manageable exterior dimensions and well-packaged occupant space. It does that well enough, with notable strong suits and a few hiccups.

The car has three individual second-row chairs, each offering plenty of leg room on account of the 165mm that has been added to the platform’s wheelbase as part of the 5008’s making. Each chair folds, slides and reclines into various positions, and each has its own ISOFIX child seat anchorages, thumbs up for that. But to sit in, their cushions feel a bit hard, flat, short and slim, and second-row head room is quite poor if you option your car with Peugeot’s panoramic glass sunroof. Avoid that and head room in both the first and second rows is much improved, alhough it’s well worth noting that with top-line GT-trim cars, you’re stuck with glass roof.

The 5008’s third-row seats aren’t really big enough for adult passengers, but they’re still typically useful for this type of car. On the plus side, they’re easy to fold and can even be removed, liberating up to 1000 litres of boot space behind the second row. In the minus column, those rearmost seats don’t have childseat anchorages and the 5008’s front passenger seat doesn’t either, so carrying a small army of kids in this car might not be as straightforward as it might have been.

The 5008’s driving environment gives with one hand to take away with another, just as the 3008’s does. The fascia is quite striking, stylish, richly finished and apparently well-constructed, while the standard flatscreen digital instruments are definitely a stand-out feature, giving you plenty of choice about what information you want in front of you. The layout of the controls, however – the high seat, downsized and low-sprouting steering wheel, high-set instruments – remains strange and unintuitive even so many years after we first encountered the iCockpit concept on the current 208 supermini. Peugeot’s argument is that its customers love the layout, and that familiarity makes it seem less odd – but it hasn’t yet become that way for us.

To drive, the 5008 is competent, secure-handling and comfortable for the most part, its suspension settings conferring a fairly gentle, compliant ride when the road surface is good. Over testing undulations, the car’s vertical body control becomes a bit loose and wallowy, while broken, sharp-edged asphalt can bring the occasional thump and crash from the arches. A Nissan X-Trail probably has a broader-based comfort level.

The Nissan’s carefully metered handling and steering would also beat the 5008. The Peugeot's handling is precise enough and well controlled through bends, if a little remote and bothersome thanks to a contrived, over-direct and elastic-feeling steering system, and the wheel becomes overly light and particularly troubling at town speeds.

Peugeot’s 2.0-litre BlueHDi diesel engine seems a good match for the 5008’s mass and has better refinement and tractability than the 1.6 diesel we tested in the new 3008 just a few months ago. The shift quality of the six-speed manual gearbox left a bit to be desired but doesn't prevent the powertrain being pleasant to engage with at all times except when you press the car's obligatory Sport button, which adds uncalled-for speaker-generated noise to the engine's soundtrack and blights the pedal response with over-sensitivity in the first inch or so of travel. 

Should I buy one?

The upper mid-range diesel engine makes for a perfectly decent and mostly competitive overall driving experience from the 5008, although not one that recommends it nearly so well as its smart styling or classy interior.

There are a few too many caveats necessary – no four-wheel drive, flaws in the car’s practicality showing, likely ambitious pricing and slightly muddled and misconceived handling – to be able to recommend this car unconditionally. Still, we can’t deny that the 5008 is one of the more desirable seven-seaters to have come to market lately and, together with the VW Touran, Renault Grand Scenic, Skoda Kodiaq and BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer, it promises to make family life on the road much more pleasant in 2017 than it was just a couple of years ago. 

Peugeot 5008 2.0 BlueHDi 150 Allure

Location Lisbon, Portugal; On sale June; Price £29,000 (est) Engine 4cyls in line, 1997cc, diesel; Power 148bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 273lb ft at 2000rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual; Kerb weight 1490kg; 0-62mph 9.6sec; Top speed 128mph; Economy 61.4mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 118g/km, 25% Rivals: Nissan X-Trail 1.6 dCi 130 2WD N-Vision, Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 150 4x4 SE Technology

Join the debate

Comments
14

16 February 2017
A 99hp Diesel in a 7 seater is bordering on sad if not dangerous, you'd have to have the mentality of a nun to drive it. Other than that the look of the interior and exterior are first class and make great sense for a family of 6/7. Like a Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 150 4x4 SE these cheaper 7 seater alternatives make far more sense to me with my family hat on than the XC90's or Q7's of this world. We are after all talking about a £20,000 difference.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

16 February 2017
Handsome? It looks hideous, though not as hideous as the prospect of a journey in those claustrophobic rear seats. Absolutely no.

16 February 2017
Decades ago sadly. 205/405 era. Now Peugeots are lumpy, frumpy and stodgy to drive - why on earth don't Peugeot go back to basics and build elegant, fine handling, supple, smooth cars again? At least their interiors do not fall apart after one year.....

16 February 2017
[quote=Thekrankis]Decades ago sadly. 205/405 era. Now Peugeots are lumpy, frumpy and stodgy to drive - why on earth don't Peugeot go back to basics and build elegant, fine handling, supple, smooth cars again? At least their interiors do not fall apart after one year.....[/quote] I know what you mean. It's almost like Peugeot made a decision to make cars that, for the main, weren't great looking or great to drive either. And that year was 1998 when the 206 was launched and since then it has all been a bit of a disappointment. I can't recall one Peugeot since then that has been classed as very good, yet alone excellent like many Peugeots of old. While not elegant, the one thing the 5008 and the 3008 has going for it is distinctiveness and a bit of French oddness/flair than seems to be creeping back in to many French cars of late.

16 February 2017
I seem to remember reading some favourable reviews of the RCZ in the not too distant past.

16 February 2017
Speaking purely in styling terms, it looks fresh externally and genuinely original internally. That said, I'm still not sold on digital insturmentaion (analogues look classier) and the performance on offer isn't great for the price they are asking

16 February 2017
What's not mentioned is that it uses Mirrorlink to connect your phone. When our Peugeot 108 (now 2 years into a 3 year Peugeot lease) was launched, the compatible phones were already 1 year old. I complained to Peugeot they never update their software so any current phone does not link. Their reply: They just sent me the list of 2014 phones that work! So don't buy one of these and expect it to be kept updated!

 

 

 

16 February 2017
Hi Matt, since the Grandland X is going to be based on this platform (not sure how much the Vxl/Opel engineers will change) do you think it bodes well as a product for Vauxhall and the buyers they appear to be targeting?

"Why is http://www.nanoflowcell.com not getting more media attention? It could be the future... Now!"

16 February 2017
So you've got the satnav screen up, how do access the temp controls without navigating through a myriad of touchscreen menus and keeping your eyes on the road?

16 February 2017
[quote=Cleverzippy1]So you've got the satnav screen up, how do access the temp controls without navigating through a myriad of touchscreen menus and keeping your eyes on the road?[/quote] Err..there's a series of shortcut toggle switches below the screen: sat-nav, stereo, HVAC controls etc. Problem solved.

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