What is it?
This is the lowest-emitting version Peugeot’s new compact seven-seat MPV, the 5008. It is powered by the entry-level 110bhp, 192lb ft 1.6-litre HDi engine. Combined fuel economy is rated at 55.4mpg, the best in the 5008’s range, and CO2 emissions are 135g/km, also the best in range.
Of most interest in this model is the Electronic Gearbox Controlled Manual (EGC), an electronically operated manual gearbox which is controlled by either the steering column-mounted paddles, or a conventional shifter on the centre console.
We were impressed with the 5008 with this engine when mated to a six-speed manual ‘box so how does it fare with EGC?
What’s it like?
EGC certainly takes some getting used to. Both manual and automatic modes feature, with a sport option available in both modes. It is at its smoothest in regular manual mode and operated using the paddle shifters.
To achieve the slickest gearchanges, you need to lift off the throttle as you would in a normal manual. When operated like this, EGC is quick and smooth, and ensures quick progress. If you don’t lift off, the car feels hesitant and tends to gently lurch forward, especially under more rapid acceleration.
Full auto mode is best left alone. The hesitant and lurching characteristics that can be found in full manual mode are especially evident here, most noticeably under hard acceleration and around town. Sport mode is also a bit of a mystery; it seems to amplify the problems in auto mode and the differences from manual mode are marginal.
EGC also contributes to extra unwanted noise from under the bonnet during acceleration. These may only be minor nagging faults in isolation, but together they add up to ensure an underwhelming drive - a shame, given the 5008's sharper-than-class-average dynamics. That said, noise issues aside, engine refinement is impressive and the quoted fuel economy figure is within reach, should EGC be used as smoothly as it can be.
Should I buy one?
There’s no denying the benefits to emissions and economy that the EGC offers, but it’s still a gearbox that brings compromises. It doesn’t spoil the otherwise-impressive 5008, though; instead it requires extra thought to be added to gearchanges and a more delicate touch and timing with your right foot. It can be rewarding too if you persist with it, but it falls short of ever being particularly satisfying.
Seeing as Peugeot is billing the 5008 as a driver’s MPV, this isn’t the driver’s gearbox to go with it. We’d recommend enthusiasts stick to the six-speed manual ‘boxes in the petrol and diesel models or, if you must have a full auto and your budget can stretch that far, the full automatic gearbox found in the top-spec 163bhp diesel model.
Still, if you’re buying choices are dictated by low emissions and impressive fuel economy, then this should be the 5008 for you.