Peugeot's new MPV impresses with a petrol engine

What is it?

Peugeot’s approach to the seven-seat compact MPV has impressed us so far when tested in diesel form, but this is our first experience of it with a petrol engine.

Two petrol engines are available – an entry-level 120bhp VTi 1.6-litre unit and the model tested here, the more powerful turbocharged 156bhp THP 1.6. Petrol models are expected to account for around 35 per cent of the expected 5000 annual 5008 sales, with around one in three of petrol models sold being this range-topper.

Peugeot is pitching the 1.6 THP as a direct rival to the Ford S-Max by aiming to offer sharper dynamics and making its MPV into a real driver’s car. The company describes it as a car you'd want to drive on your own and not just something in which to drive the family around.

Three trim levels are offered – Active, Sport and Exclusive – and our test engine is only available with the two top trims. Exclusive spec adds extras such as a panoramic glass roof, a head-up display, dual-zone climate control and 17-inch alloys.

As in all other 5008s, it features PSA’s Multiflex seating system, which is versatile enough to seat seven in comfort.

What’s it like?

Initial impressions are positive. Most noticeable is the 177lb ft of torque, which is available from just 1400rpm. This allows for impressive off-the-line pace and a 0-62mph time of less than 10 seconds, not bad for a car weighing more than one and a half tonnes. This healthy slug of torque inspires confidence, especially when overtaking.

The engine feels refined and power is delivered smoothly and quietly, although mid-range shove is noticeably absent, which is mainly evident when pushing on (a situation most 5008s are unlikely to find themselves in). Our model has combined fuel economy of 39.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 167g/km, figures boosted by the addition of a sixth cog, which makes this 5008 a pleasing motorway cruiser.

The ride is firm, although you could never accuse the 5008 of being uncomfortable. An S-Max it is not, but the ride, handling and steering all inspire enough confidence for the driver to have a bit of fun on B-roads. There’s no real body roll when the 5008 operates within its comfort zone, either.

Previous tests have highlighted the quality of the interior, and this model is no exception. It looks smart, if a little cluttered, but it’s let down by its ergonomics. Controls can be hard to reach, especially for taller drivers with the seat right back; the heater controls behind the gear lever are particularly awkward to reach when in odd gears.

Should I buy one?

There’s much to like about this particular 5008. Given how Peugeot is marketing the MPV as a driver’s car, this model is the one that fills the brief better than any of the others due to the decent performance from the engine, as well as its above-average dynamics.

It falls shy of Ford S-Max levels for all-round driveability, but its quality, versatility and value next to some of its key rivals make it a car for practicality minded driving enthusiasts not to overlook.

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
Jon Hardcastle 22 February 2010

Re: Peugeot 5008 1.6 THP Exclusive

What is going on at Peugeot? very questionable styling and ever since they exploded onto the scene with the 205 GTI I have not sat in one that actually had an interior I liked. Must just be me but the layout, materials, graphics I don't know I just don't like them at all.

MattDB 22 February 2010

Re: Peugeot 5008 1.6 THP Exclusive

Citroen C4 Picasso with a Lion badge anyone?

By the way how do we say the name. It is five thousand and eight or 5 double oh 8 which might make it sound a bit more interesting?

Answers on a postcard please to ..........

Zeddy 20 February 2010

Re: Peugeot 5008 1.6 THP Exclusive

Exclusive eh?

Yep, I can see it being that.