Our latest seven-seater has a lot to live up to, as it replaces the Skoda Kodiaq on the long-term fleet

Our Verdict

Peugeot 5008

MPV turns SUV. Does the new Peugeot 5008 offer the best of both worlds or flawed compromises?

Jim Holder
19 November 2018

Why we’re running it: To discover if Peugeot has a class leader on its hands by fitting seven-seat MPV convenience into an on-trend SUV body

Month 4 - Month 3 - Month 2Month 1 - Specs

Life with a Peugeot 5008: Month 4

Pug doesn’t need colour to stand out - 7th November 2018

How do you find out if a car has stand-out design? Park it in a huge car park, forget to look at the helpful signs reminding you where you parked and then return a few hours later. You might think a brown SUV would blend in, but thanks to the chrome roof rails and lower door accents, finding it was the work of moments.

Mileage: 4456

Back to the top

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Life with a Peugeot 5008: Month 3

Can this accomplished SUV take the rough with the smooth? - 24th October 2018

Once upon a time, I clung on to the belief that it didn’t matter how an MPV drove, so long as it delivered men, women and children, plus the occasional dog or wardrobe, from point to point as easily as possible. Then I drove a Ford S-Max.

For while it’s true that how an MPV drives is less of a priority than for your regular hatchback buyer, it is amazing the difference being in a dynamically decent car makes. The mundane drive becomes enjoyable, challenging surfaces an aside and the very worst of our roads need raise no more than a quizzical eyebrow.

The difficulty is that you tend to get used to the positives, and set them as your minimum benchmark. What a car does well is taken for granted, and anything that aims at the same mindset but falls below that standard is a disappointment.

Now, as I move on to the Peugeot 5008, you might rush to remind me that it is definitely, absolutely not an MPV. Peugeot has gone to massive lengths to stress its metamorphosis from people carrier to sports utility vehicle. So, even though the term multiple-purpose vehicle (MPV) might well apply to either genre, Peugeot is absolutely certain that the 5008 is an on-trend SUV.

And so the pressure ramps up, because I’d argue that, in that philosophical shift, there’s an added imperative to make the car better to drive. The S of SUV stands for sports, after all, and while I’m (just about) clever enough to realise Lotus won’t be rushing to recalibrate the Evora after a spin in the 5008, that S-Max benchmark still looms large in my mind. To meet its brief, the 5008 has to be dynamically engaging.

Now, almost 4000 miles in, I’d say the 5008 delivers something that is satisfactory without ever bringing any of the sizzle that the very best drivers do, despite the best efforts of the smaller than average steering wheel delivering some directness to the experience. And – sound the klaxon – it is particularly key that you don’t upgrade your wheels to the 19in options if you want it to retain composure at all times.

On a smooth road surface it is absolutely at its best, delivering close body control and pliancy while satisfactorily insulating you and your friends from the worst effects of tyre roar and wind noise. For long motorway journeys that’s just perfect, but throw in some bigger bumps, an irregular road surface or a combination of corners and that composure is challenged.

That makes hustling the 5008 an unlikely pastime, even if it does grip surprisingly well for such a tall car. Nor does the Sport toggle add anything to the mix, offering no more than increased engine noise and perkier throttle response.

But does any of this leave me not wanting to recommend the 5008? Even in Autocar, home to the car enthusiast, no. There are better SUVs (and, hush, MPVs) to drive, but only marginally so. The shortcomings are there, but never strongly enough to unravel the compelling case built up by myriad positives for this car.

Love it:

ROBUST FURNISHINGS The elegant, characterful interior is withstanding the worst that the kids are throwing at it, from crumbs to spillages.

Loathe it:

NAVIGATING NAVIGATION The sat-nav is very good, but functions including postcode input could be more easily found.

Mileage: 3823

Back to the top

Don’t judge a book by its cover – or an engine by its headline figures - 3rd October 2018

Whenever I talk about the 5008, the proverbial elephant comes marching straight into the room. Eyes tighten. Eyebrows raise. Disbelief spills out.

So let’s get it out there in the open here and now, so the elephant can get back to where it belongs. Yes, the 5008 is a seven-seat SUV and, yes, it is powered by a three-cylinder 1199cc petrol engine.

I’ll accept the numbers do little to dispel the awkward glances and shuffling from toe to toe. Peaks of 131bhp and 170lb ft do not set the pulse racing. A 0-62mph time of 10.4sec might even lead you to wonder what this car is doing in Autocar.

The point being, of course, that the engine, diminutive though it may be, complements the car perfectly.

I write that with absolute confidence because, in the past month, I’ve driven the 5008 about 2500 miles. I’ve enjoyed everything from town commutes to seven-up 75-mile round trips to 250-mile runs fully laden with the family. All on a variety of motorway, A-road, B-road and whatever comes next in line down the food chain in the piddling lanes of Devon and Pembrokeshire.

Not once – not even fully laden and pulling out from a standstill with a large truck bearing down – have I wanted for performance, or had to modify my usual driving behaviour.

With shifts governed by the six-speed auto, it’s a slick, capable performer that mixes with the flow of traffic without any more compromise than a mild intrusion of noise on the rare occasions that you push it beyond about 2200rpm.

This is a truly special powertrain – and more than good enough to banish for ever the need to add the caveat “…for a three-cylinder” when talking about it. In this area at least, Peugeot (and Citroën) may well have developed a unit that is industry-leading, although the folk at Ford might quibble.

The one lingering concern I had when taking collection of the car was around fuel economy. As diesel has been demonised over the past year or so, it has become apparent that a large proportion of car buyers have gone on-trend and bought a petrol car, only to discover that what they bought doesn’t cover the number of miles to the gallon they hoped for. Which, of course, is both inevitable and why diesel makes so much sense in certain circumstances.

If I’m honest, not so long ago my default advice to any seven-seat SUV buyer planning to cover many out-of-town miles would have been to buy diesel. Now I’m not so sure – although the financial equation still hinges on just how many miles you cover (and the emotive one on which pollutant, NOx or CO2, you are most concerned about).

This 5008 is averaging 33.0mpg. I don’t have an equivalent diesel comparison (having not driven one as many miles, in the same way) but I do know that, over 12,000 miles in a diesel Skoda Kodiaq, I averaged 39.7mpg. Very roughly, that means that every mile in the 5008 is costing me around three pence more in fuel than Skoda’s diesel.

While that sounds like it could add up, a comparison of this petrol 5008 and the equivalent 1.5 HDi diesel list prices and discounts suggest a £1500 premium for the latter – a difference that I’d need to drive 50,000 miles to pay off. The difference if you choose to lease, however, is much slighter, because there appear to be some very enticing offers on the diesel out there at the moment. That suggests there are dealers keen to offload the diesels in the current climate, or that there is a greater confidence in the resale values of diesel versions of the car. Given the uncertainty, it is also possible that both could apply.

The conclusion I’d draw is that it’s a fluctuating market, and that the answer may change at any given time. But on experience so far, if you plump for this petrol-engined 5008, you won’t be disappointed.

Love it:

AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION Some say you should save money and opt for the manual. I reckon the auto makes the driving experience seamless.

Loathe it:

EAR-PIERCING ALERTS Dare to step from the 5008 with the key still in the ignition and the ensuing audible alert is loud enough to wake the neighbours.

Mileage: 3423

Back to the top

Life with a Peugeot 5008: Month 2

Struggling for storage space - 19th September 2018

Is there a smaller glovebox than the 5008’s? Presumably as a result of taking the path of least resistance for the conversion to right-hand drive, there is just enough room for the ownership manuals plus, maybe, an actual pair of gloves. The unusually deep and long central storage unit compensates. It’s also air-conditioned, so the salad in your sandwiches stays crisp.

Mileage: 2987

Back to the top

5008 is full of secrets - 5th September 2018

I’m a big fan of underfloor storage in cars: it’s out of sight and therefore more secure, it is still accessible and oddments can be packed in so that they don’t rattle around. Full marks to the Peugeot 5008, which features several commodious hideaways and cubbies, living up to its carry-anything family brief.

Mileage: 1258

Back to the top

Life with the Peugeot 5008: Month 1

Welcoming the 5008 to our fleet – 15th August 2018

They say you should take your time to fall in love – but, around 30 seconds after settling into the driver’s seat of the Peugeot 5008, I was smitten.

And, before you write in, I know that sounds an odd thing to say about any car, let alone a Peugeot, but it is absolutely true. It is because this 5008’s cabin is a joy to be in and look at. Everything that you first see and touch is not only great in terms of perceived quality but interesting too.

There’s the dark faux-denim cloth that breaks up the plastic surfaces. The digital dash display. The ‘piano keys’ that operate the infotainment functions. The gearlever for the auto ’box, which looks and feels designed, rather than just plonked in. I could go on.

It’s pleasing, too, that this Allure trim is just one step up the four-strong range, which starts with Active and ends with GT Line and GT. It is described by its maker as “the ultimate in understated luxury” and, while that statement is (inevitably) laden with a touch of marketing hyperbole, I’m struggling to think of a mainstream family car that looks better inside or out.

Styling features include tinted rear windows, trim enhancements and additional chrome flourishes. All of them look good. Throw in the extra kit it adds too, including a rear-view parking camera, upgraded sat-nav and various driver assistance systems, and it makes for a highly competitive proposition.

This is a large seven-seat SUV that retails from well below £30,000 even with the cosmetic extras – and one which our sister title whatcar.com can already secure you 7-10% discounts on through its New Car Buying service, such is the competition for sales in this sector.

Even so, some context might be needed to fully explain my excited reaction. The Skoda Kodiaq from which I stepped was many great things, but its interior was as rigorously functional as the Peugeot’s is interesting. Both work in their own way, but inevitably my reaction was exaggerated by the contrast. Already, you’ll start to understand why the chance to live with these two seven-seaters back-to-back is going to be such a fascinating test.

Consequently, I’ll confront one of the prejudices that is flitting through your mind now (I know you’re thinking it because it popped into my head) – namely, that my joyous reaction to getting into the 5008 is going to be short-lived, because Peugeot means French, which means style over substance and flaky build quality. Skoda, meanwhile, means Volkswagen, which means German build quality.

Sorry, but I don’t buy it. Stereotypes are usually rooted in fact but also tend to last long beyond them being factually accurate. While the Skoda was largely trouble-free, I did have an issue with the battery that left me stranded more than once. Every Peugeot I’ve driven in the past five years – including a year spent in a 308 SW, which I found to be a very fine if not quite class-leading car – has been trouble-free.

Ownership surveys provide a more mixed view; in most, Skoda outperforms Peugeot. I am a sample size of one but, rather than leap to conclusions, let’s see how this test goes.

Nor is it just the cabin ambience that has won me over, although it is the standout surprise from my first few weeks in the car. As you might hope in a large SUV, the cabin is spacious and well laid out. The kids, so often hard to please, piped up without prompting how comfortable they are in both the rearmost and middle rows of seats. The tape measure suggests they are right.

The engine, too, is a surprise, although in the sense that it remains a critical point of interest. You don’t need to be that old to look at a seven-seat SUV powered by a 1.2-litre engine to think that it is a combination that will never work. The world has, of course, moved on, and what’s evident already in these first few hundred miles is that it works just fine: linked with the auto ’box, it’s smooth and capable enough, and the 10.4sec 0-62mph time isn’t so pedestrian as to be a nuisance.

The question marks are around what cost this has on fuel economy, occasionally refinement and the linearity of acceleration. Unladen and around town, 40mpg looks possible, but out on faster roads the concern is that it has quite a thirst. More testing will answer that particular question.

To drive, the 5008 has been decent, if not startling. The deliberately small steering wheel takes some getting used to but, thanks to my height, doesn’t obscure the dash (for normally proportioned people it could) and actually forces you to adopt an interesting, wristy steering style. In terms of engagement with the road, there’s little, but that’s the norm these days, while the ride seems mostly decent, only turning brittle and unsettled on the most broken of surfaces.

These are the chief criticisms that held it back from scoring more than a (still strong) 3.5 stars in its Autocar road test, but my suspicion is that when the destination is 200 miles away and the wife, kids and luggage are on board, it may not be my first priority. Again, we’ll see, because no Autocar reader is going to thank me for recommending a car for its ambience and practicality alone.

An intriguing six months lie ahead, then. The latest car launched by a marque should always be its best, but already I suspect this 5008 could be the firm’s very best in many years.

Second Opinion

On first acquaintance – a 200-mile motorway and B-road drive – there was lots to love about the 5008. But I couldn’t help having half an eye on the fuel meter for this low-capacity petrol car. It was dropping at a faster rate than my diesel-dominated life has come to expect.

Will Williams

Back to the top

Peugeot 5008 specification

Specs: Price New £28,780 Price as tested: £29,885 Options: Metallic paint (£525), ‘black diamond’ roof (£280), 19in alloy upgrade (£300)

Test Data: Engine 3cyls, 1199cc, petrol Power 128bhp at 5,500rpm Torque 170lb ft at 1750-4300rpm Kerb weight 1310kg Top speed 117mph 0-62mph 10.9sec Fuel economy 37.3mpg CO2 117g/km Faults None Expenses None

Back to the top

Join the debate

Comments
13

27 August 2018

"These are the chief criticisms that held it back from scoring more than a (still strong) 3.5 stars in its Autocar road test, but my suspicion is that when the destination is 200 miles away and the wife, kids and luggage are on board, it may not be my first priority. Again, we’ll see, because no Autocar reader is going to thank me for recommending a car for its ambience and practicality alone."

 

I would, especially on SUVs & MPVs. And I wish more manufacturers (and auto journos) would consider these before Nurburgring-beating-abilities.

27 August 2018

Twenty years ago I had a Ford Orion , three Kids and the wife, a full size Buggy for the youngest (2 yrs old) luggage for a Week, all of it fitted in the Boot, it went in just, and there was a Child Seat in the Car back Seat, today kids have far to much stuff, blame most of it on marketing the must have accessories, a theory is if you have more room you’ll back stuff just because you can just in case, I’m flabbergasted at the price of stuff for kids today, the Merida, that had a major recall last year I think(?) going on fire I think, that wouldn’t entice People to buy one new or used. We all swear by certain makes usually because we’ve had no majors with them,but other pillary them just because they don’t like, well, my stock comment for that is their money their choice.... 

Peter Cavellini.

27 August 2018
Peter Cavellini wrote:

Twenty years ago I had a Ford Orion , three Kids and the wife, a full size Buggy for the youngest (2 yrs old) luggage for a Week, all of it fitted in the Boot, it went in just, and there was a Child Seat in the Car back Seat, today kids have far to much stuff, blame most of it on marketing the must have accessories, a theory is if you have more room you’ll back stuff just because you can just in case, I’m flabbergasted at the price of stuff for kids today, the Merida, that had a major recall last year I think(?) going on fire I think, that wouldn’t entice People to buy one new or used. We all swear by certain makes usually because we’ve had no majors with them,but other pillary them just because they don’t like, well, my stock comment for that is their money their choice, the 5008 , really, unless you’ve not been careful or want a large Family, but as the case is now, most of the time they’re driven one up. 

Peter Cavellini.

27 August 2018

Lower it by 100 mm, fit a six (or at least a 2.0+  L turbo four) and I'd buy one.  Second hand, at least.

28 August 2018

Had one of these in Scotland for 10 days and was very impressed. Interior is not only good to look at but very functional. The car has plenty of room and the back row of seats can be used by an adult for short journeys. The handling and wind noise of the car was good for it's size. Compared with a full-on SUV the sound insulation was great with the only slight negative being the ride on some B-roads. Overall though was a great car. 

28 August 2018

I have a Mazda 5 and being disappointed with the standard 2.0 petrol engine I swapped it for a 2.5 petrol engine and gearbox (from a Mazda 6 Sport). That's because I wanted to take 6 people and a roof box to Croatia and back. Six years later I still have the car and am convinced for that sort of usage (9,000 miles a year with foreign holidays) ) it needs an engine that big, even if I only get around 32 mpg without the roof box fitted.

Whilst I am sure that a 5008 1.2 works on shorter trips I would be interested to see it taken to Marbella or a similar location with a full load. Peugeot should probably offer a bigger engine as an option for that sort of usage but i suppose they are concerned that too many would buy it without the need.  

28 August 2018
jerry99 wrote:

Peugeot should probably offer a bigger engine as an option for that sort of usage but i suppose they are concerned that too many would buy it without the need.  

They are introducing a 1.6l Pure Tech (petrol) 181HP with 8-speed EAT auto from October 2018 build, alongside the 2.0l diesel engines already offered.

28 August 2018

Had a look at the 5008 three things put me off

Whilst the boot is long, its not so high and you have to duck to use it, not very good if you have large dogs

The drivers seat is very uncomfortable as the cockpit seems to enclose you with the high centre consol, feeling of being trapped

No 4X4 option, just a braking system pretending to be a sort of 4wd

oh, and its French, so electrical gremlins, a steadily noisier engine will come

Remember, without UK manufacturing you will all eventually be out of work

29 October 2018

 Can’t the speedo and rev counter be seen by the short and the tall?, looks as if the steering wheel gets in the way...?

Peter Cavellini.

29 October 2018

... and I was very impressed with the amount of pull he was getting out of a 1.2l engine. It cruised effortlessly down the motorways at speed without feeling like it was trying and there were plenty of great gadgets on board. In particular I liked all the parking aids, for a car it’s size the top-down parking cameras and rear camera made squeezing it into tight car park spaces look effortless. 

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week