The layered dashboard elements particular to Peugeot concept cars of recent years have started to see the light of production with the 5008.

The way it curls around the cockpit and uses a selection of unusual but – outwardly, at least – high-quality materials will have you reaching for a touch when you first climb in.

The steering wheel is too small for you to be able to rest your right arm comfortably on the door trim. Big cars need big steering wheels

It suggests the French are getting closer to German build quality than the Germans are to French style, although closer inspection reveals that something of a gulf still exists.

The wide centre tunnel, meanwhile, and the manner in which it separates the front-seat occupants, lends the cockpit a GT-car feel that is unusual in this class.

The sense that the 5008 belongs rather higher up the food chain than its badge suggests is amplified by the quality of our test car’s bolstered (but strangely unsupportive) seats and a bank of smart, silver toggle switches that sits below the infotainment system’s touchscreen.

The 5008’s infotainment system uses a touchscreen but also employs separate toggle switches to bring up media, climate control, navigation, vehicle information and phone applications. Along with the rotary dials for volume, this makes it superbly easy to negotiate on the move.

There’s also Peugeot’s 12.3in screen within the instrument binnacle. It exhibits fluid graphics and, along with the small steering wheel and central touchscreen, makes up the i-Cockpit.

Latency is generally very good, with the software — which features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatability — exhibiting only the occasional delay. The voice control function works well for simple commands, such as choosing a radio station, but it was stumped every time we attempted to set a navigation destination.

There’s also very effective ambient lighting, which works to beautiful effect during night-time drives.

Heated leather seats are available, by the way, as part of an expensive £1990 option pack.

Peugeot’s compact steering wheel stands out, for better or for worse. It’s designed to sit beneath the high-mounted 12.3in digital instrument binnacle, which is itself positioned in a way that shrinks the interval during which the driver has his or her eyes off the road.

This elliptical wheel is comfortable to hold but elicits an awkward, remote feeling of steering the car from between your knees, no matter how the column is adjusted. Perhaps it’s best reserved for the marque’s pointy little hatchbacks.

Crucially, the new 5008 retains the versatility that defined the original – that is, all three middle-row seats can be separately folded, and boast adjustable length and inclination.

There’s ample leg room all round, owing to Peugeot’s lengthening of the EMP2 platform for this application, although limited rear head room is exacerbated if your car is fitted with the optional panoramic glass roof (£870, or standard on top-spec GT models). With the third-row seats stowed away, the boot is cavernous, and accessible via a powered tailgate that can be operated by swiping your foot under the rear bumper. 

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