Shaped like an SUV but very much intended for tarmac-based activities, the 5008 hits its brief as a refined family cruiser.

That, at least, is on reasonably smooth road surfaces, where the car rides well at higher speeds in the main, exhibiting close body control and pliancy while satisfactorily insulating occupants from the worst effects of tyre roar and wind noise.

Steering is low on feedback, so a sequence of faster bends means guiding the car based solely on visual cues

Visibility is also good and the speed of the steering rack has been appropriately adjusted to compensate for the decreased diameter of the wheel, although some may still consider it a fraction too direct for comfort.

As a vehicle in which to cover large distances primarily on motorways, the Peugeot demonstrates no serious flaws and feels suitably long-legged, displaying just enough of the easy-going grande routier vibe that used to be a French speciality.

Problems arise once the road surface deteriorates or becomes more tortuous – and unfortunately for those who live in the UK, the two go together a lot of the time.

It’s unlikely that the 18in alloy wheels fitted to our test car helped matters, but road imperfections were transmitted through the suspension and into the body with surprising ease, the resulting thumps dispelling the sensation of composed float for which larger French cars are traditionally celebrated.

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Although body roll is generally well managed, the 5008 shows less poise when dealing with vertical inputs, exhibiting a strange blend of hard-edged sloppiness if you’re really pushing on. This could well be a compromise brought about by the need to manage the lateral movements of what is a deceptively tall car.

In an attempt to alleviate these troubles, you might be tempted to press the Sport button mounted on the transmission. You needn’t bother. All it will get you is a synthesized engine note pumped into the cabin and increased throttle response.

Neither is welcome nor necessary. We’d instead advise you to manage your expectations of this car’s handling abilities and play to its strengths – namely, easy-going long-haul routes.

Despite its chiseled aesthetic, the high-riding 5008 was not a car that we expected would take easily to the tortuously undulating hill route at Millbrook, and while it hardly disgraced itself there’s little reward to be had from hustling hard from corner to corner.

Significant vertical inputs administered in quick succession can leave the chassis a little discombobulated, but Peugeot has managed to give the tall 5008 vehicle just enough lateral body control for it to tolerate being manhandled through bends with commitment.

There’s precious little feel through the wheel, but it’s well weighted and the small diameter rim creates a welcome feeling of agility. Driven briskly, the 5008 clings on gamely and will pick a precise line through a corner, while a lift of the throttle is enough to get the car to benignly tighten its line. But push harder and you can feel the torque vectoring and ESP systems nibbling away as they start to fight the mass and height, at which point the Peugeot becomes a little ragged.

You may not come to enjoy hustling this car, but with a calculated approach, the 5008 can be made to cover ground with unexpected pace.

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