In building a car designed to deliver the practicality of an MPV with the flair of a debonair SUV, Peugeot has broken ranks with its compatriot rivals, Renault and Citroën, and shown that it better understands what buyers want.

On the evidence of this road test, the marque deserves to be rewarded for its boldness, because although the 5008 is not the most engaging steer, few in this growing marketplace can match its combination of versatility, style and cabin ambience.

Bold, stylish and capable but lacking a class leader’s all-round polish

Peugeot’s execution is not without question, though.

Caveats include a lack of four-wheel drive, poor second-row head room and a chassis let down by its inability to insulate occupants from the grumbling effects that poor road surfaces impart – areas in which rivals offer more.

Not even a smooth diesel powertrain that delivers excellent fuel economy can mitigate our concerns, and thus the 5008 fails to challenge the leaders in this competitive segment. It’s not far off, though, and future alterations to ergonomics and suspension tune could elevate this car’s levels of substance to match its indisputable style.