- We like...Smooth ride
- We don't...Tiny luggage space in seven-seat mode
All-new people carrier breaks fresh ground for Peugeot. But can it cut it against tough competition from elsewhere? When it comes to making sensibly-sized seven-seat people shifters, Peugeot is late to the game. Where cars like the Ford S-Max, Volkswagen Touran and Vauxhall Zafira have been the choice of busy families for years, all Peugeot previously had to offer them was the 308 SW. Which, based as it was on the 308 hatchback, could never fully compete – it was too small.
Now here’s the 5008, a fore-runner of a new generation of cars which Peugeot expects will return pep and interest to its model line-up. Look back a few years and Peugeot made cars that looked beautiful and rode sublimely, giving a marvellous loping feel as they covered the road. After that, we felt that the make ‘lost’ its way a little. Could the 5008 show a return to top form? We think so.
MPVs that convert from five seaters to seven are among the most complicated cars that you can buy and for us they succeed or don’t in the details: do the seats fold easily; is it as simple as it can be to clamber into the rearmost ones; do the seat belts stow away easily until needed; is there enough in-cabin space for belongings.
With this car, you get a strong sense that countless design hours have gone into puzzling through such questions. And, mostly, they’ve been answered. True, sitting out back is a squash for lanky adults but at least entry and exit is easier than in most rivals thanks to clever mid-row seats that spring forward at the touch of a lever. And when you’re done with seats six and seven, they fold easily and lightly into the boot floor.
The mid-row, meanwhile, adjusts and slides easily to give generous leg room if needed. And the cabin’s very pleasant to spend time in, thanks to exceptionally effective air conditioning and, in our Exclusive-trim car, a glass roof that extends from the front header rail to a point just aft of the mid-row passengers’ heads. You also get neat touches such as a boot light that unclips and doubles as a rechargeable torch. It’s not perfect: when every seat’s needed there’s tiny space for luggage and there’s nowhere to put the luggage cover blind. But, in fairness, most rivals share these problems.
The cabin is well finished, too, in the kind of smooth fabrics and high-tone plastics you’d expect in a Volkswagen. There are one or two areas where it looks a bit low-rent but generally it looks pretty good. It’s very well kitted out for the money, too: digital air conditioning, alloy wheels, a top drawer stereo, six airbags and a full suite of safety gadgets come as standard.
On the move, the first thing that strikes is how well it rides. It smothers the bumps and, as it picks up speed, it settles into a softly loping feel that anyone who’s driven an older Peugeot will recognise. But the car still corners directly and easily. The main controls have a consistent weight across them that makes its driver feel at home on even the first journey. The 2.0 150bhp diesel is a little loud when extended but it pulls well, even with seven aboard. We did find, though, that it covered fewer miles per gallon than its posted 48mpg combined figure suggests. We couldn’t manage anything over 36mpg, even driving gently.
Should you buy one? With the Zafira, S-Max, Touran and Mazda 5 to tempt you, the 5008 has its work cut out. But it’s attractive, well planned and thoroughly competent. It deserves a place on your list.
- Engines2.0 diesel
- 0-60 mph10.0secs
- Insurance groups10
Motors.co.uk value verdict: