Peugeot 5008 Review: French for Families
by Sue Baker
Seven seats and grippy performance without the weight of a 4×4 system is what Peugeot’s new 5008 is all about.
Peugeot 5008 Stats Review
Model tested: 5008 Allure 2.0 HDI 150
Top speed: 128 mph
0-62 mph: 9.6 secs
Economy: 61.4 mpg
CO2: 118 g/km
Price: circa £27,500
Here we go, another new SUV. These butch-looking, pumped-up cars seem to be rivalling rabbits for their breeding habits. The rate at which they are proliferating on the motoring scene is remarkable, and here’s another one.
The rise of so-called ‘sports utility vehicles’ is partly in proportion to the decline of MPVs, ‘multi-purpose vehicles’. The latter have height, space and practicality, but mostly lack the sexy appeal and capability of an SUV. Those ingredients add a bit of muscle and ruggedness to the mix, as well as at least a modest ability to cope with slippery conditions and minor off-roading.
All of which explains Peugeot’s very rational decision to morph its 5008, first launched in 2006, from an MPV into an SUV. That is what has happened to its new, second-generation car, just given its driving debut and due on UK roads this summer.
AGC not 4WD
The new 5008 is a biggish seven-seater family car, designed and built in France. It is a lot hunkier-looking than its predecessor and is equipped with electronic wizardry called Advanced Grip Control.
This is essentially a combination of a traction control system with hill descent control and enables the car to master tricky conditions such as parking in a muddy field at a country show or climbing a gravelly slope. This is further assisted by the tyres, chosen for their capability in modestly difficult off-road conditions as well as on the road.
By employing clever electronics instead of a more traditional four-wheel-drive system for the 5008, Peugeot’s engineers have saved on weight and cost. But not on versatility: the system lets you select a mode to suits the conditions, switching between normal and other settings that tackle trickier surfaces like mud and snow.
What else is new about the 5008? A lot, including a much more interestingly styled body design, a significant upgrade in cabin quality, and a bit more space shoehorned into the interior.
The car has a rather stretched look from a side view, and the long rear roof life isn’t its prettiest feature, although a clever piece of lighter material slanting downwards on the rear posts tricks the eye with its coupesque curve. The distinguishing rear feature is the claw-like LED taillights, inspired by Peugeot’s lion badge.
The 5008 is the latest car to have Peugeot’s iCockpit, with a smallish steering wheel, high driving position and high-up instruments dials. Although it is a bit marmite in the company’s smaller model like the 308, it feels much more natural in this car and its smaller SUV sister the 3008.
This is a very practical car for big families, with seven seats in three rows and very reasonable access to all of them. The rearmost pair of seats can accommodate adults, but legroom is very limited and they are better suited to children for any longer trips.
Those rear seats are removable to free up luggage space, and they’re not excessively heavy so it’s a manageable job taking them out. Boot space as a five-seater with the back pair folded into the floor is 1,060 litres.
This 5008 is a big improvement over the old one for its driving experience, with well-judged ride and handling, good composure on the bends with modest body lean for the type of car it is, and pretty fair refinement for a long-bodied seven-seater. It isn’t quite as engaging to drive as the new 3008, but it is one of the best-to-drive in its size category.
The engine range includes both petrol and diesel engines, with power outputs from 99 to 178 bhp. When the new 5008 arrives in showrooms in June, it will be priced from around £24,000.
Images: Sue Baker
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