5008 blends style and flexibility
SUVs are on a winning streak at the moment and it's easy to see why, writes Geraldine Herbert
An MPV is not the car of choice for style-conscious families. If you are in the market for one it's more than likely that you are in need of extra seats and space, possibly as much as 1,000 litres with the seats folded down.
In the age of the Urban SUV, Peugeot has looked at the most important, decision-shaping consumer desirables within the family-buying market - style, space and elegance - and have re-imagined their 5008 from the wheels up. Sharing only a name with the outgoing model, the 5008 is no longer a boxy MPV but rather a smart SUV.
In this highly competitive market segment, style and packaging are all important and the 5008 scores well; it is distinctive and elegant. The deep grille, smart headlights and roof racks all add to its appeal.
Inside, everything is smooth and logical and behind Peugeot's small steering wheel is a virtual cockpit - the iCockpit, a digital dashboard. The contemporary design is elegant and there's the impression that every detail has been considered.
The previous model may not have been one of Peugeot's most desirable cars but it was certainly one of their most practical, with a flexible seating arrangement and stacks of space. Fans of the old one will not be disappointed; the new model offers lots of legroom without scrimping on the boot space and loses none of the flexibility. Third-row passengers now enjoy even more headroom than before, thanks to an increase in length over the previous 5008 MPV model. Even second-row passengers benefit from 6cm more knee room - it may not seem like a lot, but on a long journey it all adds up. The spacious SUV gets even more generous with the third row of seats removed. This makes for a huge boot capacity of 1,060 litres, perfect for paid-up Ikea card carriers.
Diesel engines are offered as a 100ps 1.6 manual or a 120ps and a 2.0-litre in 150ps manual and 180ps. The choice of petrol engines includes a 130ps 1.2 turbo with manual or automatic gears and a 165ps 1.6 auto.
On the road this functional yet chic seven-seater actually has a fun side. Our 1.6 zipped along with 120ps of gusto and returned a promised 4.2 litres per 100km.
Reassuringly, the 5008 is offered with Grip Control. This is a system that provides more traction and control than a two-wheel drive vehicle for that extra reassurance on wet roads or snow-covered motorways.
Five trim levels are offered: Access, Active, Allure, GT Line and GT versions. All 5008s feature a configurable 12.3" head-up digital instrument panel, an 8" touchscreen, multifunction steering wheel, Bluetooth, USB connectivity and three 12V sockets. You could treat yourself to the top-of-the-line GT 2.0-litre BlueHDi automatic version that includes 3D navigation, voice recognition, driver-seat multi-point massage function, driver-seat memory function, driver-seat 8-way electric adjustment (includes electric lumbar adjustment), driver and front passenger seat heating and seat adjustable cushion nose, full-grain leather seat trim with Aikinite double-stitch detail and grey oak dash and panel finish.
Boasting a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, the 5008 comes with six airbags, an automatic braking system and front collision warning as standard but if you want the full suite of safety features offered by the Safety Plus pack, then you'll have to go for the Allure trim level.
The 5008 blends the best practicality of an MPV with the appeal of an SUV, making it a very enticing family car. While it will be battling for market share with some very accomplished rivals, it has the capacity to nudge its way in and create a following all of its own.