You might think that the entry-level 128bhp 1.2-litre engine would be too small to power a seven-seat SUV, but it’s actually surprisingly peppy and eager to rev. It’s available with a choice of a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox, while the more powerful 163bhp 1.6-litre petrol comes with a six-speed auto only. Although the 1.6 adds a good extra portion of performance, the additional cost to buy and run actually means the 1.2 is the petrol unit of choice.
A range of diesels are available – the 1.6-litre unit is available in 99bhp or 118bhp, and the 2.0-litre engine has 148bhp or 178bhp. The performance on offer in the higher-powered 1.6 will cope fine with everyday family use, while running costs should also be low. The 148bhp unit – badged 2.0 BlueHDi 150 – is a flexible engine that feels quick enough, offers strong real-world pace and is capable of pulling the car ably, even when fully loaded.
As for the top-of-the-line 178bhp 2.0, it has no trouble dealing with hefty loads. It can scrabble for grip if you’re accelerating hard from a standstill but, once moving, feels pretty brisk for such a big family wagon.
The relatively softly sprung 5008 proves one of the more comfortable cars in the class. As long as you avoid the bigger 19in wheels that are optional on many models and standard on top-spec GT cars, it’s compliant over all but the scrappiest town roads, rarely thudding unless you hit a particularly gargantuan pothole. It's certainly far more relaxing than the ever-jiggly Nissan X-Trail.
It’s true that, over testing undulations, the 5008’s vertical body control is a little looser than, say, the stiffer Skoda Kodiaq – at least without the pricey adaptive dampers fitted to the latter. That means the 5008’s body tends to float about more on its springs and, in turn, you do too. But get it onto a motorway and you’ll discover the 5008 loafs along at 70mph very admirably, soaking up all those ripples that the tauter Kodiaq picks up on. This makes the 5008 a very restful long-distance machine.
The 5008’s handling isn’t class-leading, but then it’s a large SUV so most people probably won’t care a jot. The fact that, in the main, it can keep up with the Kodiaq along a challenging country road – that car being one of the sharper-handling ones in this price bracket – means it’s very capable.
So while the 5008 leans a little more than the Kodiaq and hasn’t got quite the same high levels of grip, we’re talking small margins.
Speaking of small – that tiny steering wheel that comes courtesy of Peugeot’s i-Cockpit design (more on that in the Driving Position section) gives the 5008 a flightiness as you turn in to corners that requires some getting used to. But eventually you do and you'll discover that it offers reasonable steering weight, giving you plenty of confidence to hustle the car along without it displaying any inherent vices.
One thing to note if you live deep in the countryside or are likely to go off road: no 5008 gets four-wheel drive. You can option something called Grip Control (an electronic system designed to improve traction) that comes with mud and snow tyres, as well as hill descent control. In really tough conditions, though, this is unlikely to match the extra traction of four-wheel drive in rivals such as the Kodiaq or X-Trail.
At motorway speeds, the 5008 is refined, with less wind noise compared with a Kodiaq and generally less road noise than an X-Trail. Only when you hit a really worn, coarse section of asphalt do you notice the tyres drone.
The 1.2 petrol is very smooth and the 2.0 diesel isn’t far behind – it’s one of the quietest in the class, in fact, unless you compare it with the rather pricier Audi Q5.
Particularly in the petrol models, the weight of the controls lets the side down a tad. The brakes can be grabby in stop-start traffic and the clutch action is more springy than is ideal. But while the shift quality of the six-speed manual gearbox also leaves a little to be desired, overall it doesn't prevent the powertrain from being pleasant – if not as pleasant as a Kodiaq’s – to engage with. At least the automatic gearbox changes gear smoothly and isn't as hesitant when accelerating from a dead stop as some rivals.
We would, however, implore you not to touch the Sport button. With that mode engaged, you receive uncalled-for speaker-generated noise and an oversensitive accelerator pedal – both of which feel unnecessary in a family-oriented SUV.
All versions come with a height-adjustable driver’s seat and a reach and rake-adjustable steering wheel. These allow enough alteration to get a good driving position, while our recommended mid-spec Allure trim brings manually adjustable lumbar support as well.
It’s just a shame that, unless you go for the absolute bells-and-whistles top GT trim, you don’t get an electrically adjustable driver’s seat. It’s part of a ridiculously pricey option pack, although it does bring a rare feature at this price point: a massaging seat.
Peugeot’s i-Cockpit dashboard design works well in the 5008. Instead of looking at the instruments through the steering wheel, as you do in most cars, the dials are high up on the dashboard, with a small steering wheel below. In some other Peugeot models, such as the 308, the steering wheel can block the instruments; this isn't an issue in the 5008.
As in some much pricier cars, such as Audis and Range Rovers, the instruments are digital instead of analogue as standard, displayed on a 12.3in screen. They’re very clear and you can configure the display in a number of ways to show the information most useful to you, including a large map displaying your navigation route.
Most of the controls are sensibly positioned, except for two gripes: you have to go into the touchscreen menus to operate the climate control functions, including the temperature controls, and the cruise control buttons are completely hidden behind the steering wheel. While you can learn to use the cruise control buttons by touch alone, having to swap screens just to change the temperature is a faff.
Seeing out of the 5008 is about as easy as it gets in modern SUVs. You sit high and, even though the front pillars are quite thick, you still get a great view forward. Looking behind, your over-the-shoulder view is great because of the large rear quarter windows.
If you still fret that a car of this size will prove a headache to park, then go for our recommended Allure trim and you get front and rear parking sensors, as well as a reversing camera. Should you want even more peace of mind, a 360deg camera system is available that shows you a bird’s eye view of the car as you’re manoeuvring.
And that’s not all the electronic trickery on board. All versions come with dusk-sensing lights and rain-sensing wipers, while Allure models have a blindspot warning system to highlight cars lurking at your side on motorways.
You get lots of features with the 5008’s infotainment system. All versions come with a DAB radio, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring. That last feature means you can display and use selected apps from your phone on the 8.0in screen, including sat-nav. However, if you go for our preferred Allure trim, inbuilt sat-nav with live TomTom traffic updates is standard.
The touchscreen is positioned sensibly high up on the dashboard. This has reasonable clarity and decent graphics, but it doesn’t look nearly as good as the crystal-clear displays on the latest Volkswagen Group cars – the Skoda Kodiaq included.
Nor is it as good to use. Problems arise when you use the sub-menus, because some of the smaller icons are tricky to hit on the move and there’s often a delay while the system processes your commands.
One thing that’s worth considering if you enjoy your music is an upgrade to the Focal premium sound system. This adds more speakers that are also better-quality, including a subwoofer, plus a 515W amplifier. It sounds punchy and really rather good.
While other cars in the class, such as the Kodiaq, are a little more solidly built, none – except those with premium badges and the price tags to match – equals the 5008 for its upmarket feel.
Most of the surfaces are soft to touch and those that aren’t tend to be hidden low down. There’s an eclectic mix of materials that work harmoniously to enhance the ambience, including chrome highlights around the centre console and, depending on which trim you opt for, attractive cloth or wood inserts across the dashboard and on the doors.
At night, the interior is bathed in a cultivated glow from the all-round ambient lighting. It looks truly special and makes the 5008 a fantastic place in which to spend time.
There’s plenty of leg room in the front of the 5008, and although there’s not as much head room as in a Skoda Kodiaq it’s still decent for taller folk. That’s as long as you don’t option the panoramic sunroof, which limits head room quite badly; be warned, it’s standard on the top-spec GT trim. The interior is also wide enough to put a comfortable distance between you and your front passenger.
Storage options are right up there with the class best. You might not think so if you start by opening the glovebox, which you’d struggle to fit two gloves into, but the vast cavern beneath the central armrest makes up for that. It’s air-conditioned, too, so you can keep your packed lunch cool. You also have a couple of cupholders and a large tray for your mobile phone that includes wireless charging on the GT Line and GT trims. The door bins are massive and it's a nice touch that they’re carpeted inside, so loose items won’t rattle around.
We mentioned the lack of head room in the front if you have the optional (or standard on GT) panoramic sunroof. Well, that roof makes things even worse for anyone travelling in the middle row. It may make the rear light and airy if you’re a kid staring up at the sky, but the six-foot-plus adult you’re carrying, with their head wedged against the rooflining, will be turning the air blue with frustration. Think extremely carefully about ordering it. Without it, head room is fine, although not the best in class.
Neither is knee room in the second row; a Kodiaq or Nissan X-Trail has a centimetre or two more. But it’s still good enough for 6ft adults to sit behind their equivalents up front. Where the middle row is good, though, is if you have three adults sitting abreast. They each get an individual chair that slides and reclines, including the middle passenger – this is much more comfortable than the raised perch you get in many of the 5008’s rivals.
There’s also much more shoulder room for three across and, with a completely flat floor, there’s no central tunnel for the middle passenger to straddle, as there is in the Kodiaq.
The 5008’s third-row seats are cramped, so are naturally better suited to kids than tall adults. A couple of 6ft passengers could stomach sitting there for a short trip and would certainly prefer the experience to sitting in the even tighter third row of a Kodiaq or X-Trail.
Front passengers get height adjustment as standard, but adjustable lumbar support or an electrically adjustable passenger seat isn’t an option.
The front passenger seat folds flat, meaning you get the full length of the car, from boot to dashboard, to fit in a particularly long load.
In the middle row, the three individually sliding and reclining chairs allow passengers to find their own optimal seating position. And because they split and fold 40/20/40, it gives you more flexibility when carrying longer items and passengers.
The third-row seats pull out manually and are easy to erect or stow as and when required.
The boot is massive. We managed to fit in 10 carry-on suitcases without much effort – that's a match for an Audi Q5 and better than the 5008’s nearest rivals on price, the Kodiaq and X-Trail.
That’s partly down to the boot being a good, square shape, with no wheel arch intrusion, and also because it is so tall from floor to ceiling. Not only that, but the boot floor is relatively low to the ground and ends flush with the tailgate opening, so there’s no awkward lip to lift heavy items over.
Because the rear seats slide forward, you can extend boot space while still keeping three seats available in the middle row. Then they of course fold flat, giving you a long extended load bay resembling a small van.
A powered tailgate, which you can open with a swipe of your foot underneath the rear bumper, is optional on most models and standard on the top GT trim.
For cash buyers, the 5008’s list prices are competitive with rivals such as the Skoda Kodiaq, while resale values are predicted to be as strong as that car, too. It’s also relatively cheap as a company car, thanks to low CO2 emissions for both petrol and diesel models. Leasing rates are generally pricier than rivals, though.
We’ve carried out a real-world fuel economy test on the 2.0 BlueHDi 150 and, while it didn’t match its claimed combined figure of 61.4mpg, the 44.3mpg we recorded is all but a match for rivals with equivalent diesel engines. We've also put the 1.2-litre petrol through our True MPG test, where it managed 36.0mpg.
Servicing and insurance costs are higher than average, but only by a few hundred pounds if you’re looking at a three-year ownership period.
The 5008 is reasonably well equipped, but not to the same extent as rivals, especially the Nissan X-Trail. We’d aim to keep the costs down and stick with the mid-spec Allure trim, which has most of the things you’d need.
You get power-folding door mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, automatic lights and wipers, 18in alloy wheels and rear privacy glass. You even get some feel-good trinkets, such as all-round interior ambient lighting, plus picnic tables and retractable window blinds for middle-row passengers.
Options that are worth considering include metallic paint and a package that bundles together keyless entry and start with a powered tailgate with hands-free opening.
The Peugeot brand did reasonably well in our latest reliability survey, finishing mid-table of 32 manufacturers tested. It’s too soon to tell if this level of satisfaction will apply to the current 5008; we’ll update you on that as soon as we can.
Euro NCAP awarded the 5008 five stars in its crash tests and, if you look at the individual scores for each category, it gets good ratings across the board. Although it equals the X-Trail for adult occupant protection and beats it for child occupant protection, the Volkswagen Tiguan is even better for adults. That said, the Tiguan isn’t quite as good for protecting kids on board.
Even the entry-level Active model gets active safety gizmos to hopefully stop you from having an accident, including automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning.
Step up to Allure trim and this adds automatic high beams, blindspot warning, a driver attention alert – to point out if the drivier is tired – and lane assist. Working in combination with the lane departure warning, lane assist will actually nudge you back into line if you stray out of your lane.
Security experts Thatcham Research gave the 5008 five stars out of five for resisting a thief trying to pinch it from your driveway and four out of five for holding out against someone trying to break in.
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