Like it or not, SUVs are big business for car manufacturers and the MPV sector is dwindling away. Peugeot has obviously recognised this by completely revamping and re-marketing its 5008 from a boxy MPV into a stylish SUV.
The 5008 poses as the flagship SUV in the Peugeot range – above the 2008 and 3008. While it shares its looks with the smaller 3008, the 5008 offers more space and practicality thanks to its larger size and seven-seats layout.
Just about everything on the 5008 is new, unsurprising considering its switch from an MPV to an SUV. The 5008 has taken on Peugeot’s new styling direction along with its updated I-Cockpit system and a small, squared steering wheel that aims to give the impression of driving a more dynamic car.
Peugeot has been generous with its engine options, with the choice of two petrols – a 1.2-litre and a 1.6-litre – and three diesels – a 1.5-litre manual, a 1.6-litre that can be chosen with a manual or automatic gearbox and the range topping 2.0-litre that comes exclusively with an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
We drove the 1.2-litre petrol with a manual gearbox. It produced 131bhp and 230Nm of torque helping it get from 0-60mph in 10.9 seconds and onto a top speed of 117mph.
Surprisingly for such a small engine in a relatively large car, it was very versatile. It gave enough pull, even in higher gears. Our only minor criticism lies with the gearbox, which sometimes could be a little stubborn, resulting in difficult changes, although it still felt direct to use and is only a minor criticism.
Ride and handling
Pleasingly, considering its size, the 5008 felt like a much smaller car when you were behind the wheel, helped by its well-weighted steering and compact steering wheel. In short, the 5008 felt far more dynamic than what we were expecting, particularly for a car of this size.
You can even put it in sport mode for even more thrills. Our only minor gripe with it is the auto ‘box paddle shifts that were a little hesitant to downshift.
The 5008 is easy to manoeuvre around town, thanks to its great visibility and range of parking aids.
Interior and equipment
Inside, the 5008 has an interior quite different from anything else in its class.
You instantly notice the squared steering wheel, cocooned driver’s area and Peugeot’s now trademark I-Cockpit that replaces traditional analogue dials. Peugeot has upped its game in terms of interior quality, although there are still some plastics that have an odd rubbery feel and some fabric inserts don’t give the impression they would look good after a few years of family use.
It’s also excellently equipped. Headline standard features include LED daytime running lights, infotainment with Bluetooth connectivity and lane-departure warning.
Our test car came in stylish GT-Line trim, which includes Peugeot’s I-Cockpit display system, full LED headlamps, a Focal sound system and leather seats with a massage function – a pricey option at £1,990, but worth it in our opinion.
Boot capacity is great, too. It might be quite measly with all seven seats in place, but with the rearmost seats folded, there is 1,060 litres of space. Cabin storage is a bit disappointing, though, with a few shallow armrest pockets and a glovebox that is mostly filled with a fuse box.
The 5008 is very attractively priced. Starting at £24,495, similar to the Skoda Kodiaq and Nissan X-Trail, considering the amount of kit you get for your money.
Our 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engine was surprisingly efficient, too, returning 55.4mpg on the combined cycle and emitting 124g/km of CO2.
Peugeot has successfully transformed the 5008 from a boxy people-carrier into a stylish and capable SUV. It represents a quirky and less-conventional option in this somewhat dull market.
It may not have the off-roading ability of the Nissan X-Trail, the driving dynamics of the Skoda Kodiaq or the badge appeal of more premium rivals but it is an elegant package that comes with brilliant engines, tonnes of practicality and a great I-Cockpit display.