Peugeot 5008 1.6HDI 110 Sport 17 | 08 | 2010Scotcars rating

    Peugeot's family holdall is capable of coping with all the everyday needs and does it in style

    WE SEEM TO BE living through an era in which car manufacturers are desperately trying to make every car they build actually be something else. You know what I mean; they want their saloons to be coupés, and off-roaders to be sports cars. It’s all a result, of course, of creating new niches as part of the endless battle to establish market share. So let’s applaud Peugeot which has bucked the trend.

    The French manufacturer has thankfully stripped away all the pretence surrounding its well-proportioned, new seven-seat 5008. “Yes,” I hear you say, “but what is it?” It is, no more and no less than a compact MPV which concentrates on delivering improved quality, impressive seating versatility, and some surprising new technology. As Aleksandr, the noble little meerkat on TV would say: “Simples.”

    Until now, Peugeot had never made a unique MPV — yes, you may remember the hefty 806 and 807 people-carriers, but they were/are the same, apart from the badges, as certain Fiats and Citroëns — but now that it has, it’s been pretty successful. Peugeot’s marketing strapline for the 5008 is, “Enjoyed by families, loved by drivers.”

    To be honest, most MPVs (that’ll be a multi-purpose vehicle) are about as much fun to drive as eating blancmange with a fork. While I would never recommend the latter — in fact, I’d suggest you steer clear of blancmange altogether — Peugeot does seem to have achieved the almost impossible with the 5008.

    Most MPVs are about as much fun to drive as eating blancmange with a fork

    Tenacious on the road

    Once you settle into the high-position seat and make yourself comfortable behind the wheel of this roomy, airy transport module, you’ll realise after no more than a few bends that there’s actually quite a bit of talent lurking within the car. The test car’s punchy 2.0-litre turbodiesel delivered effortless motion and yet left the cabin a quiet and relaxed place to be.

    Of course, it’s to be expected the bulk of the 5008’s life will be spent ferrying the family and kids round the traditional daily and weekly locations — the usual things like school, piano practice, football, Tesco and the trip to granny’s — and here the 5008 is at its masterful best. But show it a series of flowing corners on a country B-road, and the driver won’t be disappointed as it shows its tidiness, tenaciousness and a confidence through corners.

    With prices ranging from £17,345 to £24,145, there’s a choice of two petrol — both of 1.6 litres, one with 120bhp, the other a turbo with 156bhp — and two diesel engines. Most buyers are likely to opt for the oilburners, available as a 110bhp 1.6 (optionally with a clutchless sequential gearshift), a 150bhp 2.0 or, with automatic transmission only, or a 163bhp version of the same powerplant.

    Though all the parts you see are specific to the 5008, the Peugeot shares much of its underskin structure and mechanical componentry with the popular Citroën C4 Grand Picasso and like its French colleague, the Peugeot delights in its versatility.

    Middle seats slide back

    Get the owner’s manual out and you’ll discover there’s a total of seven seating combinations, including one that leaves a completely flat, van-like floor behind the front seats. Even the front passenger seat folds forward to allow for exceptionally long loads.

    The clever designers also took onboard the fact most people prefer a completely flat floor when it comes to storage areas, so with a simple tug not only does the rear row fold neatly into the floor, but so too does the middle row. Just for good measure, the middle row also slides back and forward allowing you to either increase rear storage or provide more legroom for passengers.

    Peugeot has made leaps and bounds in improving the tactile qualities of its switchgear and interior fittings, and you can carry your precious cargo safe in the knowledge the 5008 has secured five stars in Euro Ncap crash tests. What Peugeot has done here is produce something many manufacturers see as unpopular; a sensible family holdall which is easy to live with. It’s something every family should have.

    Jim McGill

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £20,045 / £21,745
    Engine / Power: 1598cc / 107bhp
    How fast?: 0-60 mph 12.9secs, Max 114mph
    How big/heavy?: H1638mm W2118mm L4530mm / 1502kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 53.3mpg / CO2 140g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: 16 /
    Alternatives: Citroen C4 Grand Picasso, Ford S-Max, Ford Galaxy

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