What is it?
It’s Peugeot’s large MPV, a replacement for the outdated 807 of old. The French company is going through a rejuvination of late, and the 5008 is the perfect illustration of that – with yet more polish for 2014 courtesy of a facelift.
There’s bags of room inside and the interior is brimming with clever features. Cavernous though it may be, the 5008 is also very refined. Peugeot’s engineers have worked on the handling too, so it’s not a bad car to drive down a B-road.
Steer clear of the basic 1.6 VTi petrol engines. They’re the cheaper option, but they’re also sluggish and you’ll never sell them on in the future. The 1.6 THP petrol engine is far superior – it’s turbocharged and packs 156bhp, so even in a car the size of the 5008, it comes across as pretty lively. The 1.6 and 2.0-litre HDi engines are the obvious choice, though. The 115bhp 1.6 is more than competent and it’s by far the most frugal, but there’s always the 150 and 163bhp 2.0-litre versions if you fancy a bit more torque.
For the most part, the 5008 rides well, but it’s also quite engaging to drive as far as MPVs go, so the firmer than average suspension makes itself known over the odd rough surface. It’s not awful, though, and when you factor in the Peugeot’s refinement, sharp steering and strong grip, the driving experience as a whole is pretty well rounded, especially for a big old people carrier like this.
On the inside
Practicality is the 5008’s trump card. There’s space for seven and the rearmost seats are more roomy than you’d expect. All the middle-row seats slide and recline individually and it’s really easy to fold them down and remove them completely. Fold them all down or remove them all and you’ve got yourself a nice van.
Up front, the cockpit is extremely classy and well laid out with a plush centre console. The layout could be slightly clearer, and some of the controls on the centre console are really rather fiddly, but other than that it’s OK. You sit high, so all-round visibility is good.
As we mentioned, the 1.6 VTi petrol engines combined with the entry-level Access spec won’t go down well when you try to sell the car on. Spec is really pretty poor at the basic level, too, so you’re better off going for a mid-range model and any of the other engines. The 1.6 HDi 115 diesel engine returns 56.4mpg and 128g/km, so it’s exceptionally cheap to run for a large MPV, and e-HDi models fitted with the EGC gearbox are even more frugal, albeit jerkier. Those interested in driving will take the economy hit, although most will find the self-shifter fine. You can sort of drive round it, too...