I admire what Peugeot has been doing these past few years, injecting some real quality and flair into its cars and perhaps most of all into its SUVs.

This is the new Peugeot 5008, a seven seater, not long on sale and already critics are ranking it best-in-class and it has picked up two major awards which kind of says it all.

Its smaller sibling, the 3008, was voted the European Car of the Year last year and this car just builds on that pedigree.

Peugeot 5008 SUV driving away


It’s a big seven seater so you can’t expect it to be anything other than quite long and with SUV pretensions, it’s quite high too. There is not much scope left for stylists to do much within those confines, but you will notice the flick of lights above the main headlamps as little details.

This though is a car very much best seen from the inside…

Interior: 5/5

This is where the stylists have really gone to town, but I will add to that by saying in the same breath that the 5008’s cockpit is function first, form second.

At its heart is the i-Cockpit, the design now common to Peugeot models and where it has thoughtfully made it so much easier to read the main instrumentation and info you want, at a glance, so you can spend more time with your eyes on the road.

It seems and feels very driver-focused because instead of a great slab of trim stretching across the car, the surround of the gear lever acts as a sort of visual demarcation between driver and passenger. The big touch screens are angled towards the right seat and more than just about any car in this sector I can think of, the Peugeot makes the driver feel that little bit more cocooned in the cockpit.

Peugeot 5008 SUV Interior
Peugeot 5008 SUV Bootspace

The finish is generally good and it goes without saying that there are acres of space. The middle row has three individual seats rather than a bench unit and these can do their own flip/slide/remove act and at the back are the two occasional seats. Left alone these provide a perfectly flat and big boot but can be flipped up to take children all day long or adults on shorter journeys.

I’m a family man with three kids and have a seven seater and it ranks among the best money I’ve spent on a car. Allowing the brood to travel in comfort, without being sardined in and bickering, and with seatback tables and plug-in ports such as the 5008 has means journeys are so much easier for all concerned.

As extra proof of its versatility, the front passenger seat can fold down flat so you get a load space from the back of the boot almost to the front wheel. Just the job if you are in the window cleaning business and need somewhere to put the ladders!

One slight irritation though; my car was a GT Line model and for around £31,000 I would have expected power adjusted seats and steering column. Maybe I’m being picky.

Driving: 5/5.

The first thing you notice is the shirt button-sized steering wheel; within two corners you don’t. It is a small wheel to help with the visibility of the dashboard and seems mighty odd on first acquaintance, but as I say, within two turns it just feels natural.

Staying with the instrumentation, it is among the best I’ve used. Using your thumb you can scroll through a menu to choose what and how you want displayed in front of you and with the digital dials and needles you can see in an instant your speed, revs whatever. Other manufacturers should look and learn from what Peugeot has done here.

The big infotainment and connectivity screens seem equally legible which is all to the good and within the first 100 yards the 5008 had made a strong impression on me.

Ride wise, well it plays to the traditional strength of so many French cars in having an excellent and compliant ride over bumps and ruts with soft damping of the springs too. No, it will not corner or handle with the agility of more stiffly sprung rivals, but who cares? In today’s driving conditions, and in what is, a family car, I would vote for smoother progress over our appalling road surfaces above faster steering and more cornering poise any day of the week.

There is a variety of engines, mine being a 2.0 diesel which perfectly suited the car. Bags of torque means in top gear it needed just 1,400 rpm to cruise along at 50 mph and around another 600 or so to get to the legal maximum.

It is quiet, the Michelin tyres produce little road noise, and the Peugeot gives you an unruffled, effortless drive. Top marks.

Peugeot 5008 SUV couple sat in the boot


Pretty much whatever you can think of, Peugeot supplies and fits it. Mirror Link, 3D navigation, every driver assist and collision-avoidance device and it is worth noting that because of these the car has a lower insurance rating than its predecessor.

Options include a massaging driver’s seat and even, get this, a folding electric bike which can be recharged while stored in the boot!

Verdict: 5/5

It is hard to adequately describe just how much better today’s Peugeots are from those of only a few years ago. The quality you can see and feel and in the parts you can’t and the care that has gone into the design and detailing add up to very, very appealing cars.

From being lukewarm about it before I am now a big fan of the brand and the 5008 is a good example of how far it has come.

If you are looking at a big seven seater, say a Skoda Kodiak or Nissan Qashqai +2, you really need to take a test drive in this first.



Share this article

You May Also Like...