Peugeot 5008's surprise and delight

Keeping the kids happy

We all fantasise about our dream garage and the amazing supercars that would fill it but back in the real world we need cars that can do the job of gathering up kids to take them to school, trips to the supermarkets and picking up the endless paraphernalia from DIY and garden stores. And then there is the annual family holiday to seasideshire...

The mark of a good car is one that not only makes all of the above possible but reduces and even eliminates the inevitable stress that goes with it. And that means keeping the kids happy.

The 5008 is a child-friendly case in point. For a start the two flip-down tables are great, though if you have three ‘little darlings' in the back then you will inevitably have to calm arguments about sharing them. Adding to the bespoke set-up in the rear is the heating vents and controls in the pillars, though they never seemed to make a major difference.

Cubby holes are another essential. Whether you need them to stash Buzz Lightyear or Nintendo DS, kids need to know there are plenty of places to keep their things close by. Hidden storage areas appeal to junior pirates but less so to parents who discover a decomposing apple core when they eventually find time to clean the car.

Individual seats can help to keep the warring parties apart and the two rear-most seats can act as punishment corner or reward for good behaviour depending on parental requirements.

The long glass roof not only increases the ‘feeling of spaciousness' (thanks Peugeot Brochure) but takes eye spy games to a new level thereby keeping young ones distracted for longer - though watch for cricked necks.

A quick poll of my nephews and nieces, and friends' kids reveals that while the in-car entertainment (aka DVD/games console hook-up) with Bluetooth headphones (bliss for parents) was ‘well cool', the head-up display and detachable torch in the boot proved more fascinating. Trying to stop kids zap each other with the ‘atomic laser beam' was a game played at the journey's beginning and end. Still it meant they ran off some energy and did keep them occupied for a while.

Current mileage: 8882

Average mpg: 33