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Peugeot 5008 engines, drive and performance

2017 onwards (change model)
Performance rating: 3.8 out of 53.8

Written by Keith Adams Published: 30 October 2023 Updated: 30 October 2023

  • Petrol, diesel and hybrid engine choice
  • All are now automatic transmission only
  • Pleasant to drive but never thrilling

Petrol engines

Not that long ago the idea of a 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol-powered seven-seater SUV would have been a dreary proposition, but it is not only an acceptable powerplant in the Peugeot 5008, it’s also a reasonably appealing one.

Familiar from other Peugeots – as well as various cars with Citroen, DS and Vauxhall badging – in the 5008 it’s only available in PureTech 130 guise. This equates to 131hp and 230Nm of torque (puling power) from 1,750rpm, and following the latest range revisions, is only available attached to an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Peugeot 5008 review - side view, driving
1.2-litre might not sound like much, but the PureTech petrol tries hard.

There’s plenty of low-speed punch, and this is a peppy and characterful engine, with a distinctive sound that just falls short of becoming annoying. But it needs working quite hard when loaded or faced with motorway inclines. Let the engine speed drop too low and you’ll find yourself in a bit of a power black hole. Still, if you enjoy the process of extracting the best performance from an engine, this PureTech unit is a rewarding choice.

Diesel engines 

There were originally two diesels on offer – the BlueHDi 130 and BlueHDi 180, the numbers again roughly representing the power output. Now only the lesser 131hp model is offered, also equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Compared with the equivalent petrol, the diesel benefits from a chunkier 300Nm of torque, making it feel usefully stronger in most situations. It’s not as fun, but it’s more fuel efficient for drivers who do lots of longer journeys and represents a good all-round choice, especially if you plan to pack the 5008 with passengers on a regular basis.

Hybrid engines

As of August 2023, the Peugeot 5008 is also available with a self-charging hybrid engine. This combines the 1.2-litre petrol with an electric motor to give a total system output of 136hp. We’re yet to drive it, but the e-motor should improve initial response while also offering the ability to run on electric power alone for short distances.

We have driven the same power unit in the Citroen C5 Aircross if you’re interested in more details about how it performs.

What’s it like to drive?

  • Safe and secure rather than engaging
  • Good body control and all-round traction levels
  • No 4×4 models but Advanced Grip Control offered

The Peugeot 5008 is a pleasant car to drive considering its primary role is that of a large family SUV. It has plenty of agility in bends, helped by that sporty-feeling small steering wheel. There’s also lots of grip and body roll is well-controlled, resulting in a rewarding drive and reduced levels of nausea for those in the back.

There isn’t a huge amount of feedback through the tiny steering wheel. But it is linear and predictable in its nature, with plenty of confidence-inspiring weight at higher speeds, unlike the lighter, vaguer power steering systems seen in older SUVs.

Peugeot 5008 review - rear view, driving
Comfortable, stable and refined sums up the 5008 driving experience.

We’ve driven it in some particularly nasty weather conditions, and were struck by how steady and stable it felt. We never worried about losing grip in the turns or being overwhelmed by slippery surfaces. An excellent trait for a family vehicle. And that’s without the Advanced Grip Control system that’s optionally available to improve traction for more challenging terrain; this includes Normal, Sand, Mud and Snow driving modes.

As the Peugeot 5008’s primary function is as a family vehicle, its suspension rightly errs on the side of comfortable rather than overly firm. That said, while it irons out lumpy roads well, there’s a sharpness when traversing potholes and other cracked surfaces, a consequence of not being floaty and nausea-inducing. This is rarely uncomfortable, but rather gives you a sense of being in touch with the road.

The engines are rarely intrusive in terms of cabin noise, with the 1.2-litre petrol generating a cheerful three-cylinder thrum in the background. We were also taken by the lack of wind and tyre noise, which makes the 5008 a refined and relaxing long-distance cruiser.