This week's update: We get a second opinion on the Peugeot 5008 - from one Keith to another, as Editor Keith Adams takes the keys from Deputy Editor Keith Jones. You don't have to be called Keith to work here, but it helps.
|1. Welcome||2. Specs appeal||3. It's been a dial|
|4. Space race||5. Moan and groan||6. 5008 vs Kodiaq|
|7. Mobile library||8. Getting a grip||9. One track mind|
|10. Second opinion|
Peugeot’s second-generation 5008 joins the Parkers fleet
There’s not a word I detest more in the motoring sphere than ‘crossover’ – even ‘infotainment’ doesn’t come close – yet, somewhat ironically, in my new long-term Peugeot 5008, I’ve got my hands on a car that arguably crosses over more market segments than any other.
Okay, what’s with the lack of crossover love?
Let me start with a brief history lesson.
Like SUV – for Sports Utility Vehicle – use of ‘crossover’ originated in North America, where it once had a specific meaning. Across the Atlantic cars and trucks are subjected to different automotive legislation, lawmakers historically being more lenient on the latter in terms of fuel efficiency, safety requirements and so on.
Early SUVs were categorised as trucks and featured bodywork frames attached to separate underpinnings, but crossovers – or CUVs - were considered to be cars because they had what’s known as a monocoque construction, where the framework for the body and the chassis are a single entity.
Nowadays, almost every passenger vehicle is built using the latter construction method, but in the transatlantic migration process, the word ‘crossover’ has different meanings depending upon which manufacturer is using it, often dictated by marketing departments seeking to make new models sound more on-trend and less agricultural.
As a rule of thumb, contemporary crossovers are cars that look like SUVs, but which can barely tackle terrain trickier than mounting a kerb. Strictly speaking, based on that original definition, even an SUV as capable off-road as a Land Rover Discovery is a crossover, which reflects how meaningless a term it’s become.
So, is the Peugeot 5008 a crossover then..?
To an American audience, most definitely: it’s based upon a modular architecture known as EMP2. This adaptable platform is shared with models as diverse as the Peugeot 308 hatchback and Citroen C4 SpaceTourer (nee C4 Picasso), as well as much more closely aligned alternatives such as the DS 7 Crossback and Vauxhall Grandland X.
For clarity and ease – and to help prevent me gnawing through my desk in abject frustration – Parkers categorises the 5008 as an SUV, predominantly because it is one. If it looks like a duck...
Unlike truly capable SUVs, it doesn’t have four-wheel drive, but as I’ll explore in a future update, the Peugeot has an optional sophisticated traction-enhancing system called Advanced Grip Control designed, together with Hill Assist Descent Control, to endow it with a degree of off-roading capability.
Is that it as far as its crossoveriness is concerned then?
Stop using that word!
No, it’s not. As well as being an SUV-that’s-really-a-hatchback-underneath, this second-generation Peugeot 5008 has seven seats, like the MPV of the same name (okay, number) it replaced at the end of 2017.
There’s nothing unusual in that, of course, as many large SUVs have space for seven, but often they’re simply squeezed into the boot area with awkward access and a cumbersome routine to folding them away when you need to carry fewer people but more stuff.
The Peugeot’s different. Each of the seats in the middle row is an individual chair that slides and reclines independently. All three also have their own Isofix child seat-mounting brackets. Nestled behind are a couple of smaller seats designed more for kids than adults. Getting into the third row is easy – providing you’re not especially tall – and when more boot space is required, they flip neatly and easily back into the boot floor.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Peugeot 5008 is… (awaits drumroll followed by a sharp intake of breath) an MPV by stealth.
Gone are the fuddy-duddy looks of its fertility wagon forebear, replaced by the angular, in-yer-face lines typically favoured by contemporary SUVs.
Smart move, Peugeot. Smart move.
Is there anything else that’s clever about this MPV in fancy dress?
Rather a lot, it seems as it’s a family-friendly car that wilfully avoids being boring. Whether some of those features are usefully different or simply contrary for the sake of being so, will be explored over the next six months.
Take the engine for starters. Today’s consumers are a savvy bunch, so the notion of smaller-capacity turbocharged petrol engines powering modern cars isn’t especially surprising for many.
Yet, every time I tell an inquisitive friend or neighbour that it’s packing a three-cylinder 1.2-litre engine, the usual response is to either raise an eyebrow or tilt their head like a curious puppy. Or both.
It produces a healthy 131hp and 230Nm of torque, meaning so far it’s not been found wanting in the performance stakes. It gains momentum surprisingly well, although the more people inside, the harder it needs to be worked.
So far, economy is an indicated 37.1mpg, but as the engine loosens up we’ll monitor what it’s really delivering more closely. The official fuel consumption test suggests an optimistic 55.4mpg, so I’m a considerable distance shy of that.
That dashboard looks a bit crazy – style over substance?
In Peugeotspeak, this low-slung-small-wheel-with-dials-above arrangement is more conveniently known as i-Cockpit. It certainly looks odd, yet feels remarkably natural to use. It’s also shared in its entirety with the closely related 3008.
It may be psychological, but the tiny steering wheel conspires to make the 5008 feel more agile, but it also – rather obviously – requires less space, making the front of the cabin immediately feel roomier.
This capaciousness is amplified further by the shape of the dashboard, scalloped out on the passenger side, with fabric trim blending from the door panels onto the dashboard, while the instrument pod – a completely digital 12.3-inch cluster – is set high and sunk deep into the dash, viewed over the top of the wheel. It’s an adaptable display, which I’ll look at in more detail in the coming weeks.
As is becoming commonplace, the multimedia touchscreen is stood tablet-like on top of the dash, but angled towards the driver. I know many people aren’t fans of this non-integrated arrangement, but the more familiar I am with the 5008, the less it feels like an afterthought.
So how much is all this family funk going to set me back?
With its aggressive-yet-glitzy grille, LED headlamps with claw-like body-coloured protrusions and two-tone alloy wheels, the Peugeot looks suitably sporty, befitting its GT Line specification, which sits in the middle of the 5008 hierarchy.
I’ll pore over precisely what’s included in that grade in the next update, but I chose to specify a handful of extra-cost options. These comprised of:
- Emerald metallic paint - £525
- Visio Pack 2 (360-degree parking cameras and self-park function) - £450
- Panoramic opening glass roof - £870
- Advanced Grip Control - £470
- Smart electric tailgate - £750
- Upgraded Focal speaker system - £590
Together they added £3,655 to the recommended retail price of £28,720, pushing the grand total of £32,375.
Is it worth it? The answer to that and many other questions will become clear over the coming months, but if my early experiences with the Peugeot are anything to go by, the 5008 is a crossover I won’t be getting cross over.
by Keith WR Jones
We take an early look at our 5008’s optional extras
If you’re in the position of ordering a brand new car, the chances are you’ll specify at least one extra-cost option to personalise it to your taste.
In fact, even if you’re buying a new, unregistered model from a dealer’s stock list, there’s a high likelihood that it will have been up-specced with a handful of extras to make it even more tempting.
It’s a similar situation with our Peugeot 5008 long-termer, where we had the opportunity to order it to our specification, including a number of options that the French marque expects to be popular on its family-friendly SUV.
How are the options faring 1,000 miles in?
First impressions count with options, and despite the fact that we’ll be covering at least 10,000 miles with the 5008 over the next six months, you get a clear idea of each of the extras’ usefulness very early on.
But, that’s only part of the discussion – as most people purchased cars using a PCP agreement, such as Peugeot’s Passport scheme, optional extras tend to be considered as monthly add-ons, rather than by their cash prices.
As a starting point, without optional extras, our 5008 GT Line 1.2 PureTech 130 has a retail price of £28,720 (as of May 2018).
Assuming a £4,000 deposit and a mileage cap of 10,000 per annum, a PCP deal would set you back £361 each month, with an optional final payment of £15,448 if you want to buy it outright. That’s a total cost of £32,426 at a 5.9% APR.
So how do the options affect things?
Emerald metallic paint
An attractive metallic hue is nothing more than a vanity option, but in a roadscape where cars seem to be white, black or one of fifty shades of silver in between, the 5008’s unusual Emerald green is a welcome sight, especially with the contrasting black roof that’s standard on GT Line models.
As a standalone option it costs £525, but split into monthly payments using the aforementioned PCP terms, it equates to £15 per month, or £540 over the course of the agreement with the interest added – an extra £15 in total.
Despite that extra cost, the optional payment at the end remains the same at £15,448, though the dealer has a more valuable car to re-sell at the end of the term if you choose to hand it back.
Advanced Grip Control
Given that the 5008’s an SUV without the traction benefits of four-wheel drive, a sophisticated electronic system called Advanced Grip Control helps deliver some go-anywhere ability.
Different modes for a range of terrain types are selected using the rotary controller ahead of the gearlever. It’ll be put under greater scrutiny in a future update, but so far it’s made light work of slippery conditions in heavy rain, as well as some light green-laning antics.
The important aspect is that so far it feels more of a benefit than a hindrance, and at £470 it’s not too expensive.
But what about in monthly terms? Again, using the same PCP parameters, Advanced Grip Control will add £14 per month, or £504 over the three-year term – that’s £34 extra in total.
Yet, again the final payment remains static at £15,488, in spite of the car being worth more.
Visio Pack 2
Comprising of a 360-degree four-camera set-up and automatic self-park, this is a very useful option for a reasonably large family car.
Pricier rivals’ camera systems have much higher definition cameras and displays, but in daylight at least it’s effective enough to be usable, although it’s less convincing at night. Additionally, both front and rear cameras have a tendency to get clarted-up with filth as neither is behind a cover when not required.
Self-parking has only been called upon once so far, reverse-parking into a space on a narrow side street. These systems tend to be a little clunky on manual-gearboxed cars, but that aside the Peugeot performed without fuss or error.
That bundle would set you back £450 if you bought it outright, but without altering the PCP terms, you’re looking at a monthly figure of £13 per month extra, or £468 over three years, setting you back £18 in total interest.
But, once more, the final optional balloon payment figure doesn’t alter.
Panoramic opening glass roof
Glazed roofs are popular in family-focused cars because in the main they seem to help reduce many kids’ proneness to feeling travel sick.
Most of the time I drive it with the blind retracted making the otherwise dark grey cabin feel airier, but given how effective the Peugeot’s climate control system is, the roof is rarely open.
Naturally, when it is open, there’s an increase in wind noise at speed, but it’s not so severe that you have to shout at your passengers in order to converse.
At £870 it’s the priciest of the extras fitted to our 5008, but how does it work out as a monthly figure?
Using the same PCP terms, the glass roof adds a further £26 to the monthly figure, equating to £936 over the three years. The interest also means you’ll be paying £66 in interest with – you’ve guessed it – no increase in the final optional payment, despite the dealer having a more valuable car should you hand it back at the end of the agreement.
Smart electric tailgate
It’s hard to argue that an electrically operated tailgate is a necessity, but it is a convenience that once you’ve experienced it there’s a frustration felt when you have to deal with its absence.
Not only does it operate from the tailgate itself, but it can also be opened from a button on the dash, the key fob and by wiggling your foot under the rear bumper.
The price of this mod-con is £750, but broken down into monthly chunks using the same PCP boundaries, it comes to £22 extra each month, or £792 over three year, representing £42 in interest.
That final balloon payment to make the car yours? No change.
Upgraded Focal speaker system
Audiophiles will be keen to experience the upgraded Focal speakers – there’s an appreciable improvement in overall sound reproduction quality compared with the 5008’s standard set-up, but it lags behind the kit you might experience in premium brand models.
The upgrade will set you back £590, but broken down into monthly payments – once more with the same PCP terms – that’s £17 per month more.
Over the three years of the agreement that calculates at £612, representing £22 of interest over the period.
However, you won’t be mistaken for Sherlock Holmes by guessing that the final optional payment to own the car, once more, remains unaltered at £15,448.
How much will the Peugeot 5008’s combined options cost?
Bundled together, our 5008’s optional extras total £3,655, but broken down into monthly instalments that works out at £110 per month, once again using the same PCP term parameters.
With the interest added, that comes to £3,960 – representing £305 of extra interest payments just on the options.
Yet, even with all the options combined, the overall final purchase price remains resolutely fixed at £15,448. In theory, the car being worth more should increase this figure, resulting in lower monthly payments.
Of course, if you intend to buy the Peugeot at the end of the PCP deal, this is fine – you shouldn’t have to pay a higher price on the basis that the car’s worth more when you’ve already paid for the 5008’s extras.
But, if as many people do, you hand the car back at the end of the term, then you’ve no guarantee that you’ll see the benefit of the equity where the car is worth more as a result of you specifying those extra options in the first place. Yet the retailer has a higher-than-usual specification model to sell on its forecourt.
So what’s Parkers’ advice?
First and foremost you’ll be at the mercy of whichever dealer you’re working with. Some will be keen for you to benefit from any options-related equity to get you into another PCP deal when the term on your current car is up. The more your car’s worth over the optional final payment, the greater the amount you’ll be able to put towards the deposit on your next car.
The issue is that there’s no guarantee that this will happen, so we revert back to our standard advice of being prudent choosing options based upon what you really need to making living with your new car both easier and more pleasurable.
Furthermore, it’s always wise to shop around and haggle to get the best deal on finance.
It’s also worth considering whether going for the next trim level up will net you many of the extras you crave as well as a potentially higher future value by virtue of it being higher specced – meaning better-value monthly payments.
Of the optional kit fitted to our Peugeot 5008, it’d be the glazed roof that would get the nod over everything else, based on the fact that two-thirds of my younglings tend to suffer with motion sickness in cars and it happens far less frequently the airier the cabin feels.
We pore over our Peugeot’s adaptive instrument display
Much is made of the Marmitey driving position of i-Cockpit – that’s Peugeotspeak for the somewhat unusual arrangement of the instrument pod being viewed over the top of the small, low-set steering wheel, rather than through the space within it.
Peugeot introduced it in 2012 with the 208, and since then each new range has adopted it. In fact, it’s become such an identifying of Peugeotness of late that even the van-based Rifter features a version of it.
Over the past few years there’s been a fair bit of muttering from those who don’t like the set-up, finding it anything from uncomfortable to alien, but it’s something I’ve always embraced.
How’s that working out in the 5008 so far?
It helps that the driving position works for me – I always tend to have the seat and wheel as low as possible, in a manner that allows a clear view of the instrumentation. And that tiny-yet-chunky wheel immediately makes the car feel more wieldy, even before you’ve driven off. My mum commented that it put her in mind of one of her mid-70s Minis with a small-diameter aftermarket steering wheel.
As with the 3008 that our long-termer shares its dashboard with, it’s a particularly bold interpretation of i-Cockpit, constructed of broadly high quality plastics, decorated with piano key-like switchgear and a fashionable standalone tablet-esque screen for the multimedia system.
Of more interest to me is the 12.3-inch display screen that forms the instrument binnacle. If you’re familiar with similar systems in various Audis, Mercedes-Benzes and Volkswagens, you’ll spot a couple of things from the outset.
Firstly, the Peugeot’s screen has an anti-reflective satin finish rather than the glossy look its rivals go for, so it looks less-than contemporary, and as a consequence the graphics, which are clear enough to see at a glance, are nonetheless not as pin-sharp in clarity as other packages.
But, they work well enough to wow passengers who’ve yet to see such a system and, like rivals’ systems, you can vary the display to suit your personal tastes and needs, by controlling the thumb wheel on the left-side of the steering wheel.
Peugeot 5008 instruments: Dials
The default choice has a digitally rendered version of Peugeot’s conventional analogue instrumentation, including a rev counter that rotates anti-clockwise, just as they do in the 308 models.
For the first few journeys I drove I tended to keep the 5008’s instruments in this format, but spending time with each made them feel a little old hat – after all, why go to the expense of digital instruments that look similar to physical ones?
Peugeot 5008 instruments: Navigation
Given how often I use the 5008’s sat-nav to go to various unfamiliar points around the UK, having a facsimile of the maps and directions in the instrument pod is a very welcome feature, although the rendering can be a bit clunky and it’s sometimes slow to react to direction changes.
The map sits between the instruments – which in an animated motion rotate onto their sides and sit at an oblique angle – but unlike the sat-nav on the separate multimedia screen, this one remains in dark grey ‘night’ mode, rather than switching to white during the day.
It’s also worth noting that it only displays the in-built sat-nav, so if you’re more of a fan of Apple maps using CarPlay, you’re limited to displaying those graphics on the multimedia screen.
Peugeot 5008 instruments: Driving
This one confuses me, not least because it seems rather superfluous on our long-term 5008. Sure, on a version with adaptive cruise control that monitors the gap to the vehicle in front, it could be handy, but seeing as our GT-Line grade version has non-adaptive cruise, it’s of little benefit.
Warnings are flashed up if the Peugeot’s sensors detect you’re getting to close to whatever’s in front, but those warnings appear whichever mode you’re in. Not convinced of this one’s usefulness.
Peugeot 5008 instruments: Personal
I liked the sound of this setting more than any of the others, but it’s rare that I bother selecting it.
Essentially the left- and right-hand sides of the binnacle can be customised to display a variety of data including fuel efficiency, range and average speed – what exactly is displayed is controlled via a separate menu accessed via the main multimedia system.
Again, I remain to be convinced that this is of any great use, particularly when those sets of data pop up on screen anyway when you press the button at the end of the wiper stalk.
Peugeot 5008 instruments: Minimum
If you’ve ever heard of the Night Panel on various model of Saab (RIP), then you can appreciate the inspiration behind this setting.
Similar to the Saab system, Minimum turns off anything within the instrument binnacle that isn’t entirely necessary at that moment – in most instances leaving little more than the speedo illuminated.
But, unlike the Saab package, which also dimmed the backlighting for the switchgear and turned off the multimedia display, in the Peugeot those features are controlled separately – which, again, begs the question of how useful it genuinely is.
Me? I’m paranoid that I’m missing out on something, so soon switch it back to Driving mode…
Are the Peugeot 5008’s adaptive instruments worthwhile?
I’m all for the notion of personalisation and being able to vary not only the kind of information displayed, but also the colour – that copper hue can be exchanged for pale blue – will help drivers feel more at one with their purchase.
But therein lies the inherent problem with them: once you’ve discovered your favourite, it’s unlikely you’ll spend much time swapping between them.
How practical is the 5008 SUV thanks to its MPV features?
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the carship 5008. Its six-month mission: to explore strange new roads, to ferry about teenage life and associated detritus, to boldly go where no crossover has gone before.
See, while I’ve not been bitten that firmly by the infectious qualities of SUVs, the Peugeot 5008 particularly appeals to me because I like MPVs – and, as I’ve highlighted before, it is one, albeit in a crossover suit of armour.
Its seven-passenger-carrying abilities will be explored in a future update – here I want to look at that other MPV virtue of space, hence the Trekkie-annoying intro.
How much room is there in the Peugeot 5008?
Loads! As you’d expect from its tall, space-liberating flat-sided bodywork, there’s enough room inside the 5008 to rival a small van.
All five individual rear seats easily fold into the floor for a maximum capacity of 2,042 litres (or 2,150 litres if you’re prepared to completely remove seats six and seven). The loadbed isn’t completely horizontal, but it is relatively even courtesy of flaps behind the middle-row seats that bridge the gap to the main boot floor.
Extending the space further, for those impromptu visits to DIY stores when you end up unexpectedly buying 8ft-long timbers, the front passenger seat folds forwards to accommodate lengthy loads. Wooden-beam me up.
What about in five-seat form?
Keep the Peugeot in five-seater configuration and you’ve still got 952 litres of volume up to roof level, although there is a roller blind-style cover to hide goodies you’ve got below the window line.
Those MPV traits come to the fore further, as the middle row seats’ backrests can also be tweaked for angle; adjusting them to be perpendicular to the boot floor allows for squarer loads to be accommodated more easily.
And when it’s a seven-seater..?
Okay, this is the 5008’s biggest failing, although it’s not alone in having a pitifully small boot in seven-seater guise.
You have 166 litres to play with, which is broadly 50% of the boot capacity in your typical supermini – in other words, many families would struggle to squeeze in a week’s grocery shopping without lowering one of the seats at the very least.
That said, given the rearmost pews are sized to suit kids and smaller adults, I tend to think of them along the lines of the emergency stools that only come out at Christmas – the majority of the time I’m driving the Peugeot, they’re neatly hidden away out of site.
Plus, as five rear seats are individual, you can have them raised or lowered in such a way as to swallow loads of different shapes, sizes and capacities, yet still have space to have passengers on-board. Although someone sat in the middle seat might have to Klingon (awful, I know) without a passenger or door to lean against.
Does the 5008 have other space-related tricks?
Peugeot’s sensibly-specced the 5008 to be fit for family life with a strong array of storage cubbies, although it’s not perfect.
All four side doors have usefully large bins at their bases – the front ones are even flocked for a more upmarket feel, while those in the middle row benefit from fold-down tables attached to the front seatbacks.
Under the feet of the nearside middle-row passenger is a shallow storage well that’s hidden beneath the mat and upfront there’s a deep central cubby, with a moveable tray at the top for small items.
Scalloped under the dash ahead of the gearlever is a wireless charging mat for an appropriately-specced smartphone, close to a 12-volt socket and a USB port if, like me, your mobile’s not new enough for such wizardry.
So what isn’t so good?
Two gripes, primarily, one of which is a PSA (Peugeot’s parent company) bugbear: the glovebox on right-hand drive models is teeth-gnashingly small due to it also housing the fusebox that isn’t swapped over along with the steering wheel. There’s space for the owners’ manual and that’s about it. Highly illogical.
Also, the front cupholders appear to be conveniently sited, but place a taller bottle in there and changing gear becomes a pain as you have to hold your elbow high to clear it. If you plump for an automatic, it’s not an issue, but so far I’ve circumnavigated it by buying coffee and shorter takeaway cups – live long at Costa, so to speak.
Does the Peugeot have any other practicality party pieces?
In the grand scheme of life, this is rather dull, but I like it as a feature all the same: the foldable boot floor that covers the third-row seats when they’re not in use, can also be folded out of the car and used as a bumper protector when you’re shuffling heavy loads into the car.
Less opportunity to scratch the paint and plastic trims here.
So, there you have it, plenty of flexible space in the Peugeot to cope with all manner of carrying demands, with many a neat touch to help use the load volume effectively.
It seems to be the perfect vehicle to boldly go where this man has gone many a time before… Ikea.
A few minor niggles are beginning to surface with our 5008
It’s inevitable that after covering almost 4,000 miles in our long-term Peugeot 5008 that a number of minor gripes would begin to surface.
However, for the sake of abject clarity – this is not a catalogue of mechanical maladies or electrical issues – the Peugeot’s proved to be 100% reliable so far. No, these are more my personal frustrations as its chief driver and custodian. The little irks that have so far become noticeable.
There haven’t been many manual transmissions fitted to mainstream Peugeots in recent years that have been an unwavering delight to use, and the six-speeder fitted to our 5008 is no different.
By comparison it’s vague, missing that definition you feel in the Tiguan. Stir the Peugeot’s gearlever and it feels as though the other end of it is connected to a series of elastic bands. The result is I’ve tended to reduce the pace of my gearchange action so as not to rush it.
And yes, an eight-speed automatic is available with the 1.2-litre PureTech 130 engine, but not in GT Line trim.
An unsatisfying shift action isn’t the Peugeot’s only gear-related grumble – the position of the two front cupholders is even more frustrating.
Anything as tall as a typical 500ml soft drink bottle is sufficiently high that you cock your elbow upwards to change gear with an awkward arm position – choose not to do so, and you forearm will make frequent contact with your beverage receptacle.
Even smaller coffee cups like that shown in the photo prove to be a minor irritation.
Again, in the automatic where you’ll pull the lever into D and leave it until you complete your journey, it’s not a concern…
Time to chill out
Britain has been in the grips of something most unusual of late – a phenomena the public are calling 'summer'. As a result of the accompanying increase in air temperature, the 5008’s vast cabin is often stifling after a day sat in the beating sunshine.
That the Peugeot has no physical controls for its climate control system is not news, but given the degree of finger-prodding on the multimedia touchscreen required to alter the temperature, it should be.
There is a virtual shortcut at the top of the screen to tap to lower the temperature on the left- and right-hand side of the interior, but when you’re making progress on a motorway getting blasted by an Arctic breeze through the vents, it’s simply not as convenient – or arguably as safe – as tapping a physical switch the desired number of times or rotating a knob a particular quota of notches.
It’s not the only touchscreen-related point that miffs me about the Peugeot, although in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t particularly troublesome – more that it poses a question of ‘why?’.
While the sat-nav map display on the tablet-like screen switches from a white (daytime) to a black (night time) background, the one in the instrument binnacle is permanently in the night setting. As I pondered before – why? Competitors’ adaptive instrument displays don’t do this.
A Question of Sport
I much prefer the responsiveness of the 5008’s 1.2-litre turbocharged engine when the Peugeot’s in Sport mode, feeling appropriately lustier when pulling away from junctions and completing overtaking manoeuvres.
It’s a conveniently located button, too, just to the bottom right of the gearlever, behind the stop/start button.
It needs to be convenient, because I find myself pressing it rather often.
Turn it on when starting a journey and more often than not it disengages itself before I’ve driven more than a couple of hundred metres.
What would be more desirable still is that the car remembered I had it in Sport mode the last time I drove it, so had a default position of leaving it in whatever it was in when the engine was turned off. Surely that’s not beyond the wit of Peugeot’s engineers?
I’ve yet to be driven as a middle-row passenger in the 5008, but given that aforementioned sunshine, my kids have started to use the roller blinds built into the rear doors.
They’re a neat feature and effectively reduce the dazzle from most of the window. That’s right, most, not all.
Why? The blind doesn’t reach the edges of the window frame, with the worst gap being an irregular pentagon towards the back end of the aperture.
Solutions for the gaps do exist, but would doubtless have cost more to implement. Plus, the blinds would then have been unique to the 5008, whereas Peugeot’s parent company PSA doubtless has plans to use this generic design on a number of Citroen, DS and Vauxhall models, if it isn’t already doing so.
Around the lens
Having a quartet of cameras around the Peugeot allows it to have an aerial view display for the parking system, which is a useful feature, no doubt about that.
Being nit-picky, the graphics lack the high definition clarity of many rivals’ systems, but it still make obstacles visible that might not ordinarily be.
This is in spite of the position of the front and rear cameras – neither of which are hidden behind covers to keep the lenses clean when not in use.
Now that the weather’s warmer, the front one has become a bug magnet, while the one at the back gets clarted with filth when the roads are wet and dirty, effectively rendering it useless.
Now that I’ve got that off my chest, it affords me the opportunity to reflect. Yes, the points I’ve raised do impact upon how much enjoyment I derive from living with the Peugeot, but not significantly so.
It remains a seven-seater SUV I can – and do – recommend being on larger families’ shopping lists.
An owner's perspective on how the Peugeot stacks-up against the Skoda
You’ll often hear people say that there’s no such thing as a bad car anymore, and while this is true, there remain significant degrees of automotive satisfaction ranging from class-leading to acceptably competent.
Frequently the margins that separate really good cars are slender – so much so that it’s often down to the purely subjective arena of which model’s styling is preferred that will firm-up a buying decision.
It’s a similar situation in our recent group test that saw the Peugeot 5008 narrowly beat the Skoda Kodiaq into second place when we pit the two seven-seater SUVs against each other. Both are highly competent, but not totally polished – so what makes me favour the French crossover over its Czech alternative?
- Read the Peugeot 5008 vs Skoda Kodiaq group test
Daring SUV styling, but still with hints of MPV
As with the smaller 3008, the 5008’s frontal styling is particularly aggressive in GT Line trim, with sharper creases in the bumper and ‘prongs’ that almost bisect the headlights.
It’s striking rather than handsome – it’s certainly more polarising than the Kodiaq – with its length emphasised by a horizontal fold in the bodywork that blends in and out, while the glossy black panel across the tail emphasises its width, as well as breaking-up an otherwise tall rear end.
While it all looks suitably elevated and SUV-like, looking at the Peugeot side-on reveals its MPV origins – the rear wheels are located much further towards the back of the car compared with the Skoda in order to maximise interior space for those in the middle row of seats.
Obviously, there’s a knock-on effect that the third-row chairs are much narrower than the Kodiaq’s – they’re fine for kids, but adults will complain. My personal standpoint remains: if you need a car that can genuinely transport seven adults in comfort, you’ll need a van-based MPV such as the Peugeot Traveller.
5008 interior: majoring on Peugeot’s i-Cockpit philosophy
Having a dashboard that looks different may wow your passengers, but if it doesn’t work ergonomically for the driver, it’s about as welcome as flatulence in a lift.
Thankfully, that isn’t the case – in fact, there’s little about the layout of the 5008’s dashboard that doesn’t as though it’s been deeply considered.
Some may find the tiny, low-set wheel/high-set instruments interface a tad alien at first, but what’s less likely is that they won’t become quickly accustomed to it.
Although it’s visually more exciting than the Skoda’s cabin – lifted further by a fabric panel whereas the Kodiaq relies on faux timber – the materials aren’t quite up to the tactile quality of its Czech rival.
Your flexible friend
As I’ve mentioned in a few updates previously, the 5008 SUV is an MPV by stealth, which means you get individually folding seats in rows two and three. Certainly the Skoda feels more like a conventional SUV, although whether it performs better off-road remains to be seen.
That MPV DNA undoubtedly makes it more adaptable than the Kodiaq, where a 60:40-split middle row is fitted, but the downside is that the 5008’s rearmost seats are dinky in comparison. Adults will struggle to get comfy for more than a few minutes of a short journey in the Peugeot, whereas the Skoda makes a better – if not brilliant – fist of it.
Boot space is broadly comparable between these two, but the Peugeot has a couple of neat little touches that just make it feel ever-so-slightly better thought out, in spite of Skoda’s ‘Simply Clever’ advertising mantra.
Examples? The way the boot floor can be folded out to protect the rear bumper when you’re loading heavy items, and when the third-row seats are folded away their seatbelts are kept from flapping around by magnets attracting them to the sides of the loadbay. Much more convenient than fragile plastic clips.
Setting aside the characterful thrum of our 5008’s three-cylinder engine – when you press-on the sound’s similar to when you roll Rs – it feels set-up to nod more towards what keener drivers look for than the Kodiaq is.
That’s no criticism of the Skoda: it’s comfy and assured, and nobody really buys a seven-seat SUV if they want every moment behind the wheel to be thrilling.
Not that the Peugeot excites, but it corners with a dash more precision, controls bodyroll more effectively and rides with compliant aplomb on undulating B-roads.
What lets the Peugeot down in this regard is its rubbery feeling manual gearbox. Attempts to change gear quickly will result in frustration, ushering you into using the gearlever more sedately.
So why pick the Peugeot?
I won’t deny it's narrow – nor will I pretend that there aren’t many aspects of the Kodiaq that really impress me – but the 5008 edges it for me.
Its cabin feels a bit more special and less run-of-the-mill, while as a long-time MPV fan, I’ve a back catalogue of dull anecdotes where being able to fold seats down individually has been a godsend.
Plus I prefer the way the Peugeot drives, transmission aside.
But, the clincher? Styling. As handsome as the Kodiaq is, there’s so much more visual interest going on with the 5008. Some may well find it fussy, or even ugly, but beauty remains in the eye of the beholder.
How well will the 5008 cope with a boot-load of old magazines?
Long-time readers of my long-term updates on various cars – yes, I’m talking to all three of you – will no doubt fondly recall how I subject each of them to at least one experience as a makeshift van to assist with my outside-of-work passion.
For those of you new to my ramblings, it may surprise you to learn that despite my (relatively) ordinary exterior, my geeky hobby is collecting old car magazines, sales brochures and similarly related ephemera.
That it was ‘my’ Peugeot 5008’s time to be called upon to perform mag-carrying duties seemed perfectly apt: this was my first time attending the Beaulieu International Autojumble, so not only might I need its vast boot, but its soothing comfort would be welcome to soak-up the demands of a 436-mile round-trip.
Faithful motorway companion
Although I’m a regular attendee of the local-to-me Newark Autojumble, attendance at Beaulieu’s twice-yearly event had always been scuppered because of one calendar clash or another preventing my presence. This time I’d ensured my diarised decks were cleared, and armed with a detailed list of magazine issues I was hoping to acquire, I headed south.
As predicted, the Peugeot proved to be a cosseting companion along the motorway network down the spine of the country, and its zesty little 1.2-litre engine had ample torque for making swift overtaking manoeuvres or getting back up to 70mph after slower slogs of variable speed limit sections were dealt with.
Ride comfort is soft enough to feel cushioned without being floaty, while body roll is kept nicely in check for those inevitable lane-changing avoidance situations that punctuate long journeys.
I’d still prefer it if it had automatic transmission rather than the vague manual it’s fitted with, but adaptive cruise control – that monitors and maintains a predetermined gap to the vehicle in front – would be more beneficial still.
Beaulieu International Autojumble
I’d assumed the summer heatwave had passed, but I’d only walked around the stalls at Beaulieu for an hour before the back of my neck felt like it was morphing into crispy chicken skin.
Still, there was an immense array of distractions, not least the presence of my old pal James Walshe – my opposite number at Parkers’ sister title, Practical Classics. He’s a Beaulieu regular, so was able to quickly show me the ropes as he went on a determined hunt for Citroen-specific brochures.
It wasn’t long before I began stumbling upon numerous stalls with half-century-old magazines from my wants list in various states of dilapidation. Such was the fragility of the paper that even daring to read the print too hard might have turned many of them into dust.
Soon, though, I was having better luck; if not sufficient to tick-off all of the 1,000 issues I was looking for, I was at least able to make a sizeable dent to the tune of around 20% of that figure.
Hardly testing the boot…
Hauling them back to the Peugeot proved trouble-free courtesy of a borrowed sack barrow, followed by a deeply satisfying hour having a quick pore over my purchases and marking them as ‘got’ rather than ‘need’ on my list.
Self-evidently my modest hoard wasn’t going to trouble the 5008’s rear suspension, but I did spend some time distributing them more evenly than they appear in the picture. Not for weight-balance requirements, but simply to stop them sliding around and getting damaged on the return leg of the journey.
A reasonably fruitful day out at Beaulieu will ensure I’m back there Autojumbling in spring 2019 – hopefully my next long-termer will not get off as lightly as the Peugeot 5008 did.
Can an SUV without four-wheel drive succeed off-road?
There are SUVs and there are SUVs, yet superficially all are on-trend, hench-looking, high-rise cars. Despite those similarities, they perform very different roles.
Less numerous are what are casually referred to as ‘proper off-roaders’, sophisticated four-wheel drive systems, knobbly-tyre equipped and with enough space in the wheelarches for a lion to nap in, let alone a domestic cat.
More common are crossovers – of which the Peugeot 5008 is one. In essence these are gentle evolutions of conventional hatchback underpinnings and consequently, in the main, they tend to send drive to the front wheels only.
That doesn’t bode well for off-roading…
Exactly, and on the face of it, the 5008’s only off-roading advantage over its low-slung Peugeot 308 showroom sibling is that extra ride height, allowing it to clear slightly more undulating terrain.
For the vast majority of SUV buyers this won’t matter a jot as the nearest they’ll get to venturing off-road is mounting a kerb outside a primary school when dropping off the kids each morning.
Yet Peugeot – along with its fellow PSA Group Citroen, DS and Vauxhall – are available with a cunning bit of kit known as Advanced Grip Control, which claims to offer some of the benefits of traditional four-wheel drive, but without the expense or mechanical logistics.
Advanced Grip Control? Sounds like marketingspeak
Inevitably there’s a degree of that to give it some cachet in the minds of buyers, but what it’s called is less important than what it does.
By selecting one of its five different drive modes via a rotary controller ahead of the gearlever, the driver can pick the one best-matched to the conditions, be they normal highway driving, slippery conditions in winter, mud or sand. Plus, the traction control can be switched off altogether.
Each mode meters out the 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engine’s torque in a fashion that should promote the greatest purchase from the tyres. Plus, the torque can be split unequally between each front wheel, so if one side had superior traction to the other, it’d get the majority of the powerplant’s oomph.
In addition there’s a Hill Descent Control feature – think of it as off-road cruise control – which maintains a steady 5mph speed. All the driver has to do is steer the 5008 around obstacles and brake where necessary.
That’s all well and good on paper, but does it work?
The proof, so they claim, is in the pudding, but given the absence of polar or desert conditions in northern Lincolnshire I had to come up with an alternative. A chat with the guys at Parkers’ sister title Land Rover Owner International revealed a green lane suitable for SUVs barely a couple of miles from where I live – it was a no-brainer.
Two things immediately came to mind as I slowly trundled onto the green lane near Linwood: 1) that it felt awfully like I was trespassing on farmland (I wasn’t, I hasten to add) and 2) that a conventional family hatchback would have likely got stuck on the undulating ground. Already a win for the taller 5008 before it’s properly begun.
A heavy deluge the night before ensured the Mud setting on the Advanced Grip Control was required, highlighted by an orange LED, supplemented by the steady pace of the Hill Descent Control.
Progress is necessarily pedestrian-paced – some of the ruts are so severe that barrelling along at anything approaching normal road-going speeds would result in the Peugeot’s nose burying itself into the earth, deploying the airbags as a result.
Slow speeds also make it easier to negotiate around obstacles – including a pair of divots seemingly caused by spinning tractor wheels. The light steering is particularly effective here, while that titchy steering wheel – which makes the 5008 feel agile on road – has the same effect while venturing off it.
Similarly, the 5008’s supple ride quality on asphalt performs admirably on rougher terrain, although inevitably without the extremes of suspension movement found on purpose-designed off-roaders, the Peugeot does get rocked from side-to-side as well as to-and-fro.
What’s essential to point out, though, is despite how effectively the 5008 coped with this particular green lane, anything with more challenging terrain would have proved too difficult, but given the slippery under-wheel conditions, a constant momentum was maintained. Impressive.
Did the off-road adventure go any further?
Funny you should ask.
Not far from the green laning venue is a long ford in the village of Tealby. A few YouTube uploads show its passable, but only in ‘proper’ off-roaders such as Land Rover Defenders or when the water level is lower than it was on this particular day.
Featuring a concrete slope that concludes with a step down to a rocky bottom, the ford looked too deep to wade through in the 5008, so I gingerly teetered along to the edge of the ramp before making a splash.
Considering I didn’t know how low-mounted the engine air intake is, nor was I sure how watertight the lower door seals were, I figured that discretion was the better part of valour and reversed back out.
Far better that than an awkward call to the Press Office apologising for drowning one of its cars…
So what did we learn?
Primarily that not all crossovers are the same.
While few will bother to go wandering away from the blacktop, the fact remains that our Advanced Grip Control-equipped Peugeot 5008 is pleasingly – and surprisingly – capable providing one maintains a sensible head.
Pointing the Peugeot at Snowdon with a view of reaching the summit is akin to tackling it on foot wearing plimmies and a fleece – you’ll soon come unstuck.
However, prepare sensibly, go about things with a spirit of adventure and the 5008 proves to be a capable crossover without the fuel-sapping inefficiencies of a heavy duty four-wheel drive system.
Our 5008 gets involved with the Cheap Fast Car 2018 test
Those of you a similar age to me (early-30s-ish, cough) will doubtless remember the joy of finding an undeveloped camera film. With no clue as to what images it contained, there followed inevitable snaughling at off-guard snaps taken long ago when the prints eventually came back in the post.
In today’s digital age, where images are instantaneous and ephemeral, it happens less frequently, so when I happened upon an unopened zip file from our resident snapper Stuart Collins, there was a childlike eagerness to see what it contained.
That pent-up excitement soon turned into a honk of amusement (imagine a ship leaving port five miles away) as I realised they were images of me hooning the long-term Peugeot 5008 around on an impromptu test track.
A seven-seater SUV on a track..?
Why it was there isn’t as improbable as it initially sounds. Back in the baking height of summer, my colleagues Tom Goodlad and James Dennison had organised Parkers’ 2018 Cheap Fast Car event, using the expansive flatness of a former RAF base runway.
The aforementioned Stuart had been using the 5008 as his wheels while he was between long-termers, its ample cargo-bay proving more than adept at carrying all manner of camera cases, tripods, lighting rigs and stepladders.
Except the steps had been forgotten, so cue the Peugeot being called into action as an elevated platform for the hero shot.
With the selection of hot hatches assembled on the seemingly endless strip of high-grip asphalt, Stuart opened the 5008’s sunroof and slithered through it to get the angle he was after.
Shutter clicked a number of times, the rest of us, like any 2018 motoring journalist worth their salt, then clambered into similar positions armed with our phones to get similar shots. Shameless.
Okay, but that doesn’t explain why the 5008 was on track
Aah! You spotted my misdirection.
Part of the assessment programme for the hot hatch heavyweights was to fling them this way and that around a very tight makeshift circuit, designed to emphasise each of the sportsters’ handling, braking and accelerative characteristics.
As satisfying as it is driving a raft of cars on public roads, a couple of hours spent smoking tyres and cocking an unloaded rear wheel up during quick cornering is undeniably invigorating. Plus it’s not the sort of caper you can get away with legally on the public highway.
With playtime over and an empty track to hand, it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss, so I fired the Peugeot into life and trundled to the start line.
This doesn’t sound like it’ll end well…
Oh! Ye of little faith. Don’t forget that much of the 5008’s underpinnings are very similar to the Peugeot 308 hatchback, a car we rate highly in GTi guise (but which wasn’t part of our Cheap Fast Cars event due to a temporary lapse in sales to meet WLTP efficiency regulations).
Sure, the 5008’s longer than the 308 and has a higher centre of gravity, meaning it’s not as nimble or agile through tight, twisty bends, but it doesn’t disgrace itself – not from the photo it’s trying to lift its unloaded rear wheel up (and a more skilled driver would have managed to where I failed).
Scurrying around the bends is certainly made all the easier by the titchy steering wheel.
Where it really impresses is the sprightly punch from its tiny petrol engine: keep it in a low gear, let the revs – and the characteristic three-pot soundtrack – rise and it scamps along eagerly, scrubbing its alacrity off with reassuring progressiveness when the brakes are called (read ‘stamped’) upon.
The long and the short of it: while the 5008’s a decent-handling car full stop, not just a decent-handling SUV. Rivals take note.
By Keith WR Jones, Deputy Editor
Parkers editor Keith Adams steals the keys and racks up 1,000 miles
I've said it before, and I'll say it again – the joy of working on Parkers.co.uk is that I get to drive a huge selection of cars. With the constant flow of test cars passing through my hands, it's impossible to get bored. However, it took me rather longer than I'd hoped to get my hands on Keith's Peugeot 5008 – it's been popular with team members who needed space, comfort and economy.
But I had plans for it. I needed a vehicle to rush me to the north of England on concurrent weekends – and wanted something thay was comfortable, refined, and most importantly, wouldn't break the bank in fuel costs.
Jumping into the 5008 for the first time, I was overcome by the usual feeling of familiarity with Peugeot's off control layout. Since drivng the 208 for the first time a few years back, I became quite an admirer of the small, low steering wheel, and high-mounted instrument pack. Needless to say, I liked the 5008, although was curious to see how such a big car would drive with a kart-sized wheel.
What's the 5008 like to drive?
The good news is for anyone considering buying a seven-seat SUV that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, the 5008 is genuinely excellent. I had low expectations on account of never really gelling with the 3008 it's so closely related to – but it soon became apparent that this longer car is altogether more resolved as a long-distance cruiser.
Firing it up, the three-cylinder Puretech engine settles to a smooth idle, and slotting it into gear and pulling away, the overarching impression is that all of the controls are beautifully damped. The throttle response is pin-sharp without being over-responsive, while the clutch and the slightly long-throw gearchange are a joy to behold.
The 1.2-litre engine pulls well, with excellent low down pulling power and an irrepressible appetite for revs. It's smooth, punchy and enjoyable. Okay, so with 130hp, this full-sized seven-seater isn't rapid, but it's far from underpowered – and in all it's a pleasant engine to spend time behind.
What else do we like about the 5008?
I'll stick with the driving impressions for now, because there's no escaping that like the 3008, this 5008 has a softer than average ride, which makes light work of typically potholed urban roads. Where it differs from the smaller car is at higher speeds, where the body control remains calm and unperturbed – although quite adept to body roll.
On motorways, the 5008 really finds its feet. The engine hums away quietly to itself, while the lack of wind and mechanical noise in general is very impressive indeed. In sixth, it lopes along the motorway in an assured and refined manner that puts it on a par with many an executive-class car.
Other notable likes include the instrumentation, which is clear and logical. I love the styling of its digital dials, including the counter-rotating rev counter. The touchscreen-driven instrumentation is PSA-idiosyncratic, of course, but at least there are some physical controls for the major functions. It also works well with Apple CarPlay, too – an essential for me.
Conclusions: what did Keith A think of the 5008?
In short, it's a car of far deeper ability and quality than I'd ever expected it to be. As a family car, it works well, thanks to the spacious, airy interior and flexible seating arrangement. It's economical and good looking, and I suspect that the reason I'm seeing so many around is down to the latter point.
The most impressive aspect for me, though, is how it drives. As a serious old Peugeot owner, I'm well aware of the company's former greatness in this area – so it's good to see that after a few wobbles, the French company can still inject its cars with some dynamic stardust.
Don't get me wrong – it's no sports car, and neither is it pretending to me. Instead, it's a refined, relxed and really rather capable hold-all that can cover long distances in truly effortless style. In short, I'm impressed, and if I were in the market, I'd take one over a Kodiaq.
|Long-term test: Peugeot 5008 GT Line 1.2 PureTech 130 S&S
||34.9mpg, 63% of official