"Peugeot's 5008 competes in the people carrier market, blending space and practicality with good handling."
Compared to Peugeot's people carriers of old, the 5008 is a revolution. The interior is well thought-out and offers plenty of space and practicality, yet the 5008 is good to drive at the same time. Peugeot has improved its cabin quality markedly, and the 5008 feels very well built. On the road, comfort is impressive and for a people carrier, the 5008 is quite good-looking. It's a serious rival to the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso, but it's also good enough behind the wheel to take on drivers’ favourites like the Ford S-MAX.
The basic 1.6-litre 118bhp petrol engine is best left alone, but the turbocharged 1.6 THP petrol with 156bhp is quick and smooth. As usual, the HDi turbodiesels are a better bet. Peugeot has always made a good diesel engine, and the 108bhp 1.6-litre version is powerful enough for most and cheap to run, too. All the diesels are smooth and punchy, but the 2.0-litre versions, with 148bhp and 161bhp respectively, are even more effortless to drive. The steering is well weighted and very precise for a people carrier. Dynamic Roll Control is an electronic stability device that comes as standard on some models and makes the 5008 feel more stable in corners.
The big Peugeot is one of the most comfortable people carriers on the market. All the engines are smooth and there's very little noise inside the cabin. The suspension is geared towards comfort and the 5008 is only unsettled on the most potholed of roads. There's more than enough space for all passengers to travel long distances in comfort, but the rearmost seats are best suited to children and smaller teenagers.
A five-star Euro NCAP rating overall is very impressive, and the 5008 comes with six airbags and electronic stability control. Deadlocks, marked parts and an integrated stereo all come as standard, to increase security. Reliability is hard to gauge, as the 5008 is still quite new. If you go by Peugeot's past reputation for reliability, then you might be worried – it finished 24th out of 27 in the manufacturers’ category of the 2010 JD Power satisfaction survey, and previous Peugeots haven’t been renowned for their durability. However, the 5008 is very well built and it seems that Peugeot has turned a corner in this area.
The 5008 offers 512 litres of boot space without the final two seats in place. Fold them all flat – which is very easy to do – and you’re looking at gargantuan 1,604 litres. There's storage space beneath the floor in the second row of seats and a deep storage area beneath the centre console, too.
Value for money
Starting prices are affordable, but equipment is basic on entry- level models. Active spec gets air-conditioning, stability control, an electronic handbrake, a CD stereo and energy-saving tyres. Sport models feature extra storage compartments, cruise control, front fog lights and a lighting pack. Top-flight Exclusive models add goodies such as a panoramic glass roof, 17-inch alloys, automatic climate control, a head-up display and auto headlamps and wipers.
Diesel models are inexpensive to run and offer between 41mpg and 55mpg, depending on the model. Petrol versions are pricier and return 38mpg and 39mpg. Insurance groups start at 12 and top out at 22, which isn’t bad at all for a large people carrier.