There are no fewer than five different engine options with Peugeot’s 5008 MPV, and four separate transmissions to consider. If this sounds like a recipe for confusion and way too much choice, it is simplified by most engines being limited to one gearbox option. The two 1.6-litre petrol motors come in 120bhp and turbocharged 156bhp forms, with five- and six-speed gearboxes respectively. The more potent turbo engine is the one to go for if you intend to use the 5008’s seven seats on a regular basis thanks to notably more low- and mid-range pull, and it’s marginally more frugal than the 120bhp non-turbo engine. Diesels are taken care of by a 1.6-litre unit with 110bhp and a pair of 2.0-litre turbodiesels in 150- and 163bhp guises. For the 1.6 diesels, there’s a choice of a six-speed manual or a six-speed double-clutch ’box, which Peugeot calls EGC (electronic gear control). These dual-clutch gearboxes are all the rage now, offering quick, seamless changes with no need for a clutch pedal and less impact on economy and emissions than a standard auto ’box. In fact, the EGC-equipped 5008 is more economical than the manual version and quicker from 0-62mph, taking 12.6 seconds to the manual’s 12.9 seconds. As for the 2.0-litre diesels, the 150bhp model comes with a six-speed manual, while the 163bhp iteration uses a traditional automatic gearbox with six gears. Pick of the range is the 1.6-litre diesel with the manual gearbox.
The Peugeot 5008 may share a fair proportion of its components with the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso, but Peugeot has gone its own way with the suspension. This MPV avoids Citroen’s hydropneumatic system in favour of more traditional springs and dampers, and the best bit is the 5008 mixes ride comfort and nimble handling in a way many thought Peugeot had forgotten about. Never mind for an MPV, the 5008 corners with considerable agility and poise, helped by steering with plenty of feel and just the right weighting. This composure is matched by that over the bumps. The 5008 makes light work of most disturbances in the road, though some sharper ridges can catch it out. Adding to the sense of superb driving ability is the 5008’s refinement, which sends most sources of noise packing to make this MPV a sound long distance companion.
All of the engines used for the 5008 have seen action in other Peugeot models, and the 1.6-litre petrol engines are shared with BMW, so have a healthy pedigree of getting the job done without failing. We’ll have to wait a while to see how the new EGC dual-clutch gearbox performs in the reliability stakes, but experience of these ’boxes in other cars suggests the Peugeot’s should be trouble-free. Peugeot has made great strides with its cabin quality in its more recent models and the 5008 continues this upward trend. All of the plastics feel solid, everything is screwed tightly together and the cabin is happily devoid of rattles and creaks. Being closely related to the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso is no bad thing either as it was the most highly rated MPV in the 2009 JD Power Customer Satisfaction Survey.
Everything you’d expect is present and correct in the 5008. Security is provided by an alarm, deadlocks and an immobiliser on all models, while safety is taken care of by twin front, side and curtain airbags. The curtain ’bags run the full length of the cabin so even those in the third row of seats are protected. Anti-lock brakes combine with ESP traction control on all versions of the 5008 to make it very stable in tricky driving conditions. The 5008 has already gained a 5-star Euro NCAP crash test rating.
The 5008 only comes to the UK as a seven-seater, whereas some European markets are offered the car as a five-seater. For Brits, this means a pair of fold-out third row chairs that are easy to lift up and stow away again at the tug of a lever. With the seats folded down and the 5008 in five-seat configuration, there’s a large boot that will easily cope with a family’s luggage. Use the third row seats and they are best for children as access is limited through the side rear doors, even with the middle seats slid and tumbled as far forward as possible. The three individual middle seats also slide, tilt and fold flat into the floor, so no need to find somewhere to store them when you want maximum load space. Middle row passengers have plenty of head, leg and shoulder room, while up front the driver is spoilt for choice with the amount of space available and adjustment in the seat and steering wheel to attain the ideal driving position.
Peugeot has pitched the prices of the 5008 keenly against its rivals, so it should be on compact MPV buyers’ shopping lists. It’s also likely to hold its value as well as a Citroen C4 Grand Picasso, which is above average for this class thanks to the versatility of the car and some fine diesel engine options. The 1.6 turbodiesel with manual gearbox is good for 53.3mpg combined and 140g/km of carbon dioxide emissions, which place it strongly against rivals’. Three trim levels are on offer, though not with every engine option available. The Active comes with air conditioning, ESP, CD stereo and the electric handbrake release that is used on all 5008s. Go for the Sport and you get alloy wheels, cruise control and front fog lights, while the range-topping Exclusive brings larger 17in alloy wheels, a panoramic glass roof, climate control, rear parking sensors and a head-up display. This last addition is a Perspex screen that pops up from on top of the instrument binnacle to show essential information, such as speed, without the driver taking his or her eyes off the road ahead. The head-up display is an option for the other trims and includes a distance alert to warn the driver if he or she is too close to the car in front.