Peugeot 5008: driven

* You'll like the clever seats * Looks won't appeal to all, though * On sale in January from £16,895...

Peugeot 5008: driven

If 2001 is a Space Odyssey, then there must be a universe of space in a 5008, right? Well, thankfully for Peugeot's newest MPV, there is.

No wonder: the 5008 shares most of its mechanicals with the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, meaning it's roughly the same size. It has the same ingenious seating arrangement, too, so it makes the most of the space available. There are seven seats, two that fold up from the boot floor and three middle chairs that can be slid, reclined and folded individually. Throw in the massive boot and the 5008 is amazingly versatile.

Love it or loath it looks

However, there's plenty to distinguish the Peugeot from the Citroen. The looks, for one thing: the 5008 has similarly chunky styling to the 3008 crossover. Love it or loathe it, it's an attention-grabber. The dashboard follows its smaller sibling's example, too, with plush materials and a dash that wraps around the driver.

The 5008 has one big advantage over the Picasso, though its suspension. The Citroen's is soft and sloppy, so the body lollops around untidily in corners and on undulating roads. The Peugeot's is firmer, so it feels more controlled on a bendy road. True, it also means the 5008's ride isn't and slick as the Picasso's, but it's just about forgiving enough to keep the family comfortable, and it's a better balance overall.

The engines we've driven are punchy, so the 5008 is easy to hustle along without too many downshifts. You can also specify a semi-automatic gearbox with paddleshifters for 500 it's smoother than the Citroen's system, but changes still aren't exactly seamless.
The 5008 is a wee bit cheaper than the Picasso trim-for-trim, too, so if you find yourself gravitating towards your local Peugeot dealership, we wouldn't blame you.

Our verdict

A Picasso-like MPV that's better to drive what's not to like?