Peugeot 5008 long-term test

Peugeot's funky and spacious 5008 took home our Large SUV of the Year Award back in January, but how will is stand up to everyday life? We've got six months to find out...

  • The car Peugeot 5008 1.2 Puretech 130 Allure EAT6
  • Run by Jim Holder, editorial director
  • Why it’s here To discover if real life can find any holes in the armoury of our favourite seven-seat SUV
  • Needs to Make family life easy with a touch of flair and deliver low running costs across the board

Price £28,780 Price as tested £29,885 Miles covered 543 Official fuel economy 54.3mpg Test economy 37.3mpg Options Metallic paint (£525); Black diamond roof (£280); 19-inch alloy wheels (£300)

1 August – the Peugeot 5008 joins our fleet

What’s the best seven-seat car? It’s a question we’re often asked, and one which has many different answers, depending on your budget and your preference on body style, with SUVs and MPVs most popular.

Peugeot’s response has been to combine the attributes of the two, turning its MPV-like Peugeot 5008 into an SUV. It's effectively a trick of styling, and the end result is a surprisingly handsome exterior look, achieved without compromising interior space.

That flair doesn’t end on the outside, either. After a while in the doldrums, Peugeot really has nailed interior design, combining practical touches, such as a decent touchscreen infotainment system and clear digital dashboard display, with well-placed controls and numerous crafted, stylistic touches that put premium rivals' to shame.

Highlights? A dark, faux-denim cloth that breaks up the plastic surfaces. So-called piano keys that operate the infotainment functions. The gear selector for the automatic gearbox. All of these things look and feel designed, rather than just functional.

The only question mark hovers over Peugeot’s insistence on fitting an unusually small steering wheel – for many, it obscures the view of the dashboard. But, at 190cm tall, I'm not faced with this issue, and I must confess to quite liking the unusually wristy driving style that it forces you to adopt.

In speccing this car, I’ve stayed faithful to the What Car? Car of the Year recommendation in all but one key respect. After all, winning the Large SUV of the Year crown is no mean feat, as is the five-star verdict that the car carries as a result. It means I've gone for the Allure trim level, which brings with it a rear-view camera, upgraded sat-nav and various driver assistance systems.

Raising eyebrows is the choice of a 1.2-litre petrol engine. It doesn’t sound like much to pull a seven-seater along, does it? Well, shock: it works on the open road as well as making for remarkably low tax (and company car) costs.

Peugeot 5008 long-term test review

There are questions the engine must answer, though. Firstly around fuel economy: in our first 500 miles in the Peugeot 5008 I’ve done around 100 miles of motorway driving. It would appear on first impressions that this dramatically lowers economy, although it will take more time to both run in the car and do more fulsome testing to deliver a verdict.

The second one is whether I was right to deviate from the What Car? recommended route and select the six-speed automatic gearbox. Maybe it’s my middle-age, but the thought of stroking a relatively underpowered seven-seater around with a manual box didn’t fill me with glee. This option added £1350 to the bill.

Finally, an early word on the seven seats. The combination of my kids and their visiting cousins gave us the perfect opportunity to test them out just a week after the Skoda Kodiaq I’d been driving went back. The verdict from both the back and the middle rows was that the Peugeot is more commodious (something the tape measure agrees with) and more fun to be in, because visibility is better. I’ll report back on whether they feel the same way after a few hundred miles.

Peugeot 5008 review >

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