Peugeot 5008 long-term test

The Peugeot 5008 stands out not just for being great to drive, but also to be in, thanks to striking styling and a desirable aura inside and out...

Peugeot 5008 on farm
  • The car Peugeot 5008 Puretech 130 Allure
  • 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 5232 Official fuel economy 54.3mpg Test economy 36.5.0mpg Options Metallic paint (£525), Black Diamond roof (£280), 19in alloy wheels (£300)

7 January – The perfect long-distance car

The toing and froing of Christmas put close to 800 miles on the clock of the Peugeot 5008 in the space of just four days, the longest stint being a run from London to Pembrokeshire. Our route took in the length of the M4, A-roads, B-roads, town roads and some roads probably better proportioned for driving sheep down than cars.

While there’s little festive cheer in driving long distances – the discovery that the M4 toll has finally been lifted, aside – our journey served as a neat reminder of just what a great family car the 5008 is. Even with two adults and two children, plus enough presents, treats and luggage to keep us going for four weeks rather than days, the trip was hassle-free.

That the 5008 made it all so easy should not be taken for granted, and I’m pretty sure that there are few – if any – family SUVs on sale today that could have made the journey as simple as it was. That's all thanks to it doing not just one thing well, but many.

Peugeot 5008 long-term test review

I’ve previously written a lot about the 1.2-litre petrol engine that powers our 5008 – it may seem remarkably small for such a large car, yet proves remarkably performant, and a long, steady-speed journey like this one shows it at its best. Returning nearly 40mpg on the motorway it was both economical and – unstressed thanks to having power in reserve – relaxing, with very little wearing engine noise to contend with.

The seating flexibility is also a boon. The front and middle seats both slide fore and aft to a significant degree, which enabled us to extend the boot space without cramping either ourselves or our children. The relatively upright driving position helps here, too, as it allows you to sit further forward without having to fold yourself up uncomfortably.

Cruise control, lane keeping assistance and a system to keep you a minimum distance from the car in front are hardly groundbreaking, but it’s worth noting that the Peugeot 5008 has them all (with a nod to the fact that these are all systems that will evolve to form the basis of tomorrow's autonomous cars).

New Kia Sorento & Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace vs Peugeot 5008

As a rule I don’t jump to use any of them. I tend to find find progress smoother when I'm kept alert by reading the road conditions myself. But when a journey asks little more of me than three hours of fractional steering inputs, I find these systems to ease the strain, as well as offering an extra layer of protection lest my concentration should drift.

The 5008's small details also add up. Airline-style pop-up trays on the backs of the front seats gave the kids somewhere to colour, read and (with apologies for the poor parenting) watch DVDs in comfort, while the underfloor storage beneath their feet allowed us to leave anything valuable out of sight for the inevitably numerous breaks at services, for instance.

It's also noteworthy that the interior is a mixture of colours and textures: some car makers like to furnish their cars in swathes of same-coloured plastics, which look smart at a glance but prove really dull when you have to stare at them for hours.

In summary, the Peugeot 5008 was economical, refined and comfortable. Little wonder it proved the perfect holiday companion.

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