Peugeot 5008 estate performance
You might think that the entry-level 128bhp 1.2-litre engine would be too small to power a seven-seat SUV, but it’s actually surprisingly peppy and eager to rev. It’s available with a choice of a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox, while the more powerful 163bhp 1.6-litre petrol comes with a six-speed auto only. Although the 1.6 adds a good extra portion of performance, the additional cost to buy and run actually means the 1.2 is the petrol unit of choice.
A range of diesels are available – the 1.6-litre unit is available in 99bhp or 118bhp, and the 2.0-litre engine has 148bhp or 178bhp. The performance on offer in the higher-powered 1.6 will cope fine with everyday family use, while running costs should also be low. The 148bhp unit – badged 2.0 BlueHDi 150 – is a flexible engine that feels quick enough, offers strong real-world pace and is capable of pulling the car ably, even when fully loaded.
As for the top-of-the-line 178bhp 2.0, it has no trouble dealing with hefty loads. It can scrabble for grip if you’re accelerating hard from a standstill but, once moving, feels pretty brisk for such a big family wagon.
Peugeot 5008 estate ride
The relatively softly sprung 5008 proves one of the more comfortable cars in the class. As long as you avoid the bigger 19in wheels that are optional on many models and standard on top-spec GT cars, it’s compliant over all but the scrappiest town roads, rarely thudding unless you hit a particularly gargantuan pothole. It's certainly far more relaxing than the ever-jiggly Nissan X-Trail.
It’s true that, over testing undulations, the 5008’s vertical body control is a little looser than, say, the stiffer Skoda Kodiaq – at least without the pricey adaptive dampers fitted to the latter. That means the 5008’s body tends to float about more on its springs and, in turn, you do too. But get it onto a motorway and you’ll discover the 5008 loafs along at 70mph very admirably, soaking up all those ripples that the tauter Kodiaq picks up on. This makes the 5008 a very restful long-distance machine.
Peugeot 5008 estate handling
The 5008’s handling isn’t class-leading, but then it’s a large SUV so most people probably won’t care a jot. The fact that, in the main, it can keep up with the Kodiaq along a challenging country road – that car being one of the sharper-handling ones in this price bracket – means it’s very capable.
So while the 5008 leans a little more than the Kodiaq and hasn’t got quite the same high levels of grip, we’re talking small margins.
Speaking of small – that tiny steering wheel that comes courtesy of Peugeot’s i-Cockpit design (more on that in the Driving Position section) gives the 5008 a flightiness as you turn in to corners that requires some getting used to. But eventually you do and you'll discover that it offers reasonable steering weight, giving you plenty of confidence to hustle the car along without it displaying any inherent vices.
One thing to note if you live deep in the countryside or are likely to go off road: no 5008 gets four-wheel drive. You can option something called Grip Control (an electronic system designed to improve traction) that comes with mud and snow tyres, as well as hill descent control. In really tough conditions, though, this is unlikely to match the extra traction of four-wheel drive in rivals such as the Kodiaq or X-Trail.
Peugeot 5008 estate refinement
At motorway speeds, the 5008 is refined, with less wind noise compared with a Kodiaq and generally less road noise than an X-Trail. Only when you hit a really worn, coarse section of asphalt do you notice the tyres drone.
The 1.2 petrol is very smooth and the 2.0 diesel isn’t far behind – it’s one of the quietest in the class, in fact, unless you compare it with the rather pricier Audi Q5.
Particularly in the petrol models, the weight of the controls lets the side down a tad. The brakes can be grabby in stop-start traffic and the clutch action is more springy than is ideal. But while the shift quality of the six-speed manual gearbox also leaves a little to be desired, overall it doesn't prevent the powertrain from being pleasant – if not as pleasant as a Kodiaq’s – to engage with. At least the automatic gearbox changes gear smoothly and isn't as hesitant when accelerating from a dead stop as some rivals.
We would, however, implore you not to touch the Sport button. With that mode engaged, you receive uncalled-for speaker-generated noise and an oversensitive accelerator pedal – both of which feel unnecessary in a family-oriented SUV.