You might think that the entry-level 128bhp 1.2-litre would be too small to power a seven-seat SUV, but it’s surprisingly peppy and eager to rev. Both it and the more powerful 163bhp 1.6-litre petrol come available with a choice of six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes. We’ve not driven that engine yet, but with the added cost to buy and run it, we’d expect the 1.2 to be the petrol of choice.
A range of diesels is available making 99, 118, 148 and 178bhp, but it’s the 2.0-litre BlueHDi that we tested on launch. That engine comes in either 148bhp or 178bhp outputs and it’s the former we’d choose, as it’s a flexible engine that feels quick enough, offers strong real world pace and is capable of pulling the car ably even when fully loaded.
We’re yet to try the 180bhp version, but we’d expect it to be punchier, but not by enough to justify the extra outlay. That said, the more powerful engine comes equipped with an automatic gearbox, which suits the character of this luxurious seven seater down to the ground.
Peugeot 5008 ride comfort
To drive, the 5008 is competent, secure handling and comfortable for the most part, its suspension settings conferring a fairly gentle, compliant ride when the road surface is good. Over testing undulations, the car’s vertical body control becomes a bit loose and wallowy, while broken, sharp-edged asphalt can bring the occasional thump and crash from the arches.
Because of its inherent softness the body moves around a fair bit over undulating roads, and the consistent bobbing can jostle you and your passengers around. However, it’s something you’ll be aware of, rather than annoyed by. That said, a Nissan X-Trail probably has a broader-based comfort level.
Peugeot 5008 handling
Much like its smaller sibling, the 5008 handling is perfectly adequate but not exceptional. On the motorway the steering is a little vague around the straight-ahead, and the small steering wheel adds some nervousness to the helm that requires getting used to. Otherwise it offers reasonable steering weight, giving the driver confidence as you sweep the car through turns.
That said, if you do throw the 5008 into a corner, body lean is surprisingly well contained. And no matter how hard you provoke it, there’s no danger of getting caught out by any scary handling characteristics. Sadly, no 5008 gets four-wheel drive, but Grip Control (an electronic system designed to improve traction), mud and snow tyres, and a hill descent control function are all options.
Peugeot 5008 refinement
When you’re at motorway speeds, you notice some wind noise emanating from the door mirrors, and the tyres can add to the decibel levels over coarse surfaces. That said, neither are in anyway overbearing.
The 1.2-litre petrols are very smooth, and the 2.0 litre diesel isn’t far behind, either. In fact, we found the 2.0-litre BlueHDi diesel engine a good match for the 5008’s mass, with better refinement and tractability than the 1.6 diesel we tested in the new 3008.
Unfortunately, the control weights let the side down somewhat. The brakes are grabby in stop-start traffic and the clutch action is springier than is ideal. The shift quality of the six-speed manual gearbox also leaves a bit to be desired but it doesn't prevent the powertrain being pleasant to engage with. Well, as long as you leave the car's obligatory Sport button alone that is. With sport mode engaged, you receive uncalled-for speaker-generated noise, and an over-sensitive throttle pedal, both of which feel unnecessary in a family orientated SUV.
This 128bhp turbocharged three-cylinder petrol is smooth and punchy. Once you get above 1500rpm it revs keenly all the way to the limiter, and proves comfortably swift. It’s reasonably fuel efficient, too, making it a good option for private buyers. Comes with a choice of six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes.
1.6 e-THP 165
The larger of the two petrol engines comes with 163bhp and an automatic gearbox only. We’re yet to try it, but while it adds more pace, we still think the 1.2 130 will make the better all-rounder.
2.0 BlueHDi 150
This 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel unit gives the 3008 decent punch, and is available with the choice of a six-speed manual or a smooth-shifting automatic gearbox. It’s not quite as refined as the 1.6-litre units, however, and will cost more to run, so we’d consider carefully before spending the extra.
2.0 BlueHDi 180 EAT6
Most powerful diesel engine in the range with 178bhp; only available with an automatic gearbox. We’re yet to sample this entry-level turbocharged petrol engine, however, if it’s anything like the 150, it should be a refined and economical unit