9 SEPTEMBER 2019
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There is no better way of road testing a car than using it for the purpose it was designed, in this case a large family transport intended for off-the-road manoeuvring too.
Our 10-day loan of the Peugeot 5008 included a six-person-plus-luggage journey to Southampton from north London to join a cruise ship (see last week’s issue), followed by another trip to the same port with just a solo passenger but this time packed out with the specialist gear required by a university sound production and music student. More on water, but this time it included the car. Final destination Isle of Wight.
The 5008 coped admirably, the 1.5ltr diesel covering more than 600mi on a tankful and returning nearly 60 miles to the gallon. With the first trip, the car did feel heavy. Two up, she seemed simply to fly along. It was quiet at all times.
The Peugeot 5008 SUV is a bulky domestic experience, with accommodation for up to seven, lots of real plus points and some daft mistakes. Why does it have a cigarette lighter in the mid-row seats and no USB? With plenty of room, it is the ideal place to sit a youngster for a long ride and plug in an iPad with earphones. You will not hear a murmur until the end of the journey. An individual tray table is supplied to occupants, and window blinds.
Our car was a GT Line Premium retailing at £36,020 in Pearlescent White (£725) with a Black Diamond roof fitted with aluminium longitudinal bars and offering an electrically-opening glass roof and powered blind. One assumes items can be loaded on to the roof, but our student found it easy to place his bicycle over the back door using his own travel fitting. The car sat on 19in two-tone diamond-cut alloy wheels and looked very smart. Prices start at £27,230 for the 1.2ltr six-speed petrol-powered manual model.
For all its many virtues, the 5008 is not a true SUV but a front-wheel-drive upstretched motor car that pretends to be an off-roader but is not really. Something called Advanced Grip Control is available if needed and there are settings for normal, snow, sand and mud and a hill descent system. Various driving modes are available, including sports. One sits up as high as in a Range Rover Discovery and there is a feeling of quality about the product.
The Peugeot finish has improved significantly in recent years and the list of what it termed “comfort and convenience” items is too long to itemise here. Outstanding is a driver multi-point massage function and heated seating for both of those in the front, plus electric seat setting with its-two place memory.
The test model came with an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission system, beautifully smooth, giving 0-60 is a leisurely 11.6sec but that did reduce the pleasure of what is a fine people carrier. Adaptive Cruise Control took away the thinking somewhat on motorways and the lane departure warning system was ready to shout if you deviated. The interior looked and felt quality and Peugeot’s squared-off steering wheel, with its control paddles, was missed when the car was returned.
As BTN has said previously, at the handover point the delivery driver has showed the reviewer where the seat adjustment was and how to get into reverse gear, and that was it plus a reminder to fix the rear-view mirror. Now it is a complex issue, firstly with the hands-free telephone, easy in this case, followed by setting ‘home’ with the sat nav. When that has been done, you can track down the car with your iPhone, quite useful in a large car park. Once ready to take command, you have the business of finding all the various control switches and where they are, particularly in the dark.
Set the reverse dipping power wing mirror as soon as you are happy with the seat and try to remember where the switch is for that narrow street restriction in the dark. No worries when you get out and use the remote lock. The mirrors fold themselves. On what we still call the key fob is a control for the rear entry, where there is a button on the door itself when you want to close. Or you can use the foot control. Also underneath is the emergency tyre.
The Peugeot i-Cockpit offers a 12.3in instrument panel with navigation repeater, a multi-function steering wheel which does take some getting to learn, and a bright 8in touch screen which includes a very easy-to-use radio station selection. Tom Tom supplies the navigation aid and offered a route selection for the most part that made really good sense. One very narrow lane it chose did require some backing up and here the fine rear-view camera came into its own.
The three mid-seats can be laid flat individually and all have ample legroom but there is no cup storage facility. Underfloor storage does provide even more capacity. Further back are two more collapsible seats, and very comfortable according to passenger number six, who had the pleasure of two large suitcases next to him, and the use of a cup holder. The area behind this pair offers luggage room, about 12in in depth and further underfloor storage.
When it comes to driving, the 5008 will never be anything but a modest player in terms of performance, ride and handling. It does this more than adequately, delivering plenty of comfort and with its long wheelbase and fairly soft suspension taking everything into its stride. It feels safe in the wet where Peugeot’s “Magic Wash System”, using nozzles mounted above the wiper blades, come into their own.
If you are needing a large domestic transport suitable for the school and holiday travel but fine for business trips, the Peugeot 5008 fits the bill nicely. That is why it is award winning. Nice car.
Competitors include the Citroën Grand C4 Space Tourer; Ford S-Max; Honda CR-V; Renault Grand Scenic and SEAT Tarraco.
OWNERS’ COMMENTS WELCOME
STAR RATINGS (out of 10)
Ride and Comfort 8
See also BTN 2 September. ON TOUR: France, Spain and Guernsey. All by sea.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Michael Neasden, London
I cannot disagree with much of this report except it has taken me a month to work out the controls. Mind you in my previous car I never learnt them. Sitting up high is something you get used to.