Peugeot 5008 overview
If there's one car that demonstrates the shift in popularity of SUVs, it's the Peugeot 5008. It started life as a worthy seven-seat MPV, but when the second generation arrived in 2017, it was revamped as an SUV, while this handsome-looking (to our eyes) facelift arrived late in 2020.
The more stylish front end is shared with the five-seat 3008, and the 5008 has the same running gear, too, but it gets a slightly longer and squarer body to make room for a third row of passengers. This seven-seat configuration means the 5008 is a rival for cars such as the SEAT Tarraco, Skoda Kodiaq and Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace (which are all closely related), the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento (which are also closely related) and even upmarket options such as the Mercedes GLB and Land Rover Discovery Sport.
Here we're testing the top-spec GT model with the 1.5 BlueHDi 130 diesel engine and an eight-speed automatic gearbox. As with the whole 5008 line-up, it's front-wheel drive - there's no four-wheel-drive option available.
The Peugeot 5008 model range
Irish pricing for the Peugeot 5008 starts at €41,335, which is a premium of around €4,400 over the 3008, but this gets you more boot space and that seven-seat layout - some rivals only offer seven seats as an option on their lower-spec variants.
The 5008 range kicks off with Active trim, which is available with either a 130hp 1.2 PureTech petrol engine or a 1.5 BlueHDi diesel with the same output. Both engines come with a six-speed manual gearbox.
Standard equipment is generous for a base model, and includes the i-Cockpit 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, 17-inch alloy wheels, auto lights and wipers and cruise control with intelligent speed limit assist and lane-keep assist. On top of that, you get front and rear parking sensors, keyless starting, dual-zone climate control and LED headlights.
Move up to Allure trim for about €1,100 extra, and there are 18-inch two-tone alloys, tinted glass, a 10-inch touchscreen with navigation and traffic sign recognition, blue LED interior lighting, rear tray tables and blind-spot detection. Also available is an automatic gearbox for both petrol and diesel engines.
At the top of the range, GT models get the same engine and gearbox options as the Allure spec, plus the addition of a 180hp 2.0 BlueHDi diesel. The spec is upgraded to include a powered tailgate, sporty Alcantara trim for the dashboard and doors, a head-up display, a different 18-inch wheel design and Grip Control, Peugeot's switchable traction control system that is designed to compensate for the fact that four-wheel drive isn't available.
It's a little disappointing that, unlike the Peugeot 3008, there's no plug-in hybrid version of the 5008.
Finance for the Peugeot 5008 starts from €393 per month on 4.9% APR HP and PCP contracts, but go to the Peugeot Ireland website for the very latest offers.
The Peugeot 5008 interior
Peugeot's interiors have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, and the 5008's cabin is another triumph of quality that gives upmarket rivals a run for their money. GT versions such as the one tested here feature a mix of artificial leather and cloth upholstery (full leather is a €3,000 option), while the addition of Alcantara to the doors and dashboard helps to ramp up the premium feel inside.
It's easy enough to get comfortable at the wheel, but we have to mention the i-Cockpit layout. It's a unique feature to Peugeots, where the digital dials are mounted high on the dashboard and a small steering wheel is fitted, so you look over it, rather than through it, to view the displays. Some drivers will get along with it no problem, but others might need to adapt their driving position to be able to read the dials properly - it really is something you should try before you buy to see if it suits you.
The 5008's 10-inch touchscreen isn't the easiest to use, either. All of the controls are placed there - even those for the heating and air conditioning - but having to use a touchscreen when on the move can be a lot more distracting than physical buttons or rotary dials. The bank of toggle switches below look neat and offer shortcuts to most functions (audio, navigation, cabin temperature, etc), but all settings are controlled via the touchscreen.
Space up front is good, and in the rear it's exceptional. The three seats in the middle row are mounted individually, and they can tilt, slide and fold independently of each other. There's plenty of head- and legroom for three adults, while standard ISOFIX mounts on all three seats will be a bonus for large families (many rivals just come with two ISOFIX mounts on the outer chairs).
At the very rear there's a generous 702-litre boot in five-seat mode, or you can raise the third row for extra passenger carrying. These seats are a little tighter than the middle row, and are better suited to kids than adults, especially since it's a bit of a contortion to get there in the first place.
The Peugeot 5008 driving experience
The Peugeot 5008 has a typically SUV-like driving position that offers a good view of the road ahead. And with all models coming with front and rear parking sensors, you don't need to worry too much about manoeuvring this relatively large car. Light controls help, too, and the small steering wheel is easy to manage thanks to the amount of power assistance on offer.
While a small steering wheel is usually the indication of a sporty car, that's not the case here - it really is just borne out of the necessity of the layout of the i-Cockpit dials. The 5008 isn't a car that's designed for fun driving, but once you're comfortable with that, it does everything that's asked of it. It's not particularly memorable, it just gets on with the job.
The 1.5 BlueHDi diesel is a relatively new engine, but it does get rather noisy when it's extended. However, once you're settled at motorway speeds it does at least fade to a dull rumble.
Our car's auto gearbox delivered smooth shifts on the whole, although it did seem to take a moment to disengage when coming to a standstill, while the stop-start system also seemed slow to react. However, it did its bit to help us average 5.8 litres/100km over an 800km drive.
Our verdict on the Peugeot 5008
If you're after a full-sized seven-seat SUV, then the Peugeot 5008 wouldn't be our first choice, because the rearmost row is more cramped than in some rivals. However, look at it as a spacious five-seater with two extra seats in the boot floor for occasional use, and it makes a stronger case for itself, as long as you can get along with Peugeot's i-Cockpit dashboard layout.
The driving experience is unremarkable, but that leaves you to enjoy the car's upmarket cabin and tech, while the family-friendly features, such as the triple ISOFIX mounts and flexible middle row layout, mean it's well worth considering.