Peu­geot 5008 BLUEHDI 150 GT Line

MPV turns SUV. Does it of­fer the best of both worlds or flawed com­pro­mises?

Autocar - - THIS WEEK -

ROAD TEST

MODEL TESTED BLUEHDI 150 GT LINE Price £31,245 Power 148bhp Torque 273lb ft 0-60mph 10.8sec 30-70mph in fourth 12.5sec Fuel econ­omy 51.3mpg CO2 emis­sions 118g/km 70-0mph 44.4m

When it was launched in 2010, the first Peu­geot 5008 was ex­actly what you’d ex­pect of an MPV. It had an im­pres­sively flex­i­ble in­te­rior, it was an un­de­mand­ing car to drive and it ad­hered doggedly to a one-box ap­pear­ance. That it also han­dled with the dex­ter­ity of a smaller car and un­der­cut the Ford S-max on price helped seal it a four-star rat­ing from us, but it never amounted to any­thing more than a de­ter­minedly func­tional prod­uct.

Seven years later and the game has changed. Although there’s still no short­age of peo­ple who re­quire what a tra­di­tional MPV such as that orig­i­nal 5008 of­fered, far fewer of them ac­tu­ally want to be seen in one, par­tic­u­larly in China. In­stead, they want an SUV and all the kerb­side ap­peal that goes with it. This hasn’t gone un­no­ticed among the PSA Group’s prod­uct planners on Av­enue de la Grande-ar­mée (although it seems to have done just that at com­pa­triot Re­nault), and what those planners have thus de­vised for the new 5008 is the rak­ish C-seg­ment SUV seen here.

It’s quite a de­par­ture from its fore­bear and is based on the smaller 3008 cross­over, only with an elon­gated bodyshell to al­low for the fit­ment of seven seats in­stead of five. As a mem­ber of this in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar clique of cars – and one with un­re­servedly up­mar­ket ob­jec­tives at that – it goes up against the likes of the Skoda Ko­diaq, BMW 2 Se­ries Gran Tourer and Nis­san X-trail, among oth­ers.

By tread­ing the line be­tween SUV and MPV, Peu­geot has been am­bi­tious. If it is to de­liver on the prom­ises made by its mus­cu­lar, two-box de­sign and peo­ple-car­ry­ing po­ten­tial, the 5008 needs of­fer the lithe han­dling and raised ride height char­ac­ter­is­tic ex­pected of an SUV with the prac­ti­cal­ity and long-range re­fine­ment of an MPV. With­out an un­lim­ited en­gi­neer­ing bud­get, there are com­pro­mises to be man­aged here be­tween ride and han­dling, aes­thet­ics and er­gonomics, and per­for­mance and econ­omy. De­ter­min­ing to what ex­tent this port­man­teau of a car man­ages those con­ces­sions is the aim of this road test.

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