Heaven for seven

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Peter Keenan

ANY­ONE who can re­mem­ber the orig­i­nal Peu­geot 5008 will be a tad sur­prised at the lat­est in­car­na­tion. Orig­i­nally a fully paid up mem­ber of the peo­ple car­rier car­tel, it is now a card-car­ry­ing stal­wart of the all-con­quer­ing SUV clan.

And with seven seats, the es­sen­tial king of the road driv­ing po­si­tion, good looks in­side and out, as well as prac­ti­cal­ity guar­an­teed, it seems Peu­geot has made the right move.

The 5008 is based on the plat­form of its smaller 3008 sib­ling but a longer wheel­base gives it room in the back for an ex­tra pair of seats in a third row that comes as stan­dard across the range.

Climb­ing in to them is not the chore it can some­times be thanks to longer rear doors and a mid­dle row of three in­di­vid­ual seats that slide and re­cline to en­sure op­ti­mum con­di­tions for pas­sen­gers.

The GT Line Pre­mium model’s cabin is mod­ern, spa­cious and com­fort­able with an airy feel – helped by a panoramic glass sun­roof – that en­sures long jour­neys are com­pleted with the min­i­mum of fuss.

The dash is home to two screens, one for the driver’s in­stru­ments and one for the sat nav, air con and en­ter­tain­ment fea­tures.

Peu­geot’s in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem is vis­i­ble via an eight-inch touch­screen, which takes cen­tre stage, plus piano key-style but­tons be­low which bring up things like the au­dio sys­tem and cli­mate con­trol on screen.

The ‘i-Cock­pit’ dis­play fea­tures a 12.3-inch dig­i­tal screen which is vis­i­ble over the top of the small steer­ing wheel. The lay­out of the di­als can be changed to suit and the whole ef­fect – with screens and sur­faces canted to­wards the driver – makes you feel co­cooned at the hub of the op­er­a­tion.

The graph­ics are slick and it is a cinch to find your way around the car’s var­i­ous de­lights with ex­cel­lent smart­phone con­nec­tiv­ity an­other plus.

Boot space, ac­cessed via a smart elec­tric tail­gate, is a lit­tle tight at 167 litres with all the seats in place. How­ever things quickly ex­pand with 952 litres on of­fer with the rear seats folded flat into the floor and a mam­moth 2,150 litres ready for fill­ing with the se­cond row down – mak­ing the 5008 one of the most spa­cious cars in this sec­tor of the mar­ket.

The ex­te­rior is im­pos­ing with the ‘Wash­ing­ton’ 18-inch two-tone, di­a­mond cut al­loy wheels steal­ing the show.

Un­der the bon­net lurks the heart of this lion. At first glance, you would think the 1.2-litre, three-cylin­der petrol engine would strug­gle to power a seven-seat SUV beast.

But a clever tur­bocharger and the 5008’s light­weight con­struc­tion means the per­for­mance fig­ures are ac­tu­ally pretty good. Linked to a rea­son­ably slick six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion it reaches 62mph from a stand­ing start in 10.9 sec­onds on its way to a top speed of 117mph.

It is also fru­gal when it comes to juice use with an of­fi­cial av­er­age fuel econ­omy fig­ure of 55.4mpg while car­bon diox­ide emissions are 117g/ km.

All this is achieved with a high level of re­fine­ment as an ini­tial pleas­ing growl from the three-pot set­tles down to pleasant hum when driv­ing on the mo­tor­way.

Other power units avail­able in­clude a new 1.5 BlueHDi 130 diesel, a 1.6 e-THP 165 turbo petrol and the larger 2.0 BlueHDi 180 oil burner.

There is no four-wheel-drive but rather Peu­geot’s Grip Con­trol sys­tem which can be ad­justed to suit the un­der-tyre con­di­tions.

There are five trims avail­able start­ing with the Ac­tive and pro­gress­ing through Al­lure, GT Line, the GT Line Pre­mium I drove and GT. All but the ba­si­cally kit­ted out en­try model are well equipped giv­ing lots of bang for your buck.

It is a safe ve­hi­cle for fam­ily mo­tor­ing with a raft of fea­tures in­clud­ing au­ton­o­mous brak­ing and lane-de­par­ture warn­ing in­cluded as stan­dard across the range, while all mod­els from Al­lure on­wards get high-beam as­sist and blind spot de­tec­tion.

It all adds up to an im­pres­sive pack­age that looks set to prove Peu­geot’s de­ci­sion to change di­rec­tion with the 5008 was a shrewd one.

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