Tow car test: Peu­geot 5008

Model tested Blue­hdi 150 GT Line Price £31,765 Kerb­weight 1565kg*

Practical Caravan - - Contents -

Does an SUV with­out four-wheel drive re­ally cut it at this price point?

What’s new?

The new Peu­geot 5008 marks a big change from its MPV pre­de­ces­sor. There are still seven seats in­side, but in­stead of the no-non­sense prac­ti­cal­ity of a tra­di­tional peo­ple-car­rier, the new 5008 has the tough and chunky looks of a 4x4. Ap­pear­ances can be de­cep­tive, though, be­cause all 5008 mod­els are front-wheel drive to keep weight down and im­prove econ­omy and emis­sions. We’re test­ing the 150PS (148bhp) Blue­hdi diesel in high-spec GT Line trim.

What are we look­ing for?

Will own­ers of the old 5008 find the new car as prac­ti­cal as the old? And does an SUV with­out four-wheel drive re­ally cut it at this price point? More im­por­tantly, how well does it tow a car­a­van?

Tow­ing abil­ity

The 5008 is an in­ter­est­ing con­cept, and per­haps the shape of things to come. We’re used to smaller crossovers which ape the ap­pear­ance of an off-roader but which send power to two wheels rather than four. How­ever, it’s un­usual for a larger SUV to not even have the op­tion of four-wheel drive. Be­ing front-wheel drive con­trib­utes to a low kerb­weight of 1565kg (in­clud­ing 75kg for the driver which Peu­geot doesn’t in­clude in its pub­lished fig­ure). It’s worth not­ing that Peu­geot also pub­lishes a mass in ser­vice, which takes into ac­count the weight of ad­di­tional op­tions. Well-equipped cars are likely to be closer to this fig­ure of 1656kg. Ei­ther fig­ure is on the low side com­pared to the Peu­geot’s likely ri­vals. The Škoda Ko­diaq 2.0 TDI 150PS man­ual has a kerb­weight of 1705kg-1905kg, de­pend­ing on spec­i­fi­ca­tion, and Kia quotes a kerb­weight range of 1932kg to 2082kg for the Sorento with a man­ual gear­box. So if you have a large, multi­b­erth car­a­van to go with your large, seven-seat SUV, match­ing ra­tios will be more favourable if you choose one of the 5008’s com­peti­tors. Work­ing from the Peu­geot’s kerb­weight of 1565kg gives an 85% match fig­ure of 1330kg. That’s not a lot for a seven-seat SUV. The max­i­mum noseweight of just 72kg is also on the low side, and closer to what we’d ex­pect of a fam­ily hatch­back. It will take care to avoid over­load­ing. We matched the Peu­geot to our Bai­ley Uni­corn Cabr­era with its MIRO of 1377kg. For the most part the 2.0-litre diesel tows a tourer of this weight well; the 30-60mph time of 14.4 sec­onds is re­spectable. How­ever, you’ll need to change gear quite of­ten to keep up with the ebb and flow of traf­fic while tow­ing. The en­gine is rather flat at low revs, and gets quite breath­less at the top of the rev range. On the mo­tor­way we had to change down from sixth to fifth to keep up mo­men­tum on in­clines. In gen­eral, the 5008 feels sta­ble at speed. How­ever,

rel­a­tively soft sus­pen­sion al­lowed the car to be unset­tled slightly by bumpy bends or when over­tak­ing high-sided ve­hi­cles. We never felt at all ner­vous tow­ing with the 5008, but we were con­scious that the car­a­van’s move­ments weren’t quite as firmly in check as they would have been when tow­ing with a Sorento or VW Tiguan. Our test drive took place in change­able weather, with a damp sur­face for the lanechange and hill start but a largely dry track for the brak­ing test. We half-ex­pected the 5008 to strug­gle with the hill start, but con­sid­er­ing it only sends power to the front wheels, the Peu­geot coped well. The e-brake held firm and re­leased cleanly, and the car pulled to the top of the 1-in-10 gra­di­ent with­out any wheel­spin or un­due clutch slip. In the emer­gency brak­ing test, the stop­ping dis­tance of 11.1 me­tres from 30mph is about what we’d have ex­pected. That rather sums up the 5008 as a tow car. It’s there or there­abouts in most re­spects, but there are heav­ier ri­vals which do the job bet­ter.

Solo driv­ing

The 5008 has one or two quirks, but it’s a pleas­ant car to drive ev­ery day. You sit be­hind an un­usu­ally small but thick-rimmed steer­ing wheel and view the in­stru­ments over it rather than through it. The steer­ing is very sen­si­tive, some­thing you be­come used to but which feels a lit­tle strange on first ac­quain­tance. The rapid re­sponse to the wheel is a lit­tle at odds with the rest of the car’s per­son­al­ity, which is more laid back. At low speeds the sus­pen­sion is some­times caught out by sharp bumps, but on the open road the ride set­tles to a smooth and re­laxed gait. The odd grumpy clat­ter from the diesel en­gine aside, the 5008 is re­fined and civilised at speed, with road and wind noise well within sen­si­ble lev­els. Over-shoul­der vis­i­bil­ity isn’t great, but with park­ing sen­sors front and rear, and a re­vers­ing cam­era on Al­lure spec and above, that’s not as much of an is­sue as it might be. Clearly, be­ing a front-wheeldrive car, the 5008 is not go­ing to be as ca­pa­ble off-road as many SUVS. How­ever, the Peu­geot can be spec­i­fied with Ad­vanced Grip Con­trol as a £470 op­tion.

Space and prac­ti­cal­ity

The cabin is what re­ally makes the 5008 stand out. It’s bold, dis­tinc­tive and very prac­ti­cal. Think of the 5008 as an MPV dis­guised as an SUV and you won’t go far wrong. The dra­matic dash­board makes the in­te­rior of most ri­vals look staid. There’s a mix­ture of sur­face tex­tures and fin­ishes, but it all comes to­gether as a co­he­sive and ap­peal­ing whole. In­stead of con­ven­tional in­stru­ments, there’s a con­fig­urable screen in front of the driver. It can be set up to show con­ven­tional di­als, or to pri­ori­tise other in­for­ma­tion such as sat-nav di­rec­tions. A sep­a­rate touch­screen sits to the left of the driver, although the short-cut but­tons are some way be­low the screen and hard to use with­out tak­ing your eyes away from the road. Stor­age is gen­er­ous, and we found it easy enough to find a com­fort­able driv­ing po­si­tion. Our test car came with heated leather seats with a mas­sag­ing func­tion for the driver, but they’re a pricey £1990. Sit in the sec­ond row and you’ll spot one of the ad­van­tages of front-wheel drive: there’s no chunky floor trans­mis­sion tun­nel to get in the way. There are three in­di­vid­ual seats in the middle row and they slide back and forth in­de­pen­dently. Pre­dictably, the third row of seats are bet­ter suited to chil­dren than adults, although if those in the cen­tre row don’t mind giv­ing up a lit­tle bit of legroom, grown-ups should cope on short jour­neys. Just as pre­dictably, the boot is tiny with all the seats up­right, with a ca­pac­ity of just 166 litres to the level of the par­cel shelf. Lower the third row and there’s a huge 952 litres. You can take the rear­most seats out for even more room. The middle row folds flat, too, as does the front pas­sen­ger seat if you have a re­ally long load to carry. We’d award the 5008’s cabin an even higher score if it wasn’t for the op­tional panoramic glass roof (£870) fit­ted to our test car. This severely re­stricts head­room, in the sec­ond row in par­tic­u­lar.

Buy­ing and own­ing

Given that GT Line spec is one down from the top of the range, £31,765 is a rea­son­able price. Ac­cord­ing to What Car?’s Tar­get Price, you can ex­pect to pay less than £30,000 if you hag­gle. Stan­dard kit in­cludes leather-ef­fect/cloth seat trim, a smart­phone charg­ing plate, a six-speaker stereo, sat nav, dual-zone cli­mate con­trol and LED head­lights. A de­tach­able tow­ball with 13-pin electrics and Trailer Sway Mit­i­ga­tion is rea­son­ably priced at £550. We achieved an im­pres­sive 28.5mpg tow­ing on A-roads and mo­tor­ways, while the of­fi­cial com­bined fig­ure for solo driv­ing is 61.4mpg. Both are bet­ter than the 5008’s 4x4 ri­vals.

We achieved close to 30mpg while tow­ing with the fron­twheel-drive Peu­geot 5008

A kerb­weight of 1565kg gives an 85% match fig­ure of 1330kg

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