Kia Sorento vs Peu­geot 5008 vs Volk­swa­gen Tiguan Allspace

With two ex­tra seats than usual, the Volk­swa­gen Tiguan Allspace is ready to take on the class-lead­ing Peu­geot 5008 and Kia’s lat­est Sorento. Let’s see how it gets on

What Car? - - Contents - Pho­tog­ra­phy: John Bradshaw

The 5008 is our favourite large SUV. Can the seven-seat Tiguan change that?

WHAT’S THE BEST way to carry seven peo­ple? No, the an­swer you’re look­ing for isn’t three and a half Fer­raris, and it prob­a­bly isn’t an MPV, ei­ther. Chances are you’ll be look­ing for a seven-seat SUV. And we’ve lined up three of them: an award win­ner, an old favourite and a young pre­tender.

The 1.2-litre Puretech petrol ver­sion of the Peu­geot 5008 is our Large SUV of the Year, but we’re sam­pling a pricier ver­sion in this test: the 178bhp diesel in top-spec GT trim. The old favourite is the Kia Sorento, which has just been facelifted and fit­ted with a new eight-speed au­to­matic gear­box. Can it re­claim the top spot?

Not if our fi­nal con­tender has any­thing to do with it. The Allspace ver­sion of the fa­mil­iar Volk­swa­gen Tiguan has two ex­tra seats thanks to its added length.

DRIV­ING Per­for­mance, ride, han­dling, re ne­ment

As the only one without four­wheel drive, the 5008 is not as ca­pa­ble off road as the other two, and it also can’t tow as much as the oth­ers (see tow­ing panel).

Even so, the 5008 is the swiftest once you’re on the move, although it can’t match the Tiguan for ac­cel­er­a­tion away from the line. The Sorento is the slow­est, but it’s still more than pokey enough. The Tiguan’s gear­box is gen­er­ally the quick­est-shifting, fol­lowed by the 5008’s. Mind you, the Tiguan’s ’box can be jerky around town and, like the Sorento’s, hes­i­tant when pulling away.

The Tiguan stopped in the shortest dis­tance from 70mph and 30mph, with the 5008 not far be­hind. The Sorento took the long­est to stop, prob­a­bly due to its ex­tra weight. You feel the Sorento’s heft in cor­ners, too. It has the least grip and sways the most, feel­ing the most cum­ber­some along wind­ing coun­try roads.

The 5008 re­sists body roll bet­ter and grips harder, but it can’t match the Tiguan for agility. The lat­ter is the most en­joy­able to drive briskly, thanks to rel­a­tively nim­ble han­dling and oo­dles of grip. It has the sweet­est steer­ing, too, al­low­ing you to place the car ac­cu­rately through cor­ners.

The 5008’s tiny steer­ing wheel takes some getting used to. Stick with it, though, and you’ll find its weight­ing con­sis­tent and pre­ci­sion not far be­hind the Tiguan’s. The Sorento’s slow steer­ing means you need to make plenty of cor­rec­tions on the mo­tor­way to stay in the cen­tre of your lane and there’s more guess­work through tight cor­ners.

Our Tiguan test car came with op­tional Dy­namic Chas­sis Con­trol (£810), which al­lows you to soften or stiffen the sus­pen­sion. It cer­tainly helped the Tiguan to be the most pli­ant here; it wafts along in Com­fort mode, barely tripped up by pot­holes, ex­pan­sion joints or craggy sur­faces.

Even though the Sorento isn’t avail­able with ad­justable dampers, it runs the Tiguan close for com­fort. On the 18in wheels of KX-3 trim, it breezes over ur­ban ruts even more adroitly than the Tiguan, but it can’t match the Tiguan’s com­fort or com­po­sure on mo­tor­way or along un­even coun­try roads.

This vari­ant of the 5008 im­pressed us far less than other ver­sions we’ve tried. The 19in wheels trans­mit sur­face im­per­fec­tions to your pos­te­rior and bro­ken sur­faces cause a vi­o­lent jolt. The 5008 is also the nois­i­est, kick­ing up a fair bit of sus­pen­sion noise and some en­gine drone. The Tiguan is the qui­etest, but there’s still a bit of wind roar.

BE­HIND THE WHEEL Driv­ing po­si­tion, vis­i­bil­ity, build qual­ity

As you’d ex­pect from SUVS cost­ing well over £30,000, all three have swathes of squishy plas­tic, ap­peal­ing trim pieces and a smat­ter­ing of chrome­ef­fect de­tail­ing. De­spite be­ing the cheap­est con­tender, you’ll prob­a­bly think the 5008 has the most eye-catch­ing in­te­rior.

The Tiguan has the plainest in­te­rior and it’s sur­pris­ingly easy to find cheap-feel­ing and un­yield­ing ma­te­ri­als. The Sorento hides these sur­faces much bet­ter and gen­er­ally has more squidgy ma­te­ri­als. In fact, it has the best fit and finish, even though it is look­ing a lit­tle dated.

All three have plenty of seat and steer­ing wheel ad­just­ment. The 5008 and Sorento have elec­tric seat ad­just­ment as stan­dard (the for­mer also has mem­ory and mas­sage func­tions), while the Tiguan gets part-elec­tric ad­just­ment with a mas­sage func­tion. All have ad­justable lum­bar sup­port, although some of our testers found the 5008’s front seats un­com­fort­able as a result of a raised base that forced their legs apart. Should you value a high driv­ing po­si­tion, the Sorento is by far the best in this trio, while the Tiguan is the worst.

With SEL trim, the Tiguan gains Volk­swa­gen’s clever 12.3in Ac­tive Info Dis­play dig­i­tal in­stru­ments. The 5008 also has a 12.3in dig­i­tal dis­play that is con­fig­urable. Some might find the high po­si­tion of the 5008’s in­stru­ments odd at first, but they do mean your eyes stray less far from the road. The Sorento has a much smaller 7.0in dis­play sand­wiched be­tween con­ven­tional di­als. It can show a va­ri­ety of information but can’t be con­fig­ured like its com­peti­tors’.

SPACE AND PRAC­TI­CAL­ITY Front space, rear space, seat­ing ex­i­bil­ity, boot

It’s no surprise that the three cars are pretty spa­cious in­side. They all come with a panoramic roof as stan­dard, but there’s still enough head room up front. The Tiguan has the most head clear­ance, but the 5008 has a frac­tion more leg room, be­cause its seat goes back a cen­time­tre more. All three cars have a se­lec­tion of nooks and cran­nies for odds and ends, but the 5008 has the biggest stor­age area under its front arm­rest and the most use­ful stor­age space be­tween the front seats. We also like the fold­able ta­bles on the front seat­backs of the 5008 and Tiguan.

Things get more in­ter­est­ing in the sec­ond row. All our con­tenders have slid­ing and re­clin­ing benches so you can pri­ori­tise pas­sen­ger or lug­gage space. The im­pact of the panoramic roof on mid­dlerow head room isn’t great in the Tiguan and shouldn’t be too ma­jor in the Sorento un­less you’re over six feet tall. On the other hand, six­foot­ers will have to cower in the 5008’s mid­dle row, be­cause you can’t avoid the panoramic roof in GT trim. This is a great shame, be­cause the 5008’s sec­ond-row leg room is ac­tu­ally the best here.

Squeeze into the third row and the 5008’s head room im­proves greatly. Even so, it can’t beat the Sorento’s mix of in­te­rior width, leg room and head room. That leaves the Tiguan trail­ing far be­hind on space in the rear­most row. Head room is tight and your knees are forced up­wards by a high floor.

Volk­swa­gen says the third row of the Allspace model is suit­able only for those under 5ft 2in; we’d whole­heart­edly agree. The Tiguan’s rear­most row is at least, like the 5008’s, rea­son­ably easy to climb into. With the Sorento, it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber to get in from the near­side, be­cause this is the only part of the mid­dle-row bench that tum­bles fully for­wards to im­prove ac­cess to the rear. The 5008’s third-row seats are the eas­i­est to erect, although it’s not a chore in the other two cars.

None has a great deal of boot space with all seven seats in place. You’d strug­gle to fit more than a few bags of shopping, but it’s the Tiguan that’s best and the 5008 that’s worst. Things im­prove a lot in five-seat mode, although the Tiguan comes last here, swal­low­ing just eight carry-on suit­cases. The 5008 man­ages 10, while the Sorento scores an im­pres­sive 11.

BUY­ING AND OWN­ING Costs, equip­ment, re­li­a­bil­ity, safety and se­cu­rity

De­spite sit­ting at the top of its range, the 5008 GT is the cheap­est of our trio be­fore dis­counts. We’d rec­om­mend hag­gling, though; all are avail­able with dis­counts of more than £1700.

Even af­ter bar­ter­ing, the Sorento will still cost you most to buy and to own over three years (by £3300 over the 5008). Be­cause the Tiguan de­pre­ci­ates less heav­ily than the 5008, it’s only £100 more ex­pen­sive to run over the course of a year. How­ever, the 5008 is the most fru­gal, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial fig­ures, with the Sorento by far the thirsti­est.

For busi­ness users, there’s only around a £20 dif­fer­ence be­tween the three cars’ monthly leas­ing rates, but ben­e­fit-in-kind tax­a­tion is a dif­fer­ent mat­ter. The Sorento is in the top 37% tax bracket and the Tiguan 35% (37% from April), while the 5008 is cur­rently taxed at just 29%. That means you’ll save £3000 over three years in salary sac­ri­fices if you pick the 5008 over the Sorento.

All of our trio have plenty of lux­u­ries. The Sorento and 5008 come with leather seats as stan­dard, but these will cost you £1615 in the Tiguan. Dis­ap­point­ingly, only the 5008 and Tiguan have au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing (AEB) as stan­dard. Although the Sorento gets lane-keep­ing as­sist (as do the oth­ers), blindspot de­tec­tion and AEB are the pre­serve of top-spec Gt-line S mod­els and can’t be added as op­tions on KX-3 trim.

The three cars were all awarded five stars by Euro NCAP. While the Tiguan best pro­tects adult oc­cu­pants, the 5008 scores the high­est for child pro­tec­tion.

PEU­GEOT 5008 The stan­dard 19in wheels con­trib­ute to a lumpy ride, es­pe­cially on ur­ban roads

Op­tional adap­tive dampers make the Tiguan the most ag­ile as well as the com est VOLK­SWA­GEN TIGUAN ALLSPACE

KIA SORENTO Sorento feels bulki­est but proves re­lax­ing to drive and has a high driv­ing po­si­tion

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