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
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