Peugeot goes to greater lengths
PEUGEOT’S 3008 five-seater estate was one of my favourite new cars of 2009. Now the French maker has followed up with a longer version, called the 5008, and seating seven in three rows of seats.
Its paramount rivals are the (longer, costlier) Ford S-Max and the C4 Grand Picasso from its stablemate, Citroën, and the Renault Grand Scénic.
The 5008 felt as if it wallowed a bit too suddenly in corners yet in its defence, my son took to it straight away, even though it is not his favoured type of vehicle. Like its peers, the 5008 has a low roofline for an MPV, which means it does not look like an airport hotel shuttle bus.
Peugeot resisted the risk of giving it a larger version of the 3008’s milk-crate grinning grille. The 5008’s “face” is much more aloof and most aspects of the body styling are acceptable, maybe even the excessive tail lamps which wrap the shoulders for maximum visibility.
Peugeot calls the 5008 a “compact MPV” and it is some six inches shorter than an S-Max but matching it for most purposes. The model line is Active, Sport and Exclusive, with the usual progression from steel to alloy wheels, cruise control and climate control.
There is a good choice of engines and the range opens at just £17,345 for the 120bhp 1.6 petrol Active with five gears, which records 38.7mpg, 169g/km CO2 and 0-62mph in 12.3 seconds. It has 16-inch steel wheels with low-energy tyres, air conditioning, MP3 playback, an electric parking brake, stability control and a five-star Ncap crash safety score.
The same engine is £18,545 with Sport kit, which includes alloys, under-seat and under-floor storage, cruise control with a speed limiter, and a colour-coded exterior, ambient cabin lights and cargo area net.
Nice to find the top drawer Exclusive model offered with this entry engine, and for £20,445 you get a full-length glass roof, alloy 17s, climate control, head-up speed display and distance alert to tell you if you are too close to the vehicle in front, automatic lamps and wipers, USB and Bluetooth, a rear parking sensor (which should be standard across the range).
The diesel engine is the familiar 110bhp 1560cc unit with 192 lb ft of torque, also used by Citroën, Ford and Volvo. It records 43.4mpg urban, 62.7mpg extra urban, 53.2mpg overall and 140g/km CO2 with a sixspeed manual gearbox. The 0-62mph time is 12.9 seconds.
It is available for an additional £1,500 in all three trim levels. An electronically shifted manual gearbox would add a further £500 to the bill.
There are more powerful petrol and diesel engines but I was happy with the 1.6 diesel on the Exclusive test car, billed at £21,945.
Extra items included pale grey leather (£1,230), metallic paint (£410), navigation (£715), DVD video (£510)in the headrests and swivelling xenon lamps (£510). It was a very nice car but my money would probably go for the entry model with this diesel or the petrol motor, depending on high-or lowmileage use. Right now it would be diesel.
I used the full repertoire of the 5008. Its seven seats were occupied most of the time and although an average 5ft8ins adult can squat in one of thee two rear seats, they are really suited to smaller passengers.
The middle seats have adjustable back-rests and can slide forwards five inches, which helps the travellers in the rear seats.
All five rear seats fold into the floor, and in this format I took three full loads of Leylandii branches to the local tip, and then cut down and dug up the tree stump – no regrets. The fold away system works easily once you remember the sequence using levers and pull straps.
Storage up front is a bit short on the centre stack but you do get a useful and discreet drop-down box under the steering wheel.
On the road, the 5008 had enough pace for the local hills, even with seven up. The head-up display is much safer than glancing at a speedometer and you can set the warning time in seconds to the vehicle in front, from 0.9 seconds (say in town) to 2.5 seconds for motorway driving. The symbol flashes if you get inside the margin, but you have to do the braking.
Exclusive equipment brings window blinds for the side windows by the centre and rearmost seats, which are welcome in bright sunshine or just to feel a bit more cut off from whatever is happening on the street.