The 5008 prioritises comfort over handling and as a result, it drives more like an MPV than an SUV meaning plenty of body roll but a cosseting ride
The cheapest engine available in the 5008 is a fairly new 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol producing 130hp. It’s a lively unit in smaller Peugeots and the off-beat sound it makes is a nice bonus, however, with seven people aboard it’s a real struggle and fuel consumption suffers badly.
If you want to stay with petrol power but want to occasionally overtake when the car’s fully loaded then the larger 1.6-litre may prove a better bet. It makes 180hp which is plenty enough most of the time but it’s the refinement of the 1.6-litre that impresses the most. If you want the quietest 5008 this is it.
The 1.6-litre provides the best combination between running costs and performance
However, if you want the most well-rounded 5008 you have to consider the 1.5-litre diesel because it really is all you need. It makes 130hp which is the same as the entry-level petrol, but its better torque makes up for that. In reality, it feels a bit faster when picking up speed on the motorway.
Those after a bit more diesel power can go for the 180hp the 2.0-litre diesel. It’s the oldest engine in the line-up so it’s occasionally grumbly but the pulling power makes up for that. It’s auto-only and, unless you plan on towing heavy trailers, overkill – pushing the price of the 5008 into BMW X3 (very dangerous) territory.
Underpinning the 5008 is the same platform as in the 308 hatchback, albeit one that has been stretched quite a bit. This means you get the darty steering of the 308 but also a lot more high-speed stability. The trade-off is that on very twisty roads the 5008 rolls a lot and doesn’t feel as agile as the smaller 3008.
Other than that, the driving experience is hard to fault. Road and wind noise is kept in check and the way the 5008 irons out road imperfection is impressive in the class. Yes, some pot holes catch it out, sending a thump through the cabin, but it’s very occasionally. However, a Ford Kuga is nearly as cosseting yet rolls less in corners and deals with big bumps better than the 5008. Bear in mind these are small complaints and shouldn’t put you off test driving one.
The lack of four-wheel drive available makes the Peugeot a bit of a fraud and will send buyers that have frequent need for extra traction the way of rivals. The 5008 isn’t completely hopeless off the beaten track, though, because you can have a clever traction control system with selectable driving modes that makes the most out of the grip provided by two tyres. We’ve tested it in the smaller 2008 where it made light work of deep sand.