Transporting seven people in comfort can present a problem unless of course you don’t mind Transit vans. Peugeot has a solution though in its 5008 MPV (multi-purpose vehicle). Unlike the earlier Peugeot 807 people carrier the 5008 is more compact, making it more enjoyable to drive but this does mean that if there are seven passengers there’s not a huge amount of room for luggage. Importantly for the driver it’s not too difficult to reverse or manoeuvre.
This style of vehicle is quite van like in terms of appearance but it is very much like a car to drive and driver appeal is one of the advantages of the Peugeot. The test model, a two-litre diesel Allure – top-of-the-range, is equipped with a six speed automatic gearbox but it can also be driven like a manual.
At low speeds, typically up hill, this gearbox is a little indecisive not sure whether to go for third gear or second, which does make for the occasional uncomfortable jolt.
It is quite frugal for a vehicle of its size, returning over 40mpg on average. I put it through its paces over a long weekend to Pembrokeshire where we experienced a variety of roads. On the motorway (the M4, over the Severn Bridge) it was very capable, happily cruising at 70mph, even though it is heavily laden with five passengers and luggage. Cruise control makes life so much easier on such travels and the electric child lock engaged by the click of a switch on the driver’s door is easy to operate.
The one-way streets, invariably up sharp inclines in this part of the world, certainly cause the tired motorist some confusion but thank goodness I’m driving the 5008 because the auto box makes light work of the hills. I’m not usually a fan of electronic handbrakes but the one fitted to this vehicle is quick and simple to engage and disengage.
Inside, the Allure benefits from an enormous panoramic glass roof (with electric sliding cover), which makes the vehicle really light and airy. The front passengers get captain style seats with pull down armrests that can be adjusted to the desired height. The driver’s seat is certainly comfortable, hardwearing and supportive although I do find that when my daughter’s baby seat is in place behind I cannot push my seat back quite as far as I might desire.
There are all the gadgets the modern day motorist could dream of including sat nav, a useful head-up display showing the speed and ensuring the driver doesn’t take their eyes off the road. Air conditioning and a good quality sound system are all part of the package.
I like the way that the centre of the dash, with all the controls for the air conditioning, slopes forward at an angle towards the windscreen, in quite a futuristic way. I also find the mirror above the rear view mirror useful for keeping an eye on our cheeky little daughters behind.
New price range: £18,600 – £25,855
Road tax: £325 a year
Top speed: 118mph
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