Earlier this year Peugeot played an absolute blinder with the 3008. The second generation of its C-segment SUV blended a stylish interior with the latest technology and a raft of impressive drivetrains to earn critical acclaim and awards.
Now the French manufacturer is hoping lightning will strike twice, with the introduction of the all-new 5008.
The last 5008 was an old-school MPV but with that segment dying Peugeot have redesigned and repositioned it as a seven-seat SUV. It aims to take on the Skoda Kodiaq, Nissan X-Trail, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Hyundai Santa Fe and Mitsubishi Outlander in a segment that has seen a surprising revival in recent years.
Peugeot say the 5008 is for 30-something singletons and couples who want a car to accommodate active lifestyles and for families who need space and versatility. Iâ€™m not convinced itâ€™s going to attract that many of the former but itâ€™s definitely got plenty to offer families.
Peugeot 5008 GT Line
Engine: 1.2-litre, three-cykinder, turbo, petrol
Transmission: Six-speed manual
Top speed: 117mph
0-62mph: 10.9 seconds
CO2 emissions: 117g/km
Uniquely for its class the 5008 comes as a seven-seater as standard and has three completely individual, equally sized seats in the second row. These can be slid, reclined and folded independently of each other and all feature Isofix mounts for child seats. Behind them two more seats fold up from the boot floor or can be completely removed to enlarge the already huge 1,000-litre luggage pace. It all adds up to an interior that offers more flexibility than its rivals, although the Kodiaq offers more legroom in rows two and three.
The Kodiaq, along with most of the others, also offers four-wheel-drive, which the 5008 doesnâ€™t. For some buyers this could be a potential dealbreaker, others probably wonâ€™t care.
In place of proper 4×4, the 5008 has the option of Advanced Grip Control, which can alter the traction controlâ€™s settings to deal with slippery conditions more effectively.
Itâ€™s among a host of the latest safety and convenience technology available on the big Peugeot. Lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking are standard across all trims and higher-spec cars enjoy the like of active blind spot assist, lane keep assist and auto-dipping lights.
Other convenience-focused features include hands-free automatic tailgate operation, wireless phone charging, massage seats, dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise and i-Cockpit Amplify, which adapts dynamics, lighting and even scent to create â€œdistinctive onboard experiencesâ€.
Also present is the latest i-Cockpit setup bringing Peugeotâ€™s clear and configurable instruments and infotainment system to the 5008 via a 12.3-inch driver display and eight-inch media touchscreen.
Centred on that setup, the interior is like a scaled-up 3008, which is no bad thing. Itâ€™s neat and fresh looking with a pleasant blend of materials. There are black marks, though, for fairly flat, hard rear seats and a panoramic roof which sorely dents headroom.
When I drove the 3008 I was surprised by how well its tiny 1.2-litre petrol engine performed. Count me truly astonished now as the same 128bhp three-pot has found its way into the 5008 and copes equally well in the even larger vehicle. Itâ€™s smooth and quiet yet pulls with remarkable gusto for such a small unit. As with the 3008 my biggest reservation is over how it would cope with a car full of people and luggage.
Alongside the 1.2 is a 163bhp 1.6-litre petrol and four diesels ranging from 99bhp and 119bhp tunes of a 1.6 to a 2.0-litre in 148bhp and 178bhp guise. The 119bhp and 148bhp diesels are less refined than the petrol but their gruffness is reserved for hard acceleration. What was surprising was how much more powerful and flexible the bigger engine felt.
On the road the 5008 shares the 3008â€™s quick steering and proves that big SUVs donâ€™t have to pitch and wallow. Where it falls down, though is in the quality of its ride. Compared with the Kodiaq or X-Trail itâ€™s not as smooth or comfortable. Opting for 18-inch rather than 19-inch wheels helps a little but it still feels jittery on poor road surfaces.
On sale from January, the 5008 starts at Â£24,495 for a basic Active trim car with the 1.2-litre petrol, rising to Â£35,695 for a fully-loaded GT with the most powerful diesel and an auto gearbox.
While the prices are competitive rather than spectacular the new 5008 represents a serious contender in an increasingly tough segment thanks to its flexibility, technology and strong engine line-up.