The term Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) is not one that sets the pulse of the average petrolhead racing. It instead suggests a down-to-earth practicality and usefulness that practical people will appreciate. It helps though if the MPV in question is also a decent driver and, in the case of the featured Peugeot 5008, this is indeed the case.
In recent months DriveWrite has road-tested four MPVs all of which proved very capable and surprisingly refined. I would suggest though that the Peugeot could just edge a vote on the strength of its versatility and performance.
Out On The Road
Yours truly is well past the point of constantly transporting offspring around the country for sundry reasons, so an MPV would not be my first choice for a car. Nevertheless though the 5008 impressed with the level of performance available from a strong 2.0L HDi motor delivering 148bhp. Personally, the steering is too light for my tastes but it is accurate.
Peugeot reckon the MPV will take just ten seconds to reach the magical 62mph. Certainly, response is lively and driving the thing is much more pleasurable than the dull MPV title suggests. I rate this engine highly, but, inevitably, there is a penalty to pay in emissions at 140g/km. There’s a good selection of alternate, less powerful engines available including Peugeot’s frugal 1.6L BlueHDi 120 which emits just 109g/kmRoad manners are good and ride is composed even on our neglected country lanes. On the DriveWrite shorter test route I have included a corner known (to me at least) as ‘Body Roll Bend’ because it sorts out the good set-ups from the bad. Approaching at some speed the test demonstrates just how much of a lean is induced and how much the passengers are discomforted. I have to say that, for a big car, the Peugeot 5008 coped admirably. There was inevitably a small amount of roll but the supportive seats held us in place without issue. Under normal driving conditions I doubt anyone will notice.
I have a slight personal issue with the electronic handbrake. Conveniently placed in the centre console it is of the ‘pull/pull’ variety. My preference is for a ‘pull on/push off’ configuration, but the dashboard tells you when the brake is on or off and there’s also a ‘hill-hold’ assist.
Inside the 5008
One of the plus points of MPVs is that they come equipped to be all things to all men. The 5008 pretty much has everything that a family driver could wish for (except for a car park ticket holder on the windscreen – a handy clip that is missing from most cars it has to be said. Anyone who has chased a ticket around the interior on a windy day will appreciate this).
The tested car is a top-of-the-range model in Allure trim. Although list prices start around £19,000 for the entry level Access trim, with Active being the next step up and adding certain features, Allure is the one to go for if you can reach to about £25k. It adds bigger alloys, a Cielo Panoramic Glass Roof (with electric blind)climate control, cruise and so on plus the really first class Peugeot Connect navigation. This provides Bluetooth and one of the nicest sat-navs I have used in a long time.
The good sized screen rises out of the top of the dash at switch on. The angle of view can be adjusted or the whole thing can be closed if not needed. The navigation images is in colour and 3D. It is exceptionally clear and easy to view; couple this with a female voice-assist that is soft but with a hint of discipline, just to make sure you’re paying attention. Speed limits are indicated.
Additionally, there is an adjustable ‘heads-up’ display right in the driving eyeline that shows your road speed and, really conveniently, works in conjunction with the navigation to show the next required manoeuvre. This also appears in the trip computer display. It is very hard to go wrong.Overall, the interior is roomy and comfortable. The cloth seems hard-wearing but I would choose to go the whole hog and take the leather option.The 5008 is a seven-seater – more of which below – and has some nice touches. There’s a security cubby beneath the driver’s seat and under the floor of the second row. Between the front seats under a sliding lid is the deepest cubby I’ve ever come across. Very convenient. A small wide-angle mirror is sited above the rear-view mirror giving the driver a view of the interior.
Experienced parents will not need any such aids as they’ll generally know when a child is being sick (it’s pretty obvious) and they will also know to investigate further when it all gets a little too quiet. Nevertheless it is a nice touch for a lone parent to keep an eye on baby. Our car had tinted rear windows but additionally both rear rows of seats also get individual window blinds.
The whole point of a MPV is versatility. In the Peugeot 5008 this is very much the case. The three second row seats are individual and can be folded flat individually or in tandem. There is fore and aft adjustment and even a recline comfort setting. Nestled under the floor in the boot is the third row of seats which are simplicity itself to erect. Take out the removable security blind, pull back the floor panels and pull one cord. Job done. In addition to this, the front passenger seat can also be folded forward (see pic) to accommodate long items. The various configurations are such that you will actually want to go to Homebase to buy something awkwardly shaped.
The Peugeot 5008 MPV is well judged, smart and has kerb appeal. The French company have done well to avoid a ‘boxy’ shape. There are, as ever, many many options to choose from. Our car has roof rails, Xenon lights, pearlescent paint and DAB radio to name a few. It’s a doddle to park as it bristles with sensors and a clear, functional reversing camera.The 5008 drives well,thanks to a taut ride and handling that makes it seem like a smaller car. It is intelligently configured and has a capacious boot. It’s a tough decision to pick between them all. The Peugeot competes well on price, is more attractive than one particular competitor and has the most versatile seating of them all. A fine choice for family motoring.