The seven-seater Peugeot 5008 is a people carrier for parents whose children have busier lives than they do, writes father-of-three and car reviewer Tim Barnes-Clay.
Some cars are bought for pleasure while others are just a tool for the job. This is the latter.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with that.
You just won't get that warm glow of pride when you have this parked outside the house.
Mind you, you won't be ashamed of it either.
A car for parents whose children have busy lives
You see, the Peugeot 5008 is for folks like me, and possibly for people like you: parents whose children have busier lives than we do.
It is the car for parents who need to drive their offspring to nursery, school and the multitude of extracurricular children's activities you feel press-ganged in to attending.
The car does what it says on the tin: it's a people carrier – and it does the job well.
You can move the three main rear seats independently of each other to maximise space and, behind these, you can pop two extra chairs up if more ankle biters need a lift.
Could do with sliding doors
However, the 5008 could do with sliding rear doors like rivals the Mazda 5 and SEAT Alhambra have, which make getting in and out easier if you're parked in a tight space.
Once the children are dropped off, it's doubtful you'll have much of a ball driving this.
Oh it'll cosset you alright if you go for the model I drove: the fully loaded, leather trimmed, Allure.
But you won't be chucking it around country lanes – not unless you want to end up closer to nature than you intended.
To be honest, the diesel engine works hard and, allied to a decent automatic gearbox, it pulls you along the straights competently.
However, it's not the most economical motor.
Poor fuel economy
Official figures on my Peugeot 5008 said I'd get 40.9 mpg (miles per gallon) on the combined rural/urban cycle.
Well, I must've been driving with a lead foot all week because I only averaged mid-30s.
The cost of the car is high too - it retails at £25,605.
That's a lot of dough, although, to be fair, the Allure HDi 163 FAP Auto is the flagship of the 5008 series. The basic Peugeot 5008 has an on-the-road starting price of £16,595.
But personally, I'd rather get a used Land Rover Discovery or Volvo XC90 if I'm looking at spending £25,000.
Both these vehicles are big on quality as well as being great for legroom and additional seating.
Peugeot 5008 top safety rating
Still, the French automaker has a good record when it comes to transporting people in safety.
Indeed, Peugeot should be proud that the 5008, first launched in 2010, scored the highest achievable five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test assessments, which were made even more stringent in 2009.
There's no doubt families will benefit from the Peugeot 5008, what with little touches like picnic tables built into the front seatbacks.
There are also numerous ways you can configure the seating.
Nevertheless, if you are a would-be people carrier owner and you like an entertaining drive, you'd be better off with a Ford S-Max.
It has seven seats yet retains a sporty feel, unlike most other vehicles of the same ilk, including the Peugeot.
Unfortunately it's even dearer than the 5008 range, so for the same price as the premium Allure you'd have to make do with Ford's mid-range Titanium 2.0 TDCi 140ps model.
Peugeot 5008: Pros & cons
- Seats √
- Space √
- Kit √
- Safety √
- Dull to look at and drive X
Peugeot 5008: Fast facts
- Max speed: 118 mph
- 0-62 mph: 10.5 secs
- Combined mpg: 40.9
- Engine: 1997 cc 4 cylinder 16 valve turbo diesel
- Max. power (bhp): 163 at 3750 rpm
- Max. torque (lb/ft): 251 at 2000 rpm
- Max. towing weight (braked) 1500 kg
- CO2: 177 g/km
- Price: £25,605 on the road
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