Peugeot 5008’s handsome face hides a practical family hauler
When it was introduced on the latest 208, Peugeot's new design language set the foundation for some of the best looking family cars out there. The 308 GTi is a handsome car, and the 3008 SUV proved those good looks translated to a more rugged canvas, but the 5008 might be the most successful application yet. It's not only stylish on the outside, but also has all the space to ferry big families from A to B in comfort.
Even though it's 11 cm (4.33 in) longer than the outgoing model, it still looks compact and sporty, largely thanks to the punchy flared wheel arches and squashed window line. The broad, horizontal detailing down back doesn't hurt either.
Handsome though it may be, there's more to the 5008 than a pretty face. It's been designed to cater for families with kids, so special attention has been paid to the boot and rear seats. With the third-row folded there's 1,060 liters (37 cu.ft) of luggage space, and folding the rear seats and passenger seat leaves room for items up to 3.2 m (10.5 ft) long.
If it's kids you're more interested in carrying, all three rear seats are the same width, which should make long family road trips and fully-loaded school runs far more bearable for all parties involved. The second row of seats can be reclined through five positions, and slide to make more room for lanky teenage legs.
Interestingly, there's no mention of how much space there is in the third row, suggesting the rearmost seats are still the preserve of young kids and expert contortionists.
Up front, the 5008 is all about putting Peugeot's latest technology at the driver's fingertips, including the latest version of the iCockpit system. We found the first-generation system was good for anyone who'd consider themselves average size, but could leave long-legged drivers stuck in an awkward position, so it will interesting to see how the latest iteration stacks up.
Under the skin is the Efficient Modular Platform 2 (EMP2) currently doing service in the 3008. Even though it's bigger and heavier than that car, Peugeot is adamant the 5008 will still be able to get up and dance in the bends. There's also an optional Sports Pack, bringing stiffer suspension, a sharper throttle, quicker gearshifts and more engine noise to the table.
Ultimately, whether it's a sports car on stilts or not is largely irrelevant to most buyers, who are more likely to be concerned with how it handles the school run. The stress on these should be reduced thanks to the requisite set of driver assistance technologies on board, including active lane keeping assist, blind spot warnings, auto-emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, while hill descent control is for those that might need to tackle a steep, slippery driveway.
Power comes from four choices of gasoline engine, ranging from 130 hp to 165 hp (97 to 123 kW). Six diesels ranging from 100 hp to 180 hp (74 kW to 134 kW) will also be offered, although the full range will depend on where you live.
Pricing for the 5008 is yet to be announced, but we'll be on the ground to get a closer look when it launches at the Paris Motor Show later this month.