There’s usually an element of excitement when I’m waiting for a new test car to arrive. But I’ve had to wait a little longer than usual for this one.
Although our new Peugeot 5008 turned up in early April, I’ve only just managed to secure the keys. It seems the fantastic reputation of its sibling, the 3008, has been enough to make our new French SUV hot property on the Auto Express test fleet with my colleagues.
My first impressions are generally positive, especially for the stylish interior design and dashboard layout.
But deputy art editor George Vedmore is more in tune with the car than I am after driving the 5008 to the West Country for a week’s holiday.
He enjoyed taking the Peugeot on a 300-mile, six-hour drive down from Barking, East London, to Gorran Haven in Cornwall with his sister, her husband and their kids. They didn’t use the extra two seats available over the 3008, because they needed every inch of the available boot space.
George said that their child seats were really easy to clip into the Isofix slots and once inside, the youngsters immediately wanted to start drawing using the trays on the backs of the seats in front.
This kept them busy for most of the journey, until they eventually fell asleep thanks to a few handy features in our car. In particular, the sunshades on the rear windows and on the sunroof really helped to dim down the light in the back, which meant it was very easy to get the children to drift off.
In addition, the infotainment system’s volume controls allow for the front and rear balance to be adjusted. George said that this feature meant the kids could sleep while he was kept entertained.
George is also a fan of the car’s high driving position, excellent refinement on the move and configurable dash display. The pop-open cubby in the central console doubled as a handy fruit bowl, positioned within easy reach for front and rear seat occupants.
The rural roads of Cornwall provided their own unique challenges, though: apparently, the parking sensors kept going off as George drove down the tight lanes. Still, at least he could turn them off easily via the infotainment touchscreen. Lumps and bumps on Cornish roads and farm tracks did cause a little bit of upset on the trip, as George found the ride in our 5008 to be a bit harsh there.
Overall it sounds great, and I can’t wait to spend some more time in the car. But my kids are both nearly six feet tall and are struggling with rear headroom, which is a pain. It’s partly because of our Peugeot’s optional panoramic sunroof. Even the Suzuki Ignis I drove on our fleet had more head space for them.
The fold-down tables also compromise their leg space, knocking against their knees. This might become an ongoing issue and it certainly looks like a design compromise resulting from needing space to add the sixth and seventh seats.
*Insurance quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a 42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three points.