Peugeot 5008 Allure

BlueHDi 120

Peugeot 5008, front
Peugeot 5008, side
Peugeot 5008, rear
Peugeot 5008, rear
Peugeot 5008, rear
Peugeot 5008, interior

IN the battle of the motoring acronyms the SUV may currently be in vogue among family car buyers - but for those after real space and comfort the trusty MPV still remains a firm favourite.

People carriers have remained hugely popular since they first started appearing in any great numbers around 20 years ago, and since 2010 Peugeot's offering in this competitive market has been the 5008.

A mid-life refresh in 2014 ensured this seven-seater remains a strong alternative to the likes of the Volkswagen Touran, Ford S-MAX and closely-related Citroen Grand C4 Picasso.

Driveability has always been one of this car's key selling points and it continues to be one of the best MPVs from behind the wheel - with handling much more akin to a family saloon than a vehicle of its size and height.

Grip is assured and the body very well controlled while the steering weights up well as speed increases and a sharp throttle response helps to make progress feel swift enough.

The vast raked windscreen and elevated seating position offer good all-round visibility and the raised centre console puts the gear lever in easy reach, with the six-speed manual transmission proving versatile and easy to use.

Engine options start with a turbocharged 1.2-litre version of the French car maker's award-winning three-cylinder Puretech petrol unit - but the 1.6-litre BlueHDi diesel is the most popular choice due to its superior fuel economy.

The extra all-round grunt of the oil burner is well suited to this sizeable family motor.

It is also the only option available in this range-topping Allure trim, which comes pretty well equipped with bells and whistles such as satnav, colour head-up display, panoramic glass roof, rear privacy glass and sun visors, reversing camera, air conditioning and electronic stability control.

Of course, the primary consideration when buying an MPV is space and practicality - and the 5008 certainly impresses on this front.

The rearmost pair of seats are probably best left to the kids, but that is the same with all such vehicles, and they do fold quickly and easily into the boot floor to create a very accommodating 823 litre loadspace up to the parcel shelf, or 1,247-litres without it.

Access to the third-row seats is also made easy by the way the three full-size ones in the the middle row all move forwards and backwards independently while the bases can be flipped up and the whole thing slid forwards out of the way.

These seats also fold flat, creating a truly van-like potential capacity of 2,506 litres while the front passenger seatback folds down too, to cater for particularly long items.

This versatility was tested to the full during my stint behind the wheel - and passed with flying colours.

Our family of four the pet dog and all of our luggage for a week's holiday were comfortably accommodated while, once back home, a trip to IKEA which saw us buying enough flat pack furniture to completely revamp our 11-year-old son's bedroom caused the 5008 no stress - more than can be said for my wallet.

That's not to say everything's perfect, however. Peugeot still eschew the sliding rear doors that many rivals now sport, and which make getting in and out in tight car parks much easier, while they also persist in taking up most of the glove box with electrical paraphernalia.

The latter issue is more than compensated for by the huge storage bin in the centre console, draws under both front seats and concealed storage compartments in the rear footwell but less excusable for some, in this caffeine-fuelled age, will be the distinct lack of cup holders.

FAST FACTS

Peugeot 5008 Allure BlueHDi 120

Price: £26,030

Mechanical: 120ps, 1,560cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:114mph

0-62mph: 13.7 seconds

Combined MPG:64.2

Insurance Group: 17

C02 emissions:115g/km

Bik rating:23%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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