WINNING over buyers in the fiercely competitive SUV market is no easy feat with even the likes of premium marques such as Jaguar entering the fray, but the new-generation Peugeot 5008 is guaranteed to gain its fair share of attention.
The latest 5008 replaces its rather box-like predecessor and Peugeot has done a fantastic job bringing the car bang up to date with some stunning design cues along with a host of outstanding techno treats.
First impressions are vital and the 5008 boasts an imposing stance with a chiselled front end, tinted windows, diamond cut alloys, roof rails, the signature LED claw-effect rear lights, a raised body line and the instantly-recognisable chunky grille where the Peugeot emblem proudly sits.
Move inside the seven-seater and the car oozes premium styling with smart fabric on the doors and dashboard that contrasts beautifully with the surrounds.
There are the piano key toggle switches that offer quick access to certain infotainment features and a whole host of soft-touch surfaces.
When it comes to technology, the 5008 is fully loaded featuring Peugeot's latest i-Cockpit system that introduces an eight-inch touchscreen, a compact steering wheel and a 12.3-inch high resolution digital display with state-of-the-art dials - which are quite similar to the virtual cockpit seen on certain Audi models.
Prices start from £24,495 and drivers can select from 10 powertrains - four petrol ranging from 130 to 165bhp and six diesel ranging from 100 to 180bhp - and there are four generously-equipped trim levels to choose from called Active, Allure, GT Line and GT.
Creature comforts, depending on the trim level, include the likes of a pitch-perfect sound system with DAB radio, MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED interior lighting, massaging seats, a smartphone charging plate and a panoramic sunroof.
The 5008 is billed as a seven-seater and it delivers on every count.
We spent 30 minutes playing with the seat configurations before taking to the road and it impressed on every count.
The trio of individual second row seats can be moved and folded forward, tilted or laid flat and the two back seats also fold completely flat to the boot floor.
In addition, they are lightweight and can quickly be removed or clipped back into place in a matter of seconds and when in full use there is room for a couple of youngsters to travel in comfort.
Look a little closer and you will see that Peugeot has added a few rather clever touches.
Firstly, the safety belt for the second row middle seat clips neatly into the roof lining and is magnetically held in place to avoid any rattling.
The belts for the two rear seats are held magnetically to the side of the boot when not in use and when the rear seats are folded flat, magnetic flaps fold down from the back of the second row seats onto the boot floor to prevent any items rolling beneath them - all simple, but clever stuff.
All this versatility and alternative seating configurations make the 5008 exceptionally flexible and when you consider the fact that the front passenger seat can be folded forward too, then accommodating the likes of a surfboard becomes a realistic option.
Even with five seats in use, the 5008 can carry an impressive 1,060 litres of kit and there is an additional 38 litres of storage space thanks to underfloor compartments and cubby holes scattered throughout the cabin.
It's also worth mentioning that unlike some rival SUVs, the 5008 has a spare wheel, albeit a space-saver.
Safety features on the car are impressive too with a range of cutting edge driver assistance systems including advanced grip control, distance alert, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, speed sign recognition, smart beam assist, driver attention warning and park assist.
We tried out a couple of models on a road route that incorporated twisting country lanes, town centres with lots of stop/start driving and also some motorways.
First up was the three-cylinder, 1.2 petrol 131 bhp petrol model with six-speed manual gearbox. It was in GT Line and priced at £28,195 although a few optional extras saw the price rise to £32,620.
It could reach 62mph from a standing start in 10.9 seconds and topped out at 117mph. According to official figures it can deliver combined fuel efficiency of 55.4mpg with carbon emissions of 117g/km.
This particular model was high on my agenda of 5008 versions to test as I wanted to see how a little three-pot engine would cope when powering such a large SUV model and it did exceptionally well.
It whizzed along at motorway speeds without any real strain and the acceleration was constant through the country lanes making very light work of overtaking slower moving vehicles.
The only time it seemed to struggle a little was on long, steep inclines but otherwise the car was a delight.
The comfort levels are excellent with very good all-round visibility thanks to the elevated driving position and a couple of six-footers can easily sit one behind the other without feeling cramped.
The level of on-board technology is exceptional when taking into account the asking price, although I did find it a tad annoying having to access a touchscreen menu to increase the temperature - even when going via the piano key shortcuts.
But that aside, the 5008 was difficult to find fault with and the same went for the second car - a four-cylinder, 1.6-litre 120bhp diesel version with automatic gearbox in Allure trim priced at £27,030.
This model reaches from 0-62mph in 12.8 seconds, maxes out at 113mph and delivers combined fuel economy of 61.4mpg with CO2 emissions of 112g/km.
Once again the 5008 was a delight to drive and although it didn't offer quite as much fizz and fun as the petrol version, it coped well with all driving situations.
It was a lower trim level but still featured a plethora of classy features and also offered the improved fuel efficiency compared to the petrol model.
All in all, the new 5008 is a superb all-rounder for the active family. It offers all the versatility one demands from a quality SUV, it's packed with innovative technology, boasts outstanding safety specifications, it looks amazing and it won't break the bank.