Peugeot 5008 Allure

1.6L THP 165

Peugeot 5008, front static 3
Peugeot 5008, side static
Peugeot 5008, rear static
Peugeot 5008, front static
Peugeot 5008, front static 2
Peugeot 5008, full rear static
Peugeot 5008, dashboard
Peugeot 5008, boot 2
Peugeot 5008, boot 3
Peugeot 5008, third row seats
Peugeot 5008, rear seats
Peugeot 5008, boot 1

FRENCH people speak a rather more flowery language than we Brits, even when talking about the cars they drive.

Witness the way Peugeot itself describes the reason for today's rush to SUVs and away from dull but worthy people carriers and estate cars.

"These vehicles," it says of cars like the new 5008 SUV, "transform otherwise tedious trips into opportunities for driver and passengers to share a pleasant experience."

Plainer speaking British car buyers might rather say they like a modern SUV for the way it looks.

And this newest Peugeot is a fine example of looking good in a thoroughly modern way, expanded in this instance into a car with acres of practicality too, thanks to a third row of seats and the potential to move seven people about in comfort.

Those rearmost seats, which flop flat into the boot floor or lift out altogether if needed, are in truth suited only to shortish people with flexible limbs - so children will fit nicely.

Providing this added small people space costs £2,000 more than the equivalent five-seat Peugeot 3008 that the 5008 is based on, being more or less the same car with a stretch between front and rear wheels and a body 19cms longer.

The resulting rear doors look limousine like and add a touch of subtle class to a car that already sits high in the style stakes, especially from the rear, with its elegant lights and an almost catwalk stance.

The good news continues when you move inside, where swathes of grey cloth combined in the Allure trim test car with alloy look switches and soft leather effect and cloth seats to provide a classy feel.

The comfortable front seats are surprisingly wrap around, lending a sporty air to a car more likely to be on the school run than tackling a mountain pass for the sheer fun of it.

This unexpectedly athletic side to the 5008 continues with a steering wheel tiny enough (and un-round enough) to have been lifted from a racing car. It's a current Peugeot design trend, letting you view the instruments over the wheel, not through it as in other cars.

Suits me fine but you might find the first few miles a bit unusual. Ditto the reliance on a touch screen for the sort of functions - from adjusting the temperature to resetting the sat nav - that before you've usually needed buttons to do the job.

Some 700 miles into the drive I almost didn't notice anymore; concentrating instead on the way the 5008 rode most roads well enough to stay on the comfort side of sporty and enjoying a car equipped with everything from clear satellite navigation mapping to safety systems that warn of cars approaching from the side or slowing quickly ahead.

FAST FACTS

Peugeot 5008 Allure 1.6L THP 165

Price: £29,095

Mechanical: 163bhp, 1,598cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 128mph

0-62mph: 9.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 48.7

Insurance Group: 16

C02 emissions: 133g/km

Bik rating: 25%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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