Peugeot 5008 GT Line

BlueHDi 150

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

LET'S face it boxy-looking people carriers are the motorised equivalent of an old pair of carpet slippers.

Comfy, practical and easy to live with but hardly elegant or attractive. But families loved them for decades after the trend was established by Renault with the Espace and Toyota with the Previa.

Now it's long rest the people carrier or MPV, as big SUVs take over and plug the gap.

One of the latest - and most impressive - entries to the market is the Peugeot 5008 now in crossover/SUV guise rather than the shape of a bread van.

Amazingly, despite the sexy new looks, there's even more room for people and baggage. And, of course, in true MPV style there's seating for seven.

It might not be quite as pretty as the smaller 3008, on which the design is modelled, but growing families will happily forgo some aesthetics for the practicality of the final row of seats.

I drove the mid-range 150 BlueHDi GT Line which has a 2.0-litre diesel engine that packs sufficient punch to keep up or ahead of the pack without busting the bank on fuel costs. The official consumption is 61.4mpg and most owners will easily squeeze around 45mpg out of a gallon.

You don't buy a big SUV for its handling prowess but it's good to know the 5008 is a nice drive with secure road-holding and plenty of grip in reserve when hustled round bends. It was pleasing to find very little cornering roll despite usefully absorbent suspension.

It pays, however, to avoid the big 19-inch wheels if you put ride comfort before snazzy looks.

Body control isn't quite so taut as say the 3008 or the VW Tiguan but on the motorway it's a comfy long distance cruiser.

With 148bhp available, it has reasonably brisk acceleration, particularly mid-range - 62mph come up in under 10 seconds and max is 129mph putting it on a par with its peers.

The cabin, like its smaller brother, is a treat with well made, stylish fitments, a small leather covered steering wheel and a fascia that will shame most rivals.

It's well thought out and perfectly executed with a row of soft keys that make the 12.3 inch touch screen easier to negotiate than many rivals.

Seating is supportive and comfy and those in the rear have a flat floor so do not have an irritating central transmission hump to contend with.

Luggage is space is massive - more generous than most competitors. And the final two rows of seats fold flat giving the room of a decent sized van.

The last row of seats is clearly for occasional use and they are fine for youngsters or adults on a short journey. Headroom is limited and they require a bit of agility to access.

A power tailgate is a £750 extra on the GT Line version, but hardly an essential feature.

FAST FACTS

Peugeot 5008 GT Line BlueHDi 150

Price: £31,245

Mechanical:150bhp, 1,997cc,4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 129mph

0-62mph: 9.6 seconds

Combined MPG: 61.4

Insurance Group: 21

C02 emissions: 118g/km

Bik rating: 24%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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