So long as the engine had enough about it to transport its potentially numerous occupants to their destination in a timely fashion, the notion of ‘performance’ has traditionally weighed lightly on the minds of prospective MPV buyers.

Now that Peugeot has disguised its people-carrier as a luxurious sports-utility vehicle, this way of thinking no longer applies.   

Richard Lane

Road tester
The 5008’s natural inclination is to understeer into tight hairpins, but get the front tyres hooked up and a throttle lift will agitate the rear axle

Our test car, equipped with the 148bhp 2.0-litre BlueHDi diesel engine and six-speed manual gearbox, recorded a 0-60mph time of 10.8sec. That’s a touch slower than the 9.6sec Peugeot claims but it’s neither refreshingly brisk nor tediously slow.

What matters here, though, is that this engine delivers its efforts in a refined, surprisingly sonorous manner that’s a good match for the character of the 5008.

It’s pliable, developing 273lb ft from just 2000rpm to propel the 5008 past slower traffic with reasonable ease, although holding onto gears beyond the mid-range of the engine’s 6000rpm scope is an endeavour that yields diminishing returns.

Notwithstanding a clutch pedal that’s overly sprung (illustrative of a lack of finesse in the finer control details that separates this car from its German rivals), the six-speed manual transmission is easy enough to get along with, although not particularly engaging.

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We accept, however, that 5008 buyers wouldn’t buy this car for the satisfying tactility of a short-throw gearlever. More of an issue is the intrusive voice of the engine should you drop a gear or two and ask greater effort of it.

In terms of fuel consumption, the 5008 returned a touring economy of 60.1mpg against an overall test average economy of 51.3mpg. For a car that weighs 1490kg, those are fairly impressive numbers, although they would, of course, fall were the car to be loaded with passengers and luggage.

A fuel tank of 56 litres makes for an enormous theoretical touring range of 739 miles.

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