Shaped like an SUV but very much intended for tarmac-based activities, the 5008 hits its brief as a refined family cruiser.

That, at least, is on reasonably smooth road surfaces, where the car rides well at higher speeds in the main, exhibiting close body control and pliancy while satisfactorily insulating occupants from the worst effects of tyre roar and wind noise.

Steering is low on feedback, so a sequence of faster bends means guiding the car based solely on visual cues

Visibility is also good and the speed of the steering rack has been appropriately adjusted to compensate for the decreased diameter of the wheel, although some may still consider it a fraction too direct for comfort.

As a vehicle in which to cover large distances primarily on motorways, the Peugeot demonstrates no serious flaws and feels suitably long-legged. 

Problems arise once the road surface deteriorates or becomes more tortuous – and unfortunately for those who live in the UK, the two go together a lot of the time.

It’s unlikely that the 18in alloy wheels fitted to our test car helped matters, but road imperfections were transmitted through the suspension and into the body with surprising ease, the resulting thumps dispelling the sensation of composed float for which larger French cars are traditionally celebrated.

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Although body roll is generally well managed, the 5008 shows less poise when dealing with vertical inputs, exhibiting a strange blend of hard-edged sloppiness if you’re really pushing on. This could well be a compromise brought about by the need to manage the lateral movements of what is a deceptively tall car.

In an attempt to alleviate these troubles, you might be tempted to press the Sport button mounted on the transmission.

You needn’t bother. All it will get you is a synthesised engine note pumped into the cabin and increased throttle response.

Neither is welcome nor necessary. We’d instead advise you to manage your expectations of this car’s handling abilities and play to its strengths – namely, easy-going long-haul routes.

Despite its chiselled aesthetic, the high-riding 5008 was not a car that we expected would take easily to the tortuously undulating hill route at Millbrook, and so it proved.

Significant vertical inputs administered in quick succession left this chassis floundering and the slightly elastic steering made it difficult to place on the way into corners at pace.

However, Peugeot has managed to give this tall vehicle just enough lateral body control for it to tolerate being manhandled through bends with commitment.

You may not come to enjoy hustling this car, but its lengthy suspension travel allows the tyres to be worked impressively hard before they wilt into understeer.

With a calculated approach, the 5008 can be made to cover ground with unexpected pace.

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