Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 August 2019

The 2019 Peugeot 5008: This new people mover proves bigger is definitely better

From a range of cool tech to a stylish interior, we discover why the multipurpose vehicle deserves your attention

Many of us still remember when we were younger and had to squeeze into vehicles that ­frankly would have been too small to house a family of gerbils. Whether it was on school trips or family days out, being shoved into a car so tightly your face left a mark on a side window was once a common occurrence.

If you were lucky, the driver had the foresight to invest in what used to be referred to as an estate car. Even then, the extra space would have been taken up with stuff its owner kept meaning to store in a utility room, only they hadn’t got around to it yet.

If that sounds familiar then you may well have rejoiced when car makers came up with the concept of a people mover – or multipurpose vehicle (MPV), as those in the motor trade call it. Essentially a van with seats and windows, this style of vehicle saved youths from the indignity of spending trip after trip resembling cuddly toys rammed into a fairground claw machine.

And all the models come with manual paddle shifts, should you feel the need to challenge a teenager in a clapped-out Subaru to a drag race

When they first arrived, people movers weren’t the prettiest cars, but no one cared about that because they did the job they were built for.

But, like everything in life, things have changed and an example of what’s been happening in the MPV world is exemplified by the 2019 Peugeot 5008. There’s no doubt it’s a people mover (count that seven-seat capacity), but due to its smart SUV stylings, it avoids having the kerb appeal of a skip.

Look through the photo gallery above to see more of the car.

The first generation of 5008s, manufactured from 2009 until 2016, conformed to the traditional, boxy mould of the original MPVs, but the models produced from then on have been sleek, comfortable and well-equipped, complete with tech and comfort options similar to those offered by more expensive cars in the sector.

The 2019 version carries on this trend. On the inside, the seats have Peugeot’s Nappa stitching and, along the dashboard on the GT Line version, you’ll find the manufacturer’s iCockpit driver display, housing the usual array of sensors and cameras. You have massaging seats in the front, parking assists, a lane departure warning and active emergency braking, not to mention the usual USB and Bluetooth connectivity and a decent navigation system. Very nice.

But what of its SUV pretensions? The 5008 is effective enough as an off-roader, with humps and bumps providing little distraction. Its two-wheel drive may make it unsuitable for anything too hairy, but it does have an effective traction and descent control system. The steering is also surprisingly light for what it is, even by modern standards. The ride is quiet, too, which means passengers may be able to take advantage of the pleasant interior and also get a little shut-eye.

Some people might consider the 5008 underpowered – the GT Line’s petrol 1.6-litre turbo is poky enough – and a beefier drivetrain would probably have added to the car’s appeal.

The sport mode also ups the ante effectively enough if you require extra power, while all models come with manual paddle shifts, should you feel the need to challenge somebody to a drag race.

While you may not describe the 5008 as beautiful in the way you would when referring to a smaller supercar, the Peugeot is undoubtedly attractive – and, let’s not be shy, it also represents excellent value for money.

As a manufacturer, the car maker was criticised for producing some lacklustre vehicles after its stellar history throughout much of the 20th century. The 5008, though, alongside its other stablemates, seems to indicate the company is determined to put that particular aspect of its past behind it.

Updated: May 26, 2019 04:15 PM

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