ON THE ROAD – IAN LYNAS DRIVES THE PEUGEOT 5008

Peugeot has a strong and very attractive range of SUVs, one to suit virtually every taste and the 5008 is the largest and a great all rounder as it is a seven seater.

I spent a week in company with the large SUV which included my first visit of the season to Mondello Park. I must say it was one of the most comfortable drives ever to the County Kildare race circuit.

At first glance it looks very much like an MPV or as some choose to say a people carrier; however as I discovered, there is much more to this impressive vehicle.

I was impressed by the latest version of the Peugeot i-Cockpit and the engine. The latter was a big surprise and for a short time had me thinking that I was driving a vehicle with at least a 1.6 litre engine; no I was in command of a truly amazing 1.2 litre petrol engine. Of course, there is wide engine choice with this SUV.

The 1.2 litre is a three cylinder PureTech Euro and I found it to be very efficient thanks to reduced weight and size. This technology delivers driving pleasure and high-level performance, without compromising on reliability and robustness.

This engine was voted engine of the year in 2015 and 2016 in its category and another plus emissions as low as 117 g/km of CO2.

Further driving pleasure came courtesy of the new EAT6 automatic gearbox which was allied to the engine of my test car. Other engines available include a 1.6 THP with 165bhp, 30bhp more than the 1.2 litre, the 1.6 BlueHDi (120bhp) and the two litre BlueHDi with 180bhp. Just a passing thought as regards this small power unit, I wonder how it would perform with seven on board and their trappings.

The 5008 features a number of advanced driver assistance systems from the Allure trim up. All are designed to keep driver and passengers safe and include, Active Lane Keeping Assistance, Advanced Driver Attention Alert and Smartbeam Assistance.

Choose an Allure and versions upwards and  benefit from Connect SOS and Assistance. A vehicle locating communication unit, should the airbags deploy, it locates the vehicle precisely and triggers the sending of the appropriate emergency services for a rapid response.

There is an adaptive cruise control function which regulates the vehicles speed as well as maintaining a set distance between the car in front, requiring fewer driver inputs. This system automatically employs both the brakes and engine braking to regulate the distance behind the car in front, bringing the car to a complete stop if necessary.

Earlier I made reference to the i-Cockpit which permits you to explore a 100 percent digital world There is a configurable eight inch capacitive touch screen with smart phone levels of responsiveness, configurable 12.3 inch head-up digital instrument panel which can be personalised to suit the drivers requirements. I have to admit I had a lot of joy operating this and above all I found it so very useful.

There is no doubt Peugeot really major on safety and ease of driving with the 5008. We all have or likes or dislikes when it comes to driving and one item which I give five stars to; the 5008 is equipped with a small F1 style steering wheel which features a number of controls, however not quite as many as you would find on Vettel’s  F1 car!

Which brings me to ease of driving and this Peugeot has it in this respect, the controls are well placed and in fact there is no clutter.

We all experience tight parking spaces, let it be in town or at the local shopping centre, no worry the 5008 has front and rear parking sensors and a 180 degree colour reversing camera which makes life just that little easier.

The 5008 is a very practical and comfortable mode of transport. With seven individual seats everyone can get comfortable and second row passengers can enjoy longitudinal adjustment to maximise legroom and even recline the seat back rest angle for optimum comfort on each of the three independent seats.

Third row occupants will also enjoy generous levels of leg and headroom. If not required the third row seats can be removed and stored separately. This leaves a large cargo area and the smart electric tailgate makes opening and closing easy.

Lower the third row of seats and you have 952 litres, remove these seats and you have 1,060 litres. Better still fold the second row seats and hey presto, 2,150 litres. The Peugeot 5008 is not just a practical SUV but it brings a giant helping of style to this sector of the market with prices starting at £24,495, (€28,368).N.I. In the R.O.I. the 5008 starts at €29,345.

The model tested was in Allure trim, other trims include, Active and GT Line.