Peugeot 5008

By Philip Hedderman
It doesn’t take long to figure out why the Peugeot 5008 is Irish Family Car of the Year.
It’s quite brilliant in a people carrier way but, more importantly, it’s very clever in every other.
Take the initial boxes that need ticked when one is looking for a car that caters for every need of the modern family.
Seven seats, bags of room, versatile, economical, comfortable drive, and above all, safety.
Yep, it’s got em all in spades and then some.
Lets start where it matters most – inside.
The amount of room in the cabin is astounding and that’s with all seven seats in the upright position
The usual format of 2-3-2- applies here and as you’d expect the first five get the lion’s share of the space leaving the final two child sized.
Now some critics constantly grumble about this. Why?
It’s a family car and families generally have children in them.
It’s not the bingo bus nor was it designed to be.
Thankfully that’s evident from the time you open the door and discover a family-friendly environment.
Elbow and leg room is ample and the clever use of storage includes cubby holes sunken into the floor – giving a whopping 2,506 litres of luggage space.
Accessing that luggage space is where the brilliance kicks in.
The seating configuration is particularly user friendly and are all fitted with quick release mechanisms.
With a mere pull of a couple of straps, rows two and three fold flat and if that weren’t enough, the passenger seat also disappears with the flick of a wrist.
The low loading level of the boot eases stress on the back as I found out when lugging and unloading two mountain bikes and a couple of Ben 10 scooters for that spin around the park.
It’s not short on techie gadgets either with DVD monitors, games console, built-in sat nav, state-of-the-art audio system and USB and Bluetooth all available as optional extras.
The one gadget that is standard on the SX model I tested was then rechargeable torch tucked into the rear side panel.
Bloody genius.
You know you’re in safe hands when a manufacturer goes to the trouble of installing a portable, rechargeable torch in the panel above the spare wheel.
The safety list only begins here and boasts, among others, an NCAP 5 Star rating with ABS, ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) with Snow Motion which prevents each wheel spinning on ice.
This worked well in moderate conditions but succumbed to heavy snow on the flat and icy patches on steep inclines as I found last week.
Cruise Control, Speed Limiter, and Hill Start also make life a little easier as does the knowledge that passengers in all three rows are protected by airbags.
So how does she drive?
Considerably well considering the horrendous weather conditions we endured last week.
Because of the front wheel drive the ice and snow didn’t cause too many problems especially on well gritted roads, but around housing estates and secondary roads, all bets were off.
That said, it served me well and was only grounded twice during the cold snap.
I wasn’t too fussed about the electronic handbrake which was a little over sensitive and is sure to suffer from the same problem which plagued the Passat.
Pound for pound though it wins hands down on price.
The 110 bhp 5008 SE 1.6 diesel is priced at bargain-busting €27,155 and proves even handier on the pocket with emissions of just 139g/km meaning just €156 a year to tax.
Now that the IMF are in town and we are about to be all fleeced by Budget in January, this will prove to be the biggest tick in the biggest box of them all.
The two Brians excluded, of course!