What is it?
The latest iteration of the Peugeot 5008 ditches the previous car's boxy MPV bodywork in favour of a fashionable SUV stance, and places it as the French manufacturer's flagship SUV atop the smaller 3008 and 2008.
Although it shares plenty of components with the 3008, it's more premium, more practical, and more imposing thanks to its larger form and seven-seat interior. Peugeot is branding the 5008 as a stylish alternative to more conventional and staidly-styled SUVs in the sector. We've been for a drive to see if it's as different as the brand claims.
Practically everything. The 5008 has undergone caterpillar-to-butterfly style metamorphosis, entering its cocoon as a traditional MPV and coming out as a bang-on-trend SUV, appealing to market trends.
It also continues Peugeot's latest design language, aping the smaller 3008, as well as an updated cabin which uses the i-Cockpit system and a compact, squared-off steering wheel to aid the dynamic feel in corners.
What's under the bonnet?
The 5008's engine range consists of two petrols and three diesels. Flying the flag for petrol is a 1.2-litre Puretech and 1.6-litre four-cylinder, available with either automatic or manual gearboxes.
On the diesel front, there are 1.5-litre, 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre units. The 1.5 is manual only, the 1.6 available with either manual or auto and the 2.0 coupled exclusively to an eight-speed auto.
For our test drive, we sampled the 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol allied to a manual 'box. It produces 131bhp and 230Nm of torque, which is good for a 0-60mph sprint of 10.9 seconds and a top speed of 117mph.
Those aren't exactly spectacular figures, but the little engine is mighty versatile, and didn't feel as if it was struggling at any point. It pays dividends at the pumps too, with a claimed fuel economy figure of 55.4mpg.
What's it like to drive?
For such a large car, the 5008 feels impressively small from behind the wheel. That's due in part to Peugeot's i-Cockpit arrangement, where the high-set dials sit above rather than behind the rather weeny squared-off steering wheel.
It combines with nicely weighted steering to give the 5008 genuine dynamic ability. Even sport mode proves good fun.
It's easy to take around town, too, thanks to great visibility, quick steering, and a host of parking aids.
How does it look?
The 5008 looks a lot like its smaller sibling, the 3008, especially from a distance. It's a new styling language for Peugeot, and one that the brand hopes will cement its move upmarket.
It's certainly a major upgrade from the old car, with head-turning looks that give it a certain level of premium appeal.
The new 5008 is miles ahead of the old model in terms of street cred, and stands out in crowds of ever more identikit SUVs.
What's it like inside?
Inside the 5008 is an experience unlike anything else in the market sector.
Cabin quality is a definite plus, and a real step up from the old 5008 – fabric inserts deaden sound and add a touch of class.
Straight away you'll notice the distinctive i-Cockpit. Instead of looking at the digital dials and gauges through the steering wheel, they're set above it – an arrangement that doesn't work for all driving positions.
Space is good, too. A class-leading 1,060 litres of boot space means you'll have no issues with day-to-day items. The rear row is completely removable, as are two of the three seats in the middle, while the front passenger seat folds down for extra-long cargo.
What's the spec like?
The Peugeot 5008 comes well equipped, regardless of its trim level. It should do, given that it's a few thousand pounds more expensive than some of its main rivals. Headline standard features include LED daytime running lights, infotainment with Bluetooth connectivity and lane departure warning.
Our test car was in GT-Line trim, which included the snazzy virtual i-Cockpit display, full LED headlights, an upgraded sound system and massaging leather seats.
The Peugeot 5008 succeeds in its goal of offering a quirky and left-field alternative option in the crowded SUV market.
It doesn't necessarily have the badge appeal of the VW Tiguan, or the go-anywhere ability of some more rugged, four-wheel drive rivals, but it does have a unique style and elegantly finished interior.
The 5008 is therefore a convincing option if you're in the market for an SUV that doesn't need to head off-road.
Model: Peugeot 5008 GT Line PureTech 130 s/s
Base price: £28,195
Engine: 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol
Top speed: 117mph
0-60mph: 10.9 seconds