Woah, who hit the fast forward button? Final dispatches are supposed to be a calm distillation of good, bad and middling, but in the 5008ís case, I feel Iím not quite sorted. I guess thatís what comes with a machine thatís so epic, both for required parking space and whatís inside.
One knob, for example, went largely unmolested until now, when a barrage of blizzards dumped six inches of snow on the postcode. Iíd twiddled with the Advanced Grip Control settings but never until now used it with much conviction (unless you parked really badly at the Eden Project, what use is a setting marked by a cactus icon?). Ice and slithery stuff abounding in February, the dial was finally used in anger.
So now I know that the 5008ís cool and planted nature quivers not at winterís worst. As you breeze along tricky roads with not much company beyond ruddy-faced Defender drivers and wafting execs in Range Rovers, I do wonder how seriously justifiable all the gubbins of a full-fat 4×4 system is when we have lightweight electronic advances such as this. Granted, the 5008ís not going to get too far on mere wizardry with traction control beyond the field gate, but it does very well on ice-bound roads.
Other not-so-explored aspects include the Sport button. It does what it says in terms of shortened gearchanges and pointier performance but, like hurrying Tom Jones half way through a ballad, everything gets less smooth and polished. It also dents the consumption, of course, and with my final innings eternally loitering around 38 point something miles per gallon, I need no such encouragement. On the plus side, petrol 5008s, one hears, struggle to achieve 32mpg amid the turbulence of actual life, so being near 40mpg is an achievement.
Whatís going to be remembered most? Rather a lot. That initial wow factor never wore off. Bedecked in Nera black and kitted with a matching roofbox, it looks like Darth Vaderís holiday wheels. Peugeot has mixed a storming set of paintwork hues for this car, not least Bianca white and Emerald, which Iíd understand anyone selecting, but black cranks the cool-ometer up to 11. Itís school run nirvana.
Inside, despite the best efforts of the marauding felons who claim to be my children, itís a knockout for both design and quality. Those piano-key switches for music, climate, navigation, child eject (dream on) etc are a languid delight; the cabin and cockpit are a symphony of materials and to top it all, subtle lighting strips pick out the swish contours after dark. Itís surely Peugeotís best ever effort and punches confidently above its league.
Accommodation is complaints-free, too. The three separate seats in the middle row are proper, full-size units and the fold-down pair in the tail not too punitive for adults over shorter journeys. For furniture, the load floorís flat and my only gripe is that unless you fancy a hernia when lowering rear headrests, the centre mid-row seat blocks your view when parking. I might add, however, that this specification comes with a plethora of camera views and, albeit being as svelte as The Queen Mary, is practicable at the supermarket.
But the best, best thing of all? The steering wheel, of course. Itís barely bigger than a dinner plate and flatters you with a little mild squinting, into thinking youíre helming some Monte Carlo-bound roadster along a Corniche, rather than staring at the back of a van on the A4135.
At least such moments give you opportunity to hone an ultimate verdict. So here goes: posh, but practical, the 5008 straddles sensible and stylish with swan-like ability. Ultimate escapism for hemmed-in parents, itís a keeper, a SUV to love. Darn, thatís a lot of words, but hell, itís a lot of car.
Date arrived 19th March 2018
Fuel economy 57.6mpg (NDEC combined) 38.8mpg (on test)
Big deal, small wheel. Counter-intuitive design perhaps, but it’s a joy to hold.
The price of our range-topping GT model has increased by £2,580 in the past year, but has gained extra equipment.