When the second generation Peugeot 5008 was revealed in 2016, it was something of an ugly-duckling-to-swan moment. That new-found popularity means there are now plenty of examples out there for those seeking out the best used tow cars.
Since then, the 5008 is no longer a worthy-but-dull MPV: instead, it’s bang-on-trend and ready to grab its fair share of the SUV marketplace.
What’s it like inside?
Good news – the words ‘big’ and ‘flexible’ apply fully to the 5008. For a start, the two people in the front seats will be quite happy with the amount of space they have to while away the miles in.
Behind them are three seats that slide backwards and forwards individually as required, and recline slightly for extra relaxation on a long trip. At the back are two seats that kids will be comfortable in, and adults can deal with for short trips.
However, there is one caveat: we would avoid any models with the panoramic roof, which significantly reduces headroom.
Boot space is small if all seven seats are in use, but perfectly good with the rear two seats folded down, and it’s easy to fold down all five rear seats to turn the 5008 into a van.
As with all such family vehicles, it can pay dividends to make sure that all of the trim is present and undamaged, and all of the seat-folding tricks are working as they should. These cars can often tend to lead hard lives, so it’s always worth checking everything carefully.
The dashboard is stylish and well made, but make sure you get on with the unusual driving position, in which you view the instruments over the top of the small, low-set steering wheel.
How does it drive?
As a car to drive on its own, the Peugeot 5008 is mighty fine. It steers accurately and the suspension is very good at soaking up what the UK’s roads can throw at it.
Road and wind noise are both pretty unbothersome, and the engines keep themselves to themselves.
The 2.0-litre BlueHDI diesel is the car to go for if you tow regularly. It has 177bhp and 295lb ft of torque, so is well up to the job of pulling a trailer. On top of that, the big Peugeot is very stable, and remains unflustered by emergency manoeuvres.
If the 5008 has a weak spot, it’s that it is comparatively light, which means an 85% match of just 1330kg. Nevertheless, it was considered good enough to win its weight class in the 2018 Tow Car Awards.
If your family insist on coming on holiday with you, you won’t go far wrong with the Peugeot 5008. It’s roomy, quiet and comfortable, and with an official average of almost 60mpg plus a full-service cost of just £136, it won’t break the bank.
Just be aware that it’s pretty svelte, so you won’t be able to tow a heavy caravan.
Or you could try…
The Kia Sorento is popular with tow car drivers for a number of reasons. For a start, it’s huge, and easily able to carry seven. There’s also a sizeable boot if you are only carrying five.
It’s stable and assured at speed, while hill starts are no issue. Add in the fact that the Sorento came with Kia’s seven-year warranty when new, and you’ve got peace of mind for the next few years.
The X-Trail might live in the shadow of the Qashqai, but to dismiss it would be to ignore a good tow car. It was offered with the option of seven seats when new, but the rear two are for occasional use only, by kids. Still, it’s large and comfortable for everyone else.
The 1.6-litre diesel is strong but pedestrian, while 2.0-litre diesels are strong and still economical, and all X-Trails are unfazed when towing.
The Kodiaq is Škoda’s first foray into the world of large SUVs, and it’s a good one.
Inside, it’s roomy for five, and as long as you avoid the entry-level version, it’ll have seven seats. However, as with many rivals, the rearmost two are meant for children.
The 2.0-litre diesel engine is strong and smooth, and the Kodiaq remains unflustered when towing, but it can be affected by sidewinds. Bear in mind that it is quite light.
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