MORE than a few motoring pundits opted for the Peugeot 3008 SUV when it came to choosing their pick of the new car entrants for 2017.

So the signs were good for the arrival of the 3008’s big brother, the seven-seat 5008.

Thankfully, Peugeot has delivered more of the same in a larger format.

Breaking new ground as a large seven-seater SUV in the C segment, it boasts the latest digital version of Peugeot’s clever i-Cockpit and a host of features that enhance comfort and safety.

But perhaps the most surprising feature is the ease and enjoyment of the drive. It is easy to forget that behind you is seating for five people as you cruise through the gears and lap up the 5008’s excellent handling qualities.

Behind the elegant, dynamic design lies an immensely practical vehicle. With seven seats, the 5008 is the first SUV to offer modularity on a par with that of the best people-carriers. A range of powerful, efficient engines is available, including including the quite sporty GT Line tested here.

Inside, the driver’s environment is unique with the newest version of the innovative i-Cockpit, which offers vehicle occupants a novel driving experience that both surprises and delights. With its compact steering wheel, touchscreen and head-up display, the new i-Cockpit impresses with its superior graphics and elegant animations.

The 2.84m wheelbase of the new 5008 makes it the most liveable of C-segment SUVs. The overall length of the vehicle (4.64m) remains compact, but at 19cm longer than the 3008 it offers a roomier ride for passengers.

There are three matching, separate, folding seats in the second row, adjustable in length and inclination, and two removable, separate, folding seats in the third row.

Boot capacity peaks at more than 1,000 litres, while a foldable front passenger seat to carry especially long loads up to 3.20m and a hands-free motorised tailgate complete a well-conceived carrying package.

On the outside, there’s a long, horizontal bonnet, vertical face and raised body line, and roof bars come as standard across the range.

With its long and quite dynamic profile, the 5008 has been given some attractive touches, such as a wide grille with chrome fins and a gloss black strip at the back with LED ‘claw effect’ rear lights.

The 5008, like the 3008, features the latest Euro 6.1 powertrains. Whether the choice is petrol or diesel, all versions stand out above their competitors with engines of the same power class. CO2 emissions are as low as 117g/km for petrol and only 108g/km for diesel.

This new Peugeot is an invitation to travel-in luxury, not least because it has excellent sound insulation and a number of features for the comfort of all on board: body-hugging front seats feature an optional multipoint massage system, premium hi-fi system, large panoramic opening glass roof, permanent connectivity with the Mirror Screen function and 3D connected navigation system.

Cutting-edge advanced driver assistance systems make driving even safer with an arsenal of safety features: advanced grip control, hill assist descent control, automatic emergency braking system, distance alert, lane keeping assistance, driver attention warning, smart beam assistance, speed sign recognition and speed suggestion, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, park assist and so-called Visio Park – which provides a 360-degree view – are all on offer or part of the standard kit.

The 5008 SUV range features four trim levels – two mainstream versions (Active, Allure) plus GT Line and GT versions.