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First drives with Darren Moody - Peugeot 5008

Paugot Exterior
The Peuget 5008 is a French-designed, engineered and built SUV that is more than worthy of a closer look.

It wasn’t that many years ago Peugeot didn’t have an SUV in their range. As the world’s hunger to buy SUVs increased, Peugeot struck up a deal with Mitsubishi to re-body/badge some SUVs to get some of that action. This served a purpose at the time, but may not have done the brand that many favours. These days with that deal well behind them we have a French-designed, engineered and built SUV that is more than worthy of a closer look.

The 5008 (that’s five thousand and eight) is a seven-seat derivative of the 3008 with some stretched dimension to accommodate the two extra seats in the third row that fit neatly under the floor when not in use. Suitable for smaller adults for a short period, they are more designed for those times where you pick up an extra couple of kids from footy practice and need to cart them home. The third row can also be removed in seconds to provide a bit more storage space if you need it.

While the Peugeot brand may be seen as mainstream in Europe, Australians see them as premium, so with this in mind Peugeot Australia has gone for a value, not price-led offering. In Australia the 5008 isn’t offered in base specification vehicles offered elsewhere. The range starts with Allure, then GT-Line and tops out with GT. Allure and GT-Line are powered by a 121kW, 240Nm 1.6L turbo petrol engine, GT gets a 2.0L turbo diesel delivering 133kW and 400Nm. All are mated to a six-speed torque converter auto, which is a great relief given some of the horrible robotized manual and CVT transmissions we have seen from the French marque in recent times.

The interior is a treat to experience with quality materials, excellent fit and finish, with just enough ‘Frenchness’ to be different. The small steering wheel with the 12.3” TFT screen customizable instrument cluster viewed over the top works nicely. Most, but not all, controls (Active cruise control) are logical and there’s the Frenchness, but you will get use to them quickly. The 8” centre touchscreen protruding from the dashboard is well-positioned, and of course full smartphone connectivity is available. Wireless phone charging is also standard (on compatible phones). The second row is three individual seats, all with their own ISOfix restraint anchor points, which is unique in Australia.

Peugot Interior.jpg 

The 5008 brings good safety credentials with an impressive suite of safety features including AEB, active cruise control with speed limiting, speed sign recognition, lane departure warning and 360 degree camera. The curtain airbags cover all three rows, which isn’t always the case in seven-seat vehicles. The GT also adds LED headlights, lane keep assist and active blind spot monitoring. A five-star ANCAP rating has been awarded across the range.

For me the 5008 felt a little like a people-mover wrapped in SUV clothes, particularly when it is only available as a front-wheel drive. The 5008 does have an optional ‘grip control’ system that puts a little bit of electronic trickery in the stability and traction control systems to perform better on mud, snow and sandy surfaces, but it’s still only the front wheels driving.

On the road the 5008 was a real surprise. Ride comfort and handling was excellent, with general road imperfections absorbed, and some time on gravel roads did nothing to shake my confidence with predictable steering and reasonably good body control for an SUV. The 400Nm diesel was a treat to drive with little noise protrusion into the cabin. The petrol engine was adequate although we did experience the transmission hunting between gears when heading up a few steeper hills.

Peugeot has announced a five-year warranty across the range backing their confidence in quality. Service intervals are 20,000km/12 months with three years’ servicing costs $1772 for petrol models and $1649 for the GT diesel. Allure will cost you $42,990, GT-Line $46,990 with the GT costing $52,990 (all plus on-road costs).