PEUGEOT has yet proved its ambition to make a huge impact in the motoring industry, and this time with their latest 5008.
Not only is the all new Peugeot 5008 is the talk of the town, but this elegance pair of wheels is has all what one need in a family car.
When I was afforded an opportunity to test drive this machine, I couldn’t believe power and comfort it possesses.
What was once a very conventional seven-seat MPV which has become a three-row crossover SUV that competes with the excellent Skoda Kodiaq and slightly less excellent Nissan X-Trail, rather than the Renault Scenic or Ford S-Max in what is believed to have been motivated by the demand for SUVs, or at least SUV-like vehicles which is growing as quickly as the demand for old-school MPVs is falling. So some manufacturers.
The new Peugeot 5008’s engines are broadly the same as those available in the 3008 – petrols in 1.2 or 1.6 litres and diesels in 1.6 or 2.0 litres. The manual option is a six-speed, and the auto is six- or eight-speed depending on the engine you go for.
SUV packaging or not, the new generation of 5008 is actually 1mm lower than the old 5008. It’s also 112mm longer overall, with an extra 113mm spliced into the wheelbase.
This results in a slightly roomier cabin, helped no end by the sliding, triple-split folding seats in the second row. Each seat will slide fore and aft individually, and the two outboard seats can be tipped and slid forward with just one hand for access to the third row. All three fold flat for additional luggage capacity, while the front passenger seat will also fold – an innovation first seen in the Citroen Berlingo van – for carting around the occasional step ladder and other very long objects.
So Peugeot seems to be taking a leaf out of Czech brand Skoda’s ‘simply clever’ tagline by offering packaging solutions that are simple and clever. The third-row seats can be removed entirely from the vehicle and, since they each weigh just 11kg, they’re not heavy to lift. They easily fold flat, or deploy with just one action, yanking on a pull cord. The boot is huge, even without removing the third-row seats, as long as they’re folded into the floor.
It’s not all beer and skittles inside the 5008 however. The second-row seat cushions felt firm and flat, although there was enough headroom and legroom (in Medium SUV terms) to suit adults – and there were adjustable air vents and folding picnic tables for the kids, unlike the cheap seats in the third row.
There’s not really sufficient room in the third row for adult occupancy, but this is a medium SUV after all. I found headroom tight, but at least the second-row seats can be adjusted forward to create more legroom for those seated behind. At a pinch, young teenagers could sit back there – and they’re offered the protection of side-curtain airbags as well.
On the road
For the launch, motoring.com.au drove both powertrain variants. The 1.6-litre turbo-petrol was refined across the rev range, but struggled slightly from low speeds. It felt much more spirited when operating the automatic transmission as a manual, keeping the tacho needle at about the 10 o’clock position and using the shift paddles, which are fixed to the steering column – an unusual set-up these days.
The Aisin six-speed automatic transmission proved itself competent, but lacked the ultimate smoothness and crisp shifting of a ZF eight-speeder. It did adapt quickly to Sports-mode driving, selecting a lower gear for added engine braking when required.
There was very little powertrain noise at cruising speed, but the tyres were moderately loud on coarse-chip bitumen. I found the petrol models, riding on Michelin tyres, were noisier than the diesel GT variant, on Continentals. Perhaps of more concern were the various squeaks and rattles in the cabin, at least some of that discord seeming to emanate from the folded third-row seat or behind the dash.-Additional report by www.topgear.com