Peugeot 5008 is a practical fashionista
It’ll add French pizazz to your school-run doldrums, says Phuti Mpyane
Peugeot’s 5008 is a petrol-powered, automatic, front-wheel drive seven-seater SUV that takes on VW’s Tiguan All-Space in a market niche.
The French recipe’s actually more vibrant than you might expect and the interior is a good place to start because this is where most of the impressive stuff is. It has a 2,840mm wheelbase, some 50mm more than its closest rival, and the cabin is filled by independent, comfy seats which in this car were covered in a mix of leather and a grainy cloth in the middle.
It’s easy to tell that the material is designed to please the senses of touch and sight and fused with a hardiness to deal with the vagaries of life with a big family.
The dashboard is also an interesting topic. It’s covered with a textile material that’s somewhat fine denim but not quite, while an array of satin chrome-tipped function buttons with satisfying tactility are stacked neatly in a fighter-jet style. Below this row is one of the coolest, single press automatic gearlevers in the market.
A small, flat top-and-bottom steering wheel finishes off the interior charm offensive and it’s a curious fitment in a car of the 5008’s size. Any worries about its feasibility to thread this 4,641mm long MPV safely around corners is quickly diminished by the most effortless one-handed operation you’ll ever want.
The digital instrument binnacle is another source of infotainment. The Peugeot i-Cockpit layout uses remote buttons on the steering wheel to flip through its menu with ease while the display with a speedo that runs anticlockwise can be modified for colour and more quirky display styles. If that’s not enough, the 5008 also comes with an integrated interior fragrance diffuser.
It’s also specified with items like a full-sized panoramic roof as standard in this GT-Line spec. There’s plenty storage place for oddments, a decent audio system, USB port, Bluetooth telephony and much more for a premium ambience.
If you’re looking for any bloodlines in its aesthetics then know that the 5008 looks a lot like the handsome Peugeot 508 sedan — a model not sold in SA that spearheaded the brand’s latest renaissance, effectively closing a woeful chapter that left customers with the same gaping mouths as the company’s old style grilles.
This intricately gorgeous new look suits the wholesale jack up in product refinement and the promise of better ownership experiences this time around. It’s a confident and relaxed feedback from its innards, which are a 121kW and 240Nm 1.6l turbocharged motor that’s linked to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic gearbox fitted with steering wheel paddles and a "sport" button in case you want put on your game face.
There’s plenty of Peugeot’s racy DNA all over the 5008’s front-wheel drive chassis. It’s capable of giving sound enough answers when adopting an enthusiastic driving style and it has impressive body control.
But the good overall balance on the roads shines through when the vehicle is driven in a decent manner and using the on-hand active cruise-control. The latter feature enhances the labour of love in driving seven family members by taking over braking and throttle duties between the speeds of 18km/h and 180km/h while a camera that recognises broken or solid painted lane markings keeps the vehicle from going adrift and warns and nudges the car gently back in line.
In many ways, the Peugeot 5008 delivers a surprisingly good driving experience not many will automatically assume it would have. There are near-German levels of refinement, build quality and clever tech while it scores well with the primary purchase reason of family practicality.
The 1.6l petrol engine’s a fine and buzzing little heart that doesn’t struggle to haul this 1,450kg vehicle with only the driver up but perhaps the motor may be overwhelmed by a seven-member family. Sense dictates that the family-bus idea being sold will inevitably be served best by the 370Nm diesel motor alternative.
Type: Four cylinder petrol turbo
Type: Six-speed auto
Type: Front-wheel drive
Top speed: 201km/h
0-100km/h: 10.5 sec (claimed)
Fuel Consumption: 7.0l/100km (claimed) 7.9l/100km (as tested)
Climate control, keyless access, leather upholstery, USB port, front and rear park distance control with rear camera, bluetooth connectivity, navigation, electric folding mirrors, auto on/off headlights, LED daytime driving running lights, rain sensor wipers, active cruise control, brake assist, ABS, stability control, six airbags.
COST OF OWNERSHIP
Warranty: Five years/100,000km
Service Plan: Five years/100,000km
Lease*: R12,415 per month
* at 10% interest over 60 months no deposit
Peugeot 5008 1.6T GT Line
Looks, funky and spacious cabin, handling
More expensive than its VW rival
A brilliant family car
*****Value For Money
Volkswagen Tiguan All-Space, 110kW/250Nm — R538,300