The Peugeot 5008 is a value-packed SUV, but the question we look to answer here is whether the GT is the model grade to have.
With a simplified three-model range, the new 5008 is the latest string in Peugeot’s SUV bow – the question is whether the range-topping 2018 Peugeot 5008 GT is the one to have. We spent a week with the GT in the CarAdvice garage to find out.
The medium SUV segment is – to use a well-worn phrase – about as exciting as watching paint dry. Sure, it's the most hardcore battleground for current sales chart domination among nearly every manufacturer (just ask Ford and Holden), but there’s hardly anything to get genuinely excited about. It’s a sea of same/same, cookie-cutter platforms that are all variations on a theme, styling-wise, and in regard to what they offer the buyer.
That’s why a newcomer like the 5008 is always a breath of fresh air, even if it is technically a large SUV. It’s a strange one the 5008, in that it almost straddles the medium and large segments.
Styling is subjective, sure, but you'd have to agree that the 5008 is an attractive, different SUV. Front, rear or side on, it has a premium, quality look to it that sets it apart from the competition – even other European vehicles.
Pricing for the 5008 range starts with the Allure from $42,990, then you step up to the GT Line from $46,990 and lastly the GT from $52,990 – all before on-road costs. The value proposition is excellent across all three model grades, especially when you take into account the extensive list of standard equipment.
Across the range, the following lengthy list of equipment is standard: seven seats; autonomous emergency braking; driver attention alert; lane departure warning; auto headlights and windscreen wipers; adaptive cruise control with stop&go function; a 360-degree camera as well as front and rear parking sensors; electric heated and folding door mirrors; dual-zone climate control with rear air vents; customisable 12.3-inch digital instrument panel; an 8.0-inch capacitive touchscreen with 3D navigation; DAB+ radio; voice recognition; wireless induction charging for smartphones; Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Mirrorlink phone mirroring; six airbags, including (and kudos to Peugeot) third-row curtain; and alloy roof rails.
The GT as tested here also gets 19-inch wheels (with 235/50/19 rubber), Alcantara door and dash inserts, an electric driver’s seat with two-position memory, heated front seats, massaging driver’s seat, chrome mirror shells and wheel arch extensions to justify the extra ask at the cash register.
The GT is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine, which knocks out 140kW and 400Nm and is mated to a six-speed automatic. According to the ADR fuel claim, the 5008 is capable of using as little as 4.8L/100km on the combined cycle. During our week of testing, the 5008 averaged an impressive 6.6L/100km, illustrating just how efficient a modern turbo-diesel can be in real terms.
While the cabin is undoubtedly premium, the first thing that hits you from the driver’s seat is the slightly weird seating position, exacerbated by the completely stupid, tiny steering wheel. For me, it’s been a long-held gripe that the small wheel makes no sense in anything other than a sporty hot hatch, and it’s the only real negative in what is an otherwise exceptional cabin. Call me needlessly negative if you like, but try to formulate a sensible argument as to why a large SUV needs a racecar-like steering wheel. Makes no sense at all.
The seats, however, are fantastic, comfortable even over long distances and commodious for drivers of all heights. The infotainment system is also well above average, with Peugeot’s ‘i-Cockpit’ exceeding my initial expectation. It’s actually quite easy to understand, easy to use, and reliable once you’ve tethered your smartphone to the system.
Long a bugbear of French cars, the switchgear itself is concise, simple and perhaps most crucially, sensibly laid out. Back to the seating position, we would like to be able to get lower in the cabin (especially if you’re taller than average), but visibility is good fore and aft. The seat trim itself looks premium and just as importantly looks different to all members of the competitive set.
We found the interior to be quiet and refined right up to highway speed, even on coarse chip, and the sense of comfort is never disrupted. There’s a USB and 12V socket ahead of the shifter, inductive charging for smartphones so equipped, heated seats and enough storage within the front of the cabin overall. In typically European style, the cupholders near the console bin could be larger – they hold small coffee cups but won’t accommodate larger cups and bottles.
Into the second row, there’s plenty of room for family duties as well as air vents with their own fan control, a 220V power socket, reclining back rests, plenty of head room, decent pockets, window nets, folding tables on the seat backs, and hidden storage bins under the floor mats. All told, it’s a well thought out family SUV inside the 5008’s cabin.
The back section has a solid luggage cover and a flat floor when the seats are not being used. On that subject, the seats fold down and up easily enough for them not to be a pain if you do need to raise and lower them regularly. Third-row passengers get a 12V socket and a reading light as well. The tailgate, however, doesn’t hinge up high enough and it’s easy to whack your head. Ask me how I know…
There is a low load height, on the other hand, which is excellent if you’re regularly taking heavier or larger items in and out of the luggage space. Parents with big heavy strollers take note, because this will be useful for you. There is, however, a small gap between the two rows when the third row is down and the second row up, and small items could disappear into it.
So, how does it drive? Well, the exterior styling indicates you could be in for a sporty drive, as silly as that might sound, and yet ‘Sport’ mode itself seems a bit silly in this segment to me at least. There’s no need for a hefty SUV to be holding gears on deceleration, nudging redline and generally feeling urgent – not in this segment anyway.
Countering that argument is the quality of the driveline, though. The engine is sharp, it loves to rev right out to redline if you are so inclined, and the gearshift remains precise even in ‘Comfort’ mode. The ride can be a little firm over the worst roads Sydney can throw its way, but it’s otherwise a lovely blend of comfort and precision.
The brakes and steering are both excellent, well beyond what you’d expect from an SUV, the steering especially – stupid steering wheel aside – is beautifully weighted and direct. In fact, the 5008 feels a lot more car-like to drive than SUV-like, which is becoming ever-more crucial in such a tightly contested segment. Parents – most buyers for that matter – don’t want their SUVs to drive like an ’80s off-roader anymore. Those days are long gone.
Peugeot’s stop/start system is dopey, slow and annoying in the real world, especially bumper to bumper traffic. Annoyingly, it’s not easy to deactivate either, requiring you to work through a menu on the infotainment screen rather than simply hit a dash-mounted button. You’d be advised to turn it off, though, it will make your commute more pleasant.
The Peugeot 5008 stacks up impressively in (one of) the two most significant SUV segments in 2018. Its blend of quality and value is beyond argument, especially in the range-topping GT grade we’ve tested here. Don’t overlook the French brand if you’re in the market for a premium SUV.