If ever there was an antidote to the increasing homogenisation of vehicles on our roads, then French car giant Peugeot is the proof, its range of handsome and slightly different (but not too different) cars and SUVs offering a different take on the same old formula.
Case in point? The Peugeot 5008, the French brand’s take on the large, seven-seater SUV segment.
It’s a shame it doesn’t sell in bigger numbers, because even from its launch in 2017, it was immediately apparent that in terms of styling, Peugeot should have had a winner.
Certainly, it’s been a hit globally, the company claiming that around 300,000 of the handsome 5008 have been sold since launch. To put that into context, just 242 were sold in Australia last year, 0.2 per cent of the large SUV market.
To counter flagging sales, Peugeot has given the 5008 a mid-life spruce up, with cosmetic changes aplenty and upgraded tech. And in Australia at least, Peugeot has simplified the range, with just a single model available, with either a petrol or diesel engine.
The single specification available locally is the Peugeot 5008 GT, priced at $51,990 plus on-roads for the petrol, or $59,990 for those after diesel power. That places the French SUV in direct competition with other European brands, like the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace which in top-spec diesel trim asks for $54,690, or even the Mercedes-Benz GLB which at its most basic is ninety bucks cheaper ($59,900) than the most expensive 5008.
|2021 Peugeot 5008 GT Petrol||2021 Peugeot 5008 GT Diesel|
|Engine||1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol||2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel|
|Power and torque||121kW at 6000rpm, 240Nm at 1400rpm||131kW at 3750rpm, 400Nm at 2000rpm|
|Transmission||Six-speed automatic||Eight-speed automatic|
|Drive type||Front-wheel drive||Front-wheel drive|
|Fuel claim combined (ADR)||7.0L/100km||5.0L/100km|
|Fuel use on test||NA||NA|
|Boot volume (min/max)||952L / 2150L||952L / 2150L|
|ANCAP rating||Five Stars (2016)||Five Stars (2016)|
|Warranty||Five years/unlimited km||Five years/unlimited km|
|Main competitors||Volkswagen Tiguan, Mercedes-Benz GLB||Volkswagen Tiguan, Mercedes-Benz GLB|
|Price as tested (plus on-road costs)||From $51,990||From $59,990|
It’s all part of Peugeot’s local ‘mainstream premium’ strategy, where models are equipped with plenty of kit as standard, usually offered as options in other markets. It’s not alone this strategy.
In short, Peugeot wants you to consider the brand alongside the premium European brands.
The 2021 model year updates are largely cosmetic, including a revised grille and front bumper with modified air intakes. A new design for the LED headlights and daytime running lamps sees illumination more integrated with the grille, while at the rear, Peugeot’s signature three-claw tail-light design has been upgraded to full LED with dynamic indicators. The whole assembly is now housed inside smoked glass lenses.
Inside, a new 10,0-inch touchscreen running Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as 3D satellite navigation is joined by a new generation 12.3-inch digital instrument display – i-Cockpit – that is claimed to be blacker than previously, designed to enhance visibility and contrast over the outgoing model.
Inside, the 5008 carries through the theme found in its smaller Peugeot 3008 sibling. There are styling flourishes aplenty – from the stepped dash and contrasting wood trim that looks classy rather than gaudy, to the piano key style shortcut buttons for the infotainment, the cabin of the 5008 certainly oozes that almost undefinable premium feel.
Yes, the small sporty steering wheel looks out of place, and comes with its own ergonomic pitfalls (it obscures the line of sight to the digital instrumentation unless in its lowest position, certainly for my 173cm frame), while the adaptive cruise control function remains invisible down low on the steering column and are fiddly to use until you get used to them.
The seats are supportive and comfortable and if you option the Nappa leather pack ($3590) luxuriant, although the standard Alcantara trim with contrast stitching is nothing to sneer about.
The second row is spacious and like the 3008, features a flat floor making for comfortable seating for three adults across. The seatbacks tilt and recline for even more comfort, as well as sliding fore and aft. The seats themselves remain on the firm side, slightly harder than the front pews. Not a dealbreaker by any stretch, just worth noting.
The third row is best saved for kids, although there are no child seat anchor points of any kind back there so the little ones will need to be tall enough to wear conventional seatbelts.
Legroom is cramped for even those of shorter stature, meaning the third row is best saved for short trips or occasional use. It really is. More of a ‘5+2’ seater rather than out and out seven-seater. Peugeot is not alone in this, however.
Those wanting a full break down of the 5008’s specification and equipment, can see our comprehensive story here.
Power comes from one of two engine choices. The Peugeot 5008 GT Petrol features the same 1.6-litre turbo petrol as found under the bonnet of its smaller 3008 stablemate. It makes 121kW at 6000rpm and 240Nm at 1400rpm with those outputs sent to the front wheels via a six-speed conventional automatic transmission. Peugeot claims the 5008 will sip 7.0L/100km of 95RTON unleaded on the combined cycle.
Those wanting more grunt and a theoretical better return on fuel consumption could opt for the Peugeot 5008 GT Diesel. Motivation comes from Peugeot’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel making 131kW at 3750rpm and 400Nm at 2000rpm. It’s paired with a conventional eight-speed automatic sending drive to the front wheels and Peugeot claims will use just 5.0L/100kmm of the oily stuff.
We sampled just the petrol variant at launch, and even then, the drive – thanks to NSW’s flooding rain – was limited to a short ruin on the motorway as we scrambled to make the dah home ahead of rising floodwaters. A proper week-long road test is warranted before we make any definitive assessment, so take this for what it is, a quick drive and some early impressions.
While that 1.6-litre petrol and six-speed auto does a fine job of moving the smaller Peugeot 3008 in a pleasing manner, the larger 5008’s extra weight (it’s 102kg heftier at 1473kg, against the 3008’s 1371kg) can be felt.
The briskness shown by the 3008 is absent, although it should be noted, the 5008’s powertrain is commendable for its refinement and unflustered nature. It’s just not as quick. This will matter little to most buyers, whose priorities lie elsewhere. It’s worth noting though.
Similarly, on the move acceleration is a little tardier, the 5008 taking just that little bit longer to spool up and add some clicks to the digital speedo. One can’t help but think that maybe the 5008 would have been bettered served with the more powerful iteration of the 1.6-litre turbo-four found in the 3008 GT Sport.
The six-speed transmission does a fine job, however, of keeping things moving. Despite our short drive, it was never left wanting or searching for the right ratio. Instead, shifts between cogs were seamless and unobtrusive while kickdowns in the hunt for acceleration remained razor sharp.
Commendable too is the way the 5008 rides on the road, a smooth and cossetting experience isolating the worst of our roads. Still, a comprehensive review awaits.
Practicality abounds in the 5008. Boot space measures in at 972 litres with the third row folded away. That expands to 2042 litres with both the second row and third row folded flat. Better yet, the third-row seats can be removed entirely, freeing up even more cargo space – 106 litres and 2150L. That could be a major selling point in this segment.
ANCAP awarded the 5008 range a five-star safety rating back in 2016, and this mid-life update should see that remain. A decent list of safety tech comes standard including autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control. Airbags cover the first and second rows although it’s worth noting there’s no such surety for third-row occupants.
Our quick drive doesn’t warrant a CarAdvice rating at this stage. We’ll reserve our judgment for when we can cycle through the 5008 range in the coming weeks. But, on first impression, the 2021 Peugeot 5008 continues to offer a slightly different take on a rusted-on formula. It’s at once distinctively stylish and well-equipped, an antidote to the gradual homogenisation of our vehicle fleet. Dare to be different, and add it to your consideration list.