Peugeot has recently updated both of its medium SUVs in Australia – the 3008 and 5008. Today, we're focussing on its larger, seven-seat 5008 in GT petrol guise.
Interestingly, the 5008 represents just over 20 per cent of all medium-sized Peugeot SUVs sold in Australia. In other words, for every three to four people that pick a 3008, one decides to opt for the seven-seat version.
As that's practically what it is. In terms of construction, both the 3008 and 5008 are the same vehicle up to the C-pillar, where things begin to change. The seven-seat version takes a boxier approach and extends its wheelbase out a further 165mm to allow for a third row of seating.
Aside from a different bum, the 2021 Peugeot 5008 model line-up also differs from its 3008 sibling. The seven-seater range has been culled for 2021, with only the GT version now offered. Previously, an entry-level Allure and mid-tier GT-Line were available, and the top-spec GT only offered with a diesel powertrain.
Now all that remains is the top-tier GT trim with either a 121kW/240Nm 1.6-litre petrol engine and six-speed auto, or 133kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo diesel with eight-speed auto.
The petrol kicks off at $51,990 and the diesel $59,990. It's worth noting that stepping up to the diesel does yield extra goodies, including a Focal premium stereo and 19-inch wheels.
|2021 Peugeot 5008 GT petrol|
|Engine||1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol|
|Power and torque||121kW at 6000rpm, 240Nm at 1400rpm|
|Drive type||Front-wheel drive|
|Fuel claim combined (ADR)||7.0L/100km|
|Fuel use on test||9.1L/100km|
|Boot volume (seven seats up/five seats up/two seats up)||167L/591L/2150L|
|ANCAP rating||Five stars (2016)|
|Warranty||Five years/unlimited km|
|Main competitors||Volkswagen Tiguan, Mercedes-Benz GLB|
|Price as tested (plus on-road costs)||From $51,990|
Historically, the top-tier GT diesel model has been the breadwinner in the range, but the brand, with its new thinking and strategy, believes it will see more buyers adopt the petrol. Time will tell.
In the meantime, let's focus on our 5008 GT petrol test car. It's fully optioned, with one of the more expensive paint options ($1050), an opening panoramic sunroof ($1990) and nappa leather seats with driver's side massage ($3590).
All up, it'll set you back $58,620 before on-roads. In traffic, closer to $62,500 depending on where you live. It comes across expensive, especially when compared to a $53,190 Tiguan 162TSI Highline Allspace.
However, when both are similarly specified, Germany's seven-seat deviation comes in at $61,990 before on-roads, or closer to $65,000 on-road. It pays to be diligent with each manufacturer's spec sheet to better understand and compare what your money returns.
In terms of design, the Peugeot 5008 has naturally adopted the updated styling cues found on the 3008. There's a new grille up front, with a unique treatment that sees it split apart and separate into the bumper. Large, backslash-style daytime running lights run almost the length of the bumper, which add more drama to the mix.
Other than a new set of tail-lights at the rear, the update is simple. As a good looker already, the new additions do not subtract from its inherent quality design.
Internally, updates are also on the mild side. The biggest of them all is the introduction of a large 10.0-inch centre infotainment display. The operating system and general menu screens look the same as before, but its processing power has been upgraded and response times reduced. Smartphone mirroring tech (Apple CarPlay/Android Auto), digital radio and a native navigation system are all included.
What's likely unfamiliar to most is both the cabin's lack of dedicated switchgear and its design. For example, activating the second-row air blower requires fiddling with the touchscreen, as it's buried in the vehicle's climate settings. The same goes for making minor adjustments to the air-conditioning system in general too.
The ethos does see general button detritus removed from the cabin, but it also makes for tricky, distracting adjustments when on the move.
Also divisive is the brand's i-Cockpit interior philosophy. It takes the driver's gauge cluster and elevates it above a tiny steering wheel. It seems like a small issue, but some of my colleagues found it hard to get comfortable while retaining good visibility of the instrumentation. It takes some getting accustomed to; however, be sure to trial it out in the showroom and on the test drive.
Still, the rest of the cabin feels worth the price tag. The few climate-control buttons that remain are for the demister, seat heating and recirculation. A set of ornately designed shortcut keys sit above, but I find a three-finger tap on the screen makes navigating the system's tech array easier.
As with the previous model, a large 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster manages driver information. Within the customisation menu is a setting called 'minimal' that removes everything from the screen – including fuel and temperature gauges – and leaves a small speed readout. Good for when you've had enough information overload for the day and wish to relax in peace.
Another relaxation benefit comes from the nappa leather seat option, which also includes electric front seats and a driver's side massaging feature. It's a pokey, intense experience, as in the seat's inflatable massaging air pockets do press hard in their highest setting.
Compared to the massaging systems found in other European cars worth two times as much, I'd say the Peugeot's is one of the best. The seats themselves are well designed and comfortable, feature a two-position memory, manually extendable thigh supports and electric lumbar support.
Opting for the nappa leather package also sees dashboard cloth pieces replaced with genuine Lime Wood. It's a natural material that introduces an air of sophistication and expensiveness. Something else expensive is the opening panoramic sunroof that spans a decent portion of the roof.
Both option packages are decadent choices, as the standard (free) Alcantara seating and tin roof will already be ritzy enough for some.
More practical elements up front include deep enough door pockets with in-built bottle holders, a vast centre armrest storage area, two large cupholders, and a cubby for your phone with wireless charging. Visibility all round is good due to a large glasshouse; however, the three individual second-row seats, and in particular the middle one's headrest, do interfere with the view out the back window.
Over in the second row, the standout features here are three individual seats. All are equally sized, slide and recline independently, and each features an ISOFIX point. A quick test saw three slimline child seats fit across the second row, which makes the car ideal for a young and large family.
For the family with young adults instead of kids, the Peugeot 5008's seating arrangement continues to deliver. All are seated equally, meaning no squabbling, in-fighting or bad moods. What also helps the share of equality is a flat floor in the second row, so there is no proverbial middle seat in this family SUV.
In terms of space on offer, I found the second row to be squashy for a taller-than-average adult. At 183cm, and sitting behind my own driving position, my knees were brushing up against the picnic tables, feet unable to extend under the seat in front, and head left with an acceptable amount of room. The issue of knee room is tolerable; however, the sheer lack of foot room means you're unable to stretch your legs and get truly comfy.
It's a shame the 5008 falls short in terms of overall space, as its seating arrangement is one of the best in its class. Other factors influencing second-row habitability include a pair of integrated sunblinds in the rear doors, rear air vents with fan-speed control, a 12-volt power outlet and two USB ports. As mentioned, rear picnic tables are in-built into the first-row seat backs and offer benefits beyond what you'd first assume.
The third row is best reserved for children. It becomes obvious when you attempt (as an adult) to climb into the back. With the second row folded as far forward as it goes, the gap to entry is thin.
Once you contort and wedge yourself in, you're left sitting on something proportioned to suit children. The resulting posture of the adult silly enough to climb there is an equally silly one, with their knees being as high as their jawbone. Call me silly, then. Quite uncomfortable, I was unable to latch the second-row seat back into place without squishing my toes in the process.
Save the third row in a Peugeot 5008 for children only, or adults only in times of dire need or emergency. On the upside, the seats are quickly removable without tools and weigh about 12kg each. It means that the 5008 can easily be turned into a five-seater with a huge boot.
Speaking of which, there's 167L of boot capacity in seven-seat mode, which is a little light on. A stroller will still fit behind the third-row seat backs, and you'll be able to jam in a week's worth of groceries on top.
In five-seat mode, the 5008 claws back to offer a decent 591L of space. If you remove the two extra pews from the back, you'll gain another 106L totalling 699L. In full hauler mode, there's a massive 2150L to play with.
On to the drive. Like the 3008, the 5008 has an immediate sense of deftness about it. There are a couple of things at play here: a relatively light weight of 1473kg, quick steering, and smart suspension calibration.
Like its smaller sibling, the 5008 glides over hobbled roads in a non-fatiguing manner. Only the deepest of potholes seem to unsettle the Peugeot and result in some crashing and thudding.
Other than that, it's refreshing to drive an SUV that feels light on its feet. The small steering wheel coupled with relatively speedy hardware also invokes a sense of eagerness. It may feel twitchy to some, but you'll quickly become accustomed to the reduced amount of effort needed to navigate tight carparks and parallel parks.
Up at speed, it continues to be rewarding. While not as dynamically proficient as the lighter and smaller 3008, it still behaves well when carrying speed. The weighting and calibration of its controls help to add confidence, as does the general tautness of the platform.
Most importantly, it doesn't feel cumbersome on a fast, flowing road. If anything, it's quite enjoyable and planted to thread. General ambiance is excellent, as the cabin is quiet. Peugeot clearly has focussed on noise, vibration, and harshness levels, as the resulting experience feels worthy of the premium segment where the big three play.
The 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine is adequate for the purpose. With two to three people and a handful of luggage loaded, it'll duly perform without angst or stress. However, when you're seven up and packed to the rafters, it does begin to feel lethargic.
Big acceleration moments, in the case of going from 80km/h to 110km/h, both sound and feel taxing on the engine. Being shy doesn't help either. You'll need to use maximum throttle and revs to get it done.
It's a shame Peugeot didn't opt to use the more powerful version of the same engine as found in the 3008 GT Sport. The difference between the pair is noticeable, and the 5008 would have benefited greatly from the extra ratios found in that driveline's eight-speed transmission.
Overall, it's fit for purpose, and will be in most use cases. The Peugeot 5008 GT used 9.1 litres per 100km in our care, which is 2.1L over the official combined claim of 7.0L/100km. The driving did err on the side of highway versus around town, so do expect this figure to rise if you're primarily stuck in school-run traffic.
The Peugeot 5008 does offer more practicality than the other in the range. However, a Peugeot 3008 GT Sport comes with an eight-speed transmission, more power, and is cheaper when factoring in standard equipment versus options.
You must lust for the practicality of a third row and a bigger boot to move across. However, as a father myself, a peace treaty in the form of three same-sized rear seats, for three kids, could be enough of a reason alone.