It was the ugly duckling that turned into a swan. A frog that became a princess. Maybe even that caterpillar who flapped newfound wings to become a butterfly. Pick any of them, because the metamorphosis of the new Peugeot 5008 from dowdy multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) to Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) has been equally sharp.
Perhaps this new-generation 2018 model still isn’t absolutely a thing of beauty. After all, it remains a boxy unit and it still seats seven. However, in the eyes of family-car buyers it should be a darling with its mix of design panache, pricing and practicality.
Even this French car-maker freely admits that buyers are not merely moving away from a traditional MPV and in an ever-growing stampede towards the SUV, but that the medium-to-large segment is probably the most important one of all.
Whether this renewed, replenished Peugeot 5008 can get buyers to cross over from traditional rivals, though, remains to be seen…
Vehicle Style: Medium-to-large SUV
Price: $42,990 (plus on-road costs)
Engine/trans: 121kW/240Nm 1.6 four-cylinder turbo petrol | six-speed automatic
Fuel Economy Claimed: 7.0 l/100km | Tested: 9.9 l/100km
Peugeot kicks off its medium SUV range with the 3008 Allure priced from $36,990 plus on-road costs. It then adds 110mm in both body length and width, and 165mm to the wheelbase to create its new-generation medium-to-large SUV range, starting with the 5008 Allure as-tested here from $42,990 (plus orc).
That $6000 surcharge buys not only an upscaled 4641mm-long, 1844mm-wide body, but it liberates an extra 60mm of second-row legroom inside of it, as well as offering third-row seats behind. The duo of pews weigh 11kg each and can even be removed.
Without the sixth and seventh seats, boot space expands to 780 litres in the 5008, compared with 591L for its 3008 near-twin. Peugeot doesn’t claim a figure with all seats in place, but in five-seat mode this medium-to-large SUV compares well with the identically priced Skoda Kodiaq 132TSI 4x4 (630L) and Kia Sorento Si (605L).
To be fair, the 5008 uses a simple, space-saving torsion beam rear suspension set-up usually found in small hatchbacks. Each of those rivals, however, utilise a more sophisticated independent rear suspension (IRS) set-up that not only takes up extra space, but is compounded by the standard (Skoda) or optional (Kia) inclusion of all-wheel drive – whereas this Peugeot is a front-wheel drive model only.
- Standard Equipment: Keyless auto-entry with push-button start, multi-function trip computer, power windows and mirrors, dual-zone climate control with second-row individual fan speed, rear window blinds and tray tables, active cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated/folding door mirrors, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and auto on/off headlights and wipers.
- Infotainment: 12.3-inch colour driver display and 8.0-inch centre touchscreen with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring with wireless charging, USB input, digital radio, satellite navigation and eight speakers.
- Options Fitted: Safety package ($650 – including blind-spot monitor, lane-keep assistance, auto up/down high-beam and rest reminder), and electric tailgate ($500).
- Cargo Volume: 780 litres (five-seat mode).
Peugeot’s 5008 Allure is superbly equipped for the price. Unlike a Sorento Si – which as aforementioned also costs $42,990 (plus orc) – it adds supple part-leather trim, keyless auto-entry, automatic on/off wipers and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.
Meanwhile a similarly sized Kodiaq 132TSI 4x4, again for the same price, further includes all-wheel drive, electric tailgate and adaptive LED headlights missing here. However, this French contender then responds exclusively with a standard 360-degree camera and auto-reverse-park assistance to even up the value scorecard.
A buyer can simply select this entry 5008 Allure off the showroom floor, add $500 for an electric tailgate, and be very satisfied with its blend of standard kit for the price.
This Peugeot arguably doesn’t need to be stacked to the gills with luxury equipment, either, because there is intrinsic design quality inside the 3008-derived cabin that shines regardless of whether a lower- or higher-specification model grade is chosen.
While the Allure only gets cloth seats with leather bolsters, for example, but in each case the trim quality is the highest to be found for anywhere near this pricetag. The front seats are brilliantly form-fitting as well, while there are soft-touch door trims with mood lighting to match the plush dashboard trim, high-resolution centre and driver displays, and alloy-look toggle switches that combine to deliver a premium ambience.
The aforementioned Skoda falls well shy of this standard, although the Kia more closely challenges it – being less stylish in terms of design but demonstrably ahead for fit-and-finish levels. The latter is the Peugeot’s single downfall up-front, due to an ill-fitting glovebox and variable shutlines that have been evident on 3008 as well.
One row behind, however, and the 5008 benefits from stretched rear doors compared with the 3008. There’s brilliantly easy access to three individually reclining and sliding chairs, with each space offering terrific legroom at their maximum. That’s in addition to air vents with individual fan control in the centre, and manually adjustable blinds and reading tables for each outboard position.
Entry and egress to the third-row is therefore easy as well, and while the sixth and seventh seats offer legroom roughly as compromised as all rivals, it offers terrific headroom thanks to that squared-off roofline that doesn’t suffer for swoopy style.
There’s a 12-volt port back there, which is nice, but no third-row air vents as the Sorento Si offers. The seats themselves are basic, but the upside is they are also light and easy to either fold with the pull of a strap, or remove with the flick of a lever.
The boot is huge in five-seat mode with the seats removed, but again roughly on par with rivals if all seats are in use. Interestingly, the 5008 gets the same third-row as its MPV sibling, the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso. That model gets rear air vents and even a panoramic sunroof and removable torch missing here, and although it disappointingly misses out on third-row airbags and autonomous emergency braking (AEB), it is a huge $4500 cheaper. And for families, that is no small biscuits.
ON THE ROAD
- Engine: 121kW/240Nm 1.6 4cyl turbo petrol
- Transmission: Six-speed automatic, FWD
- Suspension: MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear
- Brake: Ventilated front and rear disc brakes
- Steering: Electrically assisted mechanical steering
With such a cavernous cabin, but without all-wheel drive traction, in some ways the Peugeot 5008 is a people mover masquerading as a medium-to-large SUV. That could be seen as no bad thing for families who never travel off-road, but the space- saving torsion beam rear suspension does have on-road downsides.
Quite simply, the 5008 Allure lacks the ride and handling sophistication of a Kodiaq 132TSI 4x4. On the upside, it’s far from bad, or even average. The quick steering, enacted via a tiny leather-wrapped wheel, makes the Peugeot feel rewardingly agile. The 18-inch Michelin tyres grip well, and on smooth roads the Allure feels assured.
From there, though, rougher surfaces cause some ‘bump thump’ to filter through in a hollow boom to the cabin. And if you’re a parent who once owned a hot hatchback and might occasionally enjoy some P&Q on a twisty road, then the 5008 starts to become dynamically reluctant at the point a Kodiaq (or Sorento) really steps up.
Despite a relatively low 1473kg tare mass ducking under rivals by roughly 200kg, the 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine is also starting to feel strained in this application. There’s nothing wrong with its energy and enthusiasm, but 121kW of power at 6000rpm and 240Nm of torque at 1400rpm just doesn’t feel like enough.
By comparison a 2.0-litre turbo Kodiaq offers 132kW/320Nm; and a V6-powered Sorento Si delivers 206kW/336Nm (albeit with patchy fuel consumption).
Off the line the Peugeot simply feels lethargic, and while its six-speed automatic transmission is mostly excellent, it sometimes stutters when throttle is called for quickly. Resulting consumption of 9.9 litres per 100 kilometres is average at best.
Ultimately an even less dynamic C4 Grand Picasso with this engine simply feels more soothing, because its ride quality is plusher and it is markedly quieter.
ANCAP has not tested the Peugeot 5008.
Safety Features: Dual front, front-side and three-row full-length curtain airbags, ABS and ESC, 360-degree camera with front and rear parking sensors and automatic reverse-park assistance, autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and lane-departure warning.
WARRANTY AND SERVICING
Warranty: Five years/unlimited kilometres.
Servicing: Superb annual or 20,000km intervals come with a capped-price cost of $470/$782/$470/$795/$483 to five years or 100,000km.
RIVALS TO CONSIDER
A CR-V is more sophisticated and appealing than an X-Trail among the sub-$40K brigade, while the SantaFe ActiveX is old and past it.
In all cases it’s worth spending $43K on the Kodiaq 132TSI 4x4 especially, but also the Sorento Si V6 if low fuel usage isn’t a priority. Both feel more sophisticated than this entrant here.
- Honda CR-V VTi-L 7-seat
- Hyundai SantaFe ActiveX
- Kia Sorento Si
- Nissan X-Trail ST-L 7-seat
- Skoda Kodiaq 132TSI 4x4
TMR VERDICT | OVERALL
Peugeot reserves its lush 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine for the flagship 5008 GT at a staggering $52,990 (plus orc) – and that is arguably a mistake.
From its competitive equipment to its gorgeous dashboard to its intelligent practicality, this on-road-focused 5008 Allure is a winning medium-to-large SUV.
However, the sweet 1.6-litre turbo-petrol needs more power and torque, or else the 5008 should be quieter and more soothing as its C4 Grand Picasso cousin is. The alternate diesel isn’t a premium engine, so it would make sense to offer it as a circa-$3000 option here. For $46K – as it costs in the Citroen – that would be most ideal.
In some ways this French model has its priorities sorted because it gives weight to nippy handling and a cavernous cabin over polished country-road ride comfort and refinement. But just be aware that basic MPV traits remain in this replenished SUV.
- Interested in buying Peugeot 5008? Visit our Peugeot 5008 showroom for more information.