Kim Henson puts through its paces, and carries lots of people in, the company’s latest 5008 seven seater large SUV…
(All words and photographs by Kim).
The compact 2008 and mid-range 3008 SUVs were already selling well for Peugeot in the UK before the larger 5008 SUV range was introduced here in the autumn of 2017 (although full availability for buyers didn’t happen until early in 2018). By contrast with the previous model designated 5008, which was a seven seater people carrier or MPV (sold here from 2009), the latest, state-of-the-art model features different and distinctive SUV styling, although is still capable of carrying seven people.
The 5008 was the third SUV in Peugeot’s line-up to be launched within an 18 month span. It is built on a longer version of Peugeot’s ‘EMP2’ platform, as used in the award-winning 3008 SUV, also in the spacious C-segment 308 hatchback and estate models. It shares many visual similarities with the smaller 3008, but the tapering of the rear roof line is less accentuated than that of the 3008, thus providing greater headroom for rear seat occupants, and the rear tailgate has been made more upright, for the same reason and to optimise the available load space.For the driver, the ‘i-Cockpit’ facia design is similar to that used in the 3008, incorporating a multi-mode 12.3 inch high resolution head-up display screen. This features a twin instrument binnacle (including the speedometer and rev counter, the needle of which, unusually, operates in an ‘anti-clockwise’ direction) located ahead of the steering wheel. The binnacle displays change according to the various systems activated, and in response to scrolling through the ‘information’ screens provided by the on-board computer (showing, for example, ‘instant’ and overall fuel consumption, mileage range available on the fuel remaining in the tank, and so on).In addition, in the centre of the facia there’s an eight inch touch screen, which is visually clear to interpret, and through it the driver or front seat passenger can access the menu controls for a multitude of vehicle systems, including infotainment functions, heating/air conditioning, satellite navigation, ‘ambience’ settings and so on.
A feature that I liked a lot is that immediately beneath the screen is a row of piano-key type toggle switches, used to bring into play each individual system, which is then set up as desired via a wide range of menus, as mentioned above. I feel that this positive switch arrangement for each individual system is preferable to an installation in which ALL the functions have to be activated via a touch screen.
It’s all very clever on this Peugeot, and works well, but personally I still feel that the requirement to alter (say) the heating system settings via touch screen menu operation could be distracting to the driver, especially one new to the vehicle. I prefer rotary or slide controls that are separate from the touch screen.
By contrast, and while on this subject, one aspect that I did appreciate very much was the inclusion of an easily-reached and unmistakable traditional style rotary knob to vary the sound system volume, in addition to the steering wheel mounted volume controls. This means that the driver or front seat passenger can instantly and easily adjust the volume level whenever required, without having to touch the steering wheel or go into a touch screen menu.
The 5008 is a seven seater, and to facilitate this, in addition to the driver’s and front seat passenger’s seats there are two further rows of seats in the rear of the vehicle. These include three separate seats in the centre row, plus two smaller seats in the third row, at the extreme rear of the car. During my road test, all three rows of seats were used…
Available trim/specification levels start with the ‘entry-level’ Active model (with 2019 model year prices starting at £29,259), then move higher through Allure (from £28,059), the more sporty-looking GT Line (£29,959 upwards), GT Line Premium (from £31,809 for the six speed manual model like our test car, plus an additional £575 for its metallic paintwork) and the higher performance GT (priced at £38,529).
The GT Line has a very long list of standard equipment (which I won’t list in detail as it would fill this article!), including self-levelling headlamps, LED lighting, and ‘i-Cockpit Amplify’. This is activated by a dash-mounted key and provides occupants with a choice of two interior ‘ambiences’ – between ‘Relax’ – Peugeot says, ‘For a more serene experience’ and ‘Boost’ – ‘For a more dynamic experience’; these are achieved using interior/dash lighting. There are also three selectable interior fragrances (‘Harmony Wood’, ‘Cosmic Cuir’ and ‘Aerodrive’), distributed through the vehicle! Depending on your point of view this system may be seen as useful, or a gimmick. I think it’s a bit of both, and novel, certainly.
In addition the GT Line models feature a plushly-trimmed interior, plus exterior embellishments such as twin ‘exhaust effect’ trims, chromed window trims, etc.
Importantly, in addition to a comprehensive range of safety features as fitted to all 5008s, the GT Line trim level includes a ‘Safety plus’ pack, comprising Active Blind Spot Detection (ABSD), Active Lane Keeping Assistance (AKA), Advanced Driver Attention Alert System (DAAS), Peugeot Smartbeam Assistance, Peugeot Connect SOS and Assistance (by which the emergency services are contacted automatically if the airbags are deployed, and the car triggers location details…); this vehicle locating communication tool can be operated manually if required, via a red ‘SOS’ button.
Our test car was the GT Line Premium version, with additional equipment above the normal GT Line level including Peugeot’s ‘Open and Go’ system. This includes keyless entry via door handle mounted sensors – with the key fob in your pocket or bag you can open the car just by grasping the external door handle. The system also features push-button engine starting and stopping.
In addition, the GT Line Premium is equipped with a multi-point massage system for the driver’s seat, heating for both front seats, a large panoramic opening glass sun roof (incorporating an electrically-operated interior blind and blue ambient lighting), also 19 inch diameter ‘Washington’ diamond-cut sports road wheels, deliberately shod with tall and narrow tyres for optimum efficiency.The GT Line Premium specification level also includes a ‘smart’ electrically-activated tailgate, that can be operated from the facia, via the key fob, by buttons on the tailgate itself or by ‘waving’ a foot beneath it; handy if you are returning to the car with arms full of luggage or shopping, for example.
The 5008 is available with a choice of petrol motors (three and four cylinder options) and four cylinder diesel engines (diesel is still a popular choice in this market), mated to a six speed manual gearbox or an eight speed automatic transmission.
The multi award-winning three cylinder ‘PureTech’ petrol-powered motor is a big-hearted compact unit, and in turbocharged 1.2 litre form, as fitted to our test car, it develops a healthy 131 bhp @ 5,500 rpm and a useful 230 Nm (170 lb.ft) of torque, at just 1,750 rpm. As you will read later in this report, the car performs admirably with this unit.The PureTech engine has ruled supreme in each of the last four years in the International Engine of the Year Awards, in the 1.0 to 1.4 litre category. So what’s so special about it?
In developing this motor the aim was to provide the power and performance more typically associated with a 1.6 litre four cylinder engine, together with the fuel and emissions efficiency provided by smaller capacity units. Hence the use of three cylinders and a relatively small engine capacity, which together result in lower weight, less mechanical friction and improved fuel-efficiency, compared with a traditional four cylinder motor.
In addition, the three cylinder engine is an aluminium unit (to provide faster warm-up and lower emissions) incorporating cast iron cylinder liners, and low friction materials are employed within it. It also features a redesigned cooling system to optimise warm-up and efficiency. Both naturally-aspirated and turbocharged variants are produced.
The PureTech engines are now widely used across the PSA Group. (Designated PSA Peugeot Citroën from 1991 until 2016, the recently-enlarged French conglomerate known as the PSA Group now encompasses Peugeot – the largest brand worldwide within the group, together with Citroën, DS, Vauxhall and Opel).
The turbocharged 1.2 litre version, as fitted to our Peugeot 5008 test car, has been developed to provide prodigious quantities of torque at low engine speeds, as well as good performance at higher rpm too. It is said that fuel consumption and emissions are reduced by up to 21 per cent, compared with a four cylinder engine developing the same amount of power.
What is it really like?
A good test for any seven seater vehicle is to fill it with lots of people, so for this 5008 that’s what I did…
At the outset I was impressed by the spacious and well-appointed state-of-the-art interior, which includes accommodating and very comfortable seats for the driver and front seat passenger, also for the three occupant of the centre row of seats.
This helped to ensure a relaxing drive, especially over one 350 mile round trip that we undertook with five adults aboard, and the boot easily swallowed all the luggage required for our four day break.
We also liked the folding picnic tables built into the backs of the front seats, the privacy glass at the back of the car, the sun blinds fitted to the rear side doors, and the separate additional heating/ventilation controls provided for occupants of the centre row of seats.
Another major plus point is that all four side doors are long (from front to rear) and open wide, thus permitting easy entry to and exit from the car.
The rearmost row of two seats, which fold out from the floor when required, are smaller than those in the front and centre rows, and although they will accommodate adults when required (as we found out during our test of the vehicle), they are probably better suited to children than adults, over long distances at least. There’s plenty of height available above these seats, but legroom is fairly limited. (I should emphasise that this aspect is not unique to Peugeot; for frequently carrying seven adults, typically there is usually more space available in the rearmost/third row of seats of a seven seater MPV/people carrier, compared with most of today’s seven seater SUVs).
Although very agile, our full-sized adult tester, when trying out one of the rearmost seats during a day trip with six of us on board, found that getting into and out of these seats was an acquired art.
Although the three seats in the centre row individually fold and slide forwards to allow access to the rearmost seats, there isn’t a great deal of room in which to clamber over the centre row of seats and into the rearmost seats.
In addition, there are floor-mounted seat rails to negotiate at the back of the car, and another aspect commented on by our ‘rearmost seat tester’ was that she was unable to get the seats in the centre row to lock in position when folded and slid forwards. This meant that when she grabbed the outer seat of the centre row for support while entering/exiting the rearmost seat, this resulted in the centre row seat moving backwards quite suddenly – all a bit disconcerting initially.
Having said all that, all the occupants of the car on our 350 mile round trip to Cornwall and back commented on how comfortable the seating and suspension was. The very supple ride quality (even over rough surfaces on less than perfect minor roads) and the supportive, comfortable seats, with very generous leg and headroom for the front and centre rows, were appreciated by all.
The load-carrying arrangements in the car were also much-admired and found to be very practical and user-friendly during our test.
The centre and rearmost rows of seats fold flat when required, and the front passenger seat back will also fold flat to accommodate very long loads within the car.
The centre seats can be slid forwards and backwards, reclined or folded down flat.
If maximum load space is needed, the rearmost seats can be removed altogether from the vehicle, freeing up additional space by opening up the floor-mounted compartments in which the folded seats usually sit. The seats are quite light, weighing just 11 kg (around 22 lb) each.
For normal motoring, with the rearmost seats not in use and resting in their under-floor compartments, the car will hold a huge amount of luggage with up to five people aboard. The load floor is flat, long and wide, with sufficient height beneath the roll-out luggage cover to accommodate even tall suitcases etc, standing upright. Our ‘Tech. Spec.’ section gives the load compartment volume figures…
We also liked the array of storage compartments around the vehicle, for carrying smaller items. These included commodious door pockets, a lidded glovebox, a large ‘box’ between the front seats (and fitted with an innovative twin-section lid), useful ‘cubby holes’ under the floor just ahead of the centre row of seats, and a small additional compartment built into the right-hand side of the boot.
Another much appreciated feature at night, and a nice touch, typical of the attention to detail that has evidently gone into the development of this car, was the inclusion of ‘puddle lights’, each of which project a circular beam of light onto the ground beneath each front door/to the side of the vehicle, when the car is unlocked. This useful beam, which is shone from the underside of each door mirror, incorporates the Peugeot ‘lion’ logo too…
Less impressive points? I should mention that I wasn’t impressed by the positioning of the bonnet release handle within the left-hand front door ‘A’ post, where I feel that it might be difficult to access in case of emergency.
A multitude of screen washer jets are incorporated into the wiper arms, coating the screen with water as they move. In theory this clever ‘Magic Wash’ system should mean that the windscreen is cleaned more comprehensively than with a conventional set-up, although I found that this wasn’t always the case.
On the Road – including an excursion to Cornwall
The turbocharged 1.2 litre Puretech engine proved to be an impressive performer. It may only have three cylinders but that was not a problem in any way and it was eager in its delivery of power and torque (from low engine speeds too), smooth-running and quiet, and even at high cruising speeds was a refined cruiser. At 70 mph in top (sixth) gear, the tacho needle was indicating just 2,500 rpm.
At low engine speeds it was (only) just about detectable that the engine was a three cylinder unit, but its distinctive exhaust note in these circumstances was not intrusive nor unpleasant. The motor was happy to pull strongly from around 1,500 rpm or less.
Even with the car fully laden, acceleration, from rest and on the move, was brisk enough, if not sports-car like. Engaging ‘Sport’ or ‘Dynamic’ mode (by a push-button on the centre console) considerably sharpened the car’s dynamic responses (engine and suspension), and was especially useful when climbing steep gradients, or to provide a burst of more rapid acceleration when overtaking, etc. At most other times the car’s ‘normal’ drive mode was perfectly adequate, and doubtless more economical in terms of mpg.
The six speed manual gearbox was pleasant to use too, and the clutch was light but positive in action.
Roadholding and handling characteristics were good, with just a little body roll evident on twisting roads, but the feel of the vehicle, which is quite tall, sharpened up and roll diminished with the ‘Sport’ mode engaged.
In short, the car was fun to drive, especially on open roads.
It is a large vehicle to park, but tight manoeuvres proved to be easy, helped by the guiding ‘ridge’ at the top of each front wing, readily visible from the driving seat. In addition, reversing was aided greatly by the excellent reverse camera system (instantly displaying an image of the chosen trajectory of the vehicle onto the central touch screen). Helping too was the clever left-hand door mirror system, which automatically ‘dips’ the mirror so that the left-hand rear wheel and side of the vehicle can clearly be seen (extremely helpful when parking close to a kerb or a wall, etc.).
I found that the brakes were effective and confidence-inspiring in all circumstances. By contrast I was not so keen on the electrically-operated parking brake. To be fair this worked well enough, and when the brake was activated this fact was displayed on the facia. Another handy feature was that, if desired, the car can be driven away from standstill without the driver needing to release the brake; this happens automatically (albeit with a slight ‘grab’ before the brake is released; de-activating the brake by manually operating the switch resulted in a smoother start-off). It’s just that personally I just prefer the more positive on-off action of a conventional mechanically-activated handbrake.
Cruise control and speed limiter functions are activated by a short stalk on the left-hand side of the steering column. I found this to be mounted a little too low for me, and it was hidden by the steering wheel. On one occasion during our road test I inadvertently knocked the stalk and engaged the speed limiter, much to my surprise!
An Active Cruise Control system is fitted, and this incorporates a ‘stop’ function that would be automatically activated in extreme circumstances.
I liked the small diameter, sporty-looking steering wheel, incorporating ‘flat’ sections at the top and bottom. Others looking at the wheel thought it would have been better if it was a little less ‘chunky’ in nature. Each to their own!
During my week with the car, we clocked up a total of 460 miles, and the overall fuel consumption worked out at 40.3 miles per gallon. This was some way short of the official ‘Combined’ figure of 55.3 mpg, but this road test included some urban motoring, extensive low gear work in winding Cornish lanes (often with steep gradients), plus many hours of fast long-distance motoring. In addition the car was fully laden with people and luggage for most of my week with it, so on balance I feel the figure achieved by this 5008 was reasonable.
An excellent, likeable car for a family, and/or for occasionally carrying up to seven adults.
It is well thought-out and versatile, with plenty of space for five adults and large quantities of luggage, although, as is the case with many seven seater SUVs, it’s a little less generous in terms of accommodation for occupants of the rearmost seats.
This 5008 is also bristling with innovative electronically-operated safety, convenience and technical features. These may take a little while to get used to, especially for those unused to their vehicles being so fully packed with gadgets. However, for most drivers the car’s many useful features and systems are soon mastered.
I enjoyed this Peugeot in town use (although large it proved to be easy to drive and to park), and it was especially enjoyable and practical on a four day break in Cornwall, covering 350 miles and with up to six adults on board at any one time.
WHEELS-ALIVE TECH. SPEC IN BRIEF:
Peugeot 5008 GT Line Premium PureTech 130 seven seater large SUV.
Engine: Three cylinder, 1.2 litre (1199cc), 12 valve direct fuel injection turbocharged petrol, with fuel-saving ‘stop/start’ system.
Transmission: Six speed manual gearbox (eight speed ‘Efficient’ automatic transmission also available); front wheel drive.
Power: 131 PS @ 5,500 rpm.
Torque: 230 Nm (170 lb.ft) @ 1,750 rpm.
0-62 mph: 10.9 seconds.
Top speed: 117 mph.
Official WLTP figure: Combined, 55.4 mpg.
Achieved during our Wheels-Alive test, over 460 miles, average 40.3 mpg.
CO2 Emissions: 117 g/km.
Taxation: First year, £165, standard annual rate thereafter, £140.
Company Car Benefit in Kind: 2018/19: 24%
Warranty: Three years/60,000 miles.
Insurance Group: 13E/117.
Euro NCAP rating: 5.
Dimensions: Length 4,641 mm (15.23 ft), Width 1844 mm (6.05 ft), Height 1640 mm (5.38 ft), wheelbase 2,840 mm (9.32 ft), Kerb weight 1310 kg (2,888 lb), braked towing weight, manual versions 1,200 kg (2,646 lb), or 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) for automatic variants.
Luggage capacity 1,060 to 2,150 litres (37.43 to 75.93 cu.ft). (Note: Full removal of the rearmost seats frees up an additional 108 litres or 3.81 cu.ft).
Price (‘On the Road’): £31,809. (plus Metallic Paint, £575, on our test car, making a total of £32,384).