The large-ish SUV category is one of the most competitive in the Australian marketplace. Seven seat options litter the field and they all do it with a slightly different approach – which means the choices are wide a varied with what is provided.
If we play in the $40k to $70k bracket we have options from all around the globe – it is called the semi-premium market at it offers some pretty good choices and great value for money. We have serious off-roaders and serious soft roaders. We have style, and we don’t.
Sitting very much in the stylish soft roader category (it is front wheel drive only) is the Peugeot 5008, and it most certainly is an attractive vehicle that does everything well. What it does best is make me feel good because it is just beautiful.
The GT is the top of the 5008 range and it is well equipped with all the safety gear that I rate as critical. It is incredibly well packaged with all the features you want and it is loaded with style and beauty.
The equipment levels in the GT are high with things like hands-free power tailgate, LED headlights, high beam assist, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assistance, 19-inch alloys, Alcantara door and dashboard trim inserts, electrically adjustable driver’s seat with massage function, a scent function with different odour choices, heated front seats, chrome mirror shells and wheel arch extensions sitting on top of the already high equipment list from the $42,990 Allure. Standard equipment in the base model includes a customisable dash display, 8-inch capacitive touchscreen, navigation, digital radio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (which I still struggle with), wireless smartphone charging, surround-view parking camera, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and autonomous emergency braking all standard.
As I said, it is well equipped. But it is not just the equipment levels that set up the wow factor, it is how it is done. When I first saw photos of the cockpit and the wrap around design I thought it was clever, having now lived with it I can say it is more than that. It is functional and very stylish. All the little highlights are designed to enhance the experience of sitting in the car, and ambient lighting make a statement on that too. The switchgear is angled towards the driver, and the brushed aluminium strip on the centre console pulls the focus to the driver, effectively portioning off the passenger.
The steering wheel is small, perhaps too small but it looks good too. It is flat bottom with multiple textures and all the right switches in place.
Down back the rear seats are comfortable and well spaced, but the third row is tiny and only suited to small kids or Deadpool when his legs are growing back. The rear, with the seats down has plenty of space too, and can be made larger by removing the third row of seas and storing them in the garage. Or so I am told, I never tried this.
The one sticking point that needs to be addressed is the quality and reliability issue of Peugeot compared with its rivals. In the past this has been something to tread cautiously around, but Peugeot has out considerable effort into catching its rivals. The new five year warranty and capped and fixed priced servicing ($1649 for the first three years or 60,000km) is a show of confidence from the French, they wouldn’t do this if they were expecting claims
It will take a little while for this message to settle into the marketplace, so as yet we have no idea about resale value. But as we know, people buy cars for different reasons and some of the best selling cars in the country would never see the inside of my garage.
The 5008 is probably the smallest car in its class, and that comes through in the drive. It is nimble and agile, using the good power and torque from the diesel engine for some pretty rapid transport. Mechanically we are running traditional gearbox and 2.0L diesel engine which does the job. It pulls well but is not that sporty in terms of screaming up the rev range, but it is quick and economical.
The steering is sharp and it will lean and roll in the corners, but it also grips well and goes around corners.
There are different drive modes and the dashboard has a number of configurations from just the speed to all the bells and whistles. But here is my only real gripe with the car, it is too bright at night an keeps drawing my eyes away from where I want to go. In the daytime it is not an issue, and you can simply buckle down and enjoy the drive.
Peugeot has come a long way with its new range of SUVs. The 3008 is a great car in the small category, and the 5008 is likewise in the mid to large grouping. It has plenty to offer a family, it oozes style and is a really good car to drive and should be considered if a 5+2 is what you are after. If you need the third row more often, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
In the meantime, enjoy the warranty and the keen pricing and I reckon you can bargain well too. But look at it this way, to get the same equipment in a Kia or Hyundai (which are slightly larger), you’ll pay $10,000 more, that is a great selling point.
Allure - $42,990
GT-Line - $46,990
Hyundai Santa Fe
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Land Rover Discovery Sport