Peugeot unveiled the new 5008 SUV during the last quarter of 2016. Towards the end of last year, we had what can only be described as "the pleasure" of test driving the new Peugeot 3008 in Italy before it came to Ireland. The new 3008 is now in the running for European Car of the Year 2017, and we think that it will pick up plenty of accolades throughout the year. In fact it had won 17 international awards by the end of January 2017. So why, when we're supposed to be talking about the new Peugeot 5008 SUV, are we talking about the 3008? Well, it's all relevant. The new Peugeot 5008 is pretty much the same car underneath - but everything is bigger and stretched.
The outgoing 5008, like the outgoing 3008, was not a bad car. However, it lacked a few important things. For instance, it had no major spark - much like most MPVs (in fairness though, these are massively functional cars, and Ford, VW and SEAT do manage to pull off a good luck in their MPVs). The reason why we were so impressed by the new 3008 is because Peugeot found the French sexiness that was missing. The same can be said about the new 5008. How did they do it? Well, they shook off that MPV look that was dragging them into the realms of boredom, they took many of the interior stylings off the ultra-sleek Peugeot Quartz (maybe even some from the EXALT) concept car, and then, to top it all off - they turned what was once a boring MPV into a sexy, suave and sophisticated SUV.
“Sexy”, “suave” and “sophisticated” are words that I never thought I would associate with the 5008, let alone a seven-seater (although, I am a big fan of the 7-seat KIA Sorento SUV). Peugeot have pulled it off though and that is what we have. One surprising thing is that this car is only 19 cm longer than the new 3008. The new 5008 SUV is lower, more slimline and more spacious than the outgoing model. The car is 11 cm longer and weighs 95 kg less than its predecessor.
Prices announced for new Peugeot 5008 SUV - click here for information
The exterior is more commanding and longer than the 3008. Also, it comes with the extra practicality of having seven seats. The only thing that may not be to everyone's tastes is the rear appearance of the vehicle. I'm okay with it, but I think that this could be another one of those arguments like the rear of the old Skoda Superb or the new Volvo S90. Things are squared off beyond the C-Pillar, and if there was anything that I would change about the appearance of this vehicle, it would be that. Then again, there will be some who will argue that it needed something that would make it look even slightly different from the 3008.
Inside, we get the new iCockpit 2 set-up which we have already seen in the new 3008. It's all easy to use, and as I said in my 3008 review, the TFT displays are only second to what Audi offers. The system is exceptionally intuitive and most things can be read in the 12.3-inch display where the instrument binnacle sits. Another driver-focused feature is the new 8-inch centre touch screen – once again, it’s presented excellently and very easy to use – and if you have any difficulty fidgeting with the touch screen, you can also use the piano keys beneath the screen to navigate the system. The car also has a reversing camera (from level two trim as standard) – which is handy, because this is a long vehicle.
We like the look of the automatic gear lever in the 5008 - this is pure-EXALT or Quartz concept. Also, if you have the extra cash - it's worth looking at the FOCAL sound system - it's made from beryllium and it sounds amazing. Everything inside the 5008 is sculpted and extremely modern. The quality of materials is top class too. Of course, we were driving top-trim models at launch, so you might have to pay a bit more for the brushed steel and cloth trim (along the bottom of the dashboard and in the door panels) effect interior.
Unsurprisingly, there is no problem with legroom in row 2. There is no transmission tunnel to the rear, which means middle passengers will be thankful of the lift. All middle seats are independent and can move forward and backward on rails. They can also recline. The row-three seats offer a nice space for children… and you might even get adults in there at a push (I got in myself, and I’m big – my legs weren’t too comfortable though!). Another bonus is the amount of storage compartments that are dotted around the car. The only problem with space is that if you opt for the panoramic sunroof, taller passengers will suffer from lack of headroom.
If you remove the seats from the third row (which can be done very easily), this car can offer a whopping 1060-litres of space. However, this seven-seater suffers from 7-seat-syndrome, which means that the boot space is not great with those two seats in position.
Our test model housed a 2.0 150bhp which gives 370 Nm of torque (very handy for overtaking). It is a refined cruiser and while it does make a bit of noise if you put the foot down to get to motorway speeds, once you get there, it all evens out. This car comes available with the same manual 6-speed gearbox that you’d find in the 3008. It’s a good box and the gear changes are smooth. We also drove the 1.2 litre petrol model, which operates off a 3-cylinder engine. Don’t be fooled by the three-cylinders, it still offers a handy 130bhp. This comes with an automatic gearbox, which was great when cruising with even-acceleration, but if you’re trying to accelerate hard, it does hold on a bit. Also available is the same 1.6 litre BlueHDi engine that you’ll find in the Peugeot 3008, and the 2.0 BlueHDi with 180bhp. After driving the 150hp 2.0 litre diesel today, I’m not sure if the extra horses are needed.
Our test car came with 18-inch alloy wheels, which didn’t badly affect the ride quality. In fact, even potholes were dealt with in a mannerly-enough way. The car offers good grip on corners, and while there is a bit of body roll, it’s not that bad. Once again, Peugeot have opted for a smaller, strangely-shaped steering wheel with a flat top and bottom. I’ve said it before, smaller steering wheels really make me feel closer to the road, which is a good thing. The steering response is sharp, and this small steering wheel accentuates that. On-paper, we’re told that this car can return a combined fuel economy of 4.2l/100km – but despite my habit, I’m no nun.
Do I think the 5008 will be an award winner like I expect the 3008 to be? I think so, I mean this is about as big a change as you’ll find from any car brand, and the results are excellent. If anything, they deserve a prize for showing that seven-seaters can be sexy. Yep, they're not the only brand to make a nice-looking seven-seater, but kudos are deserved when you compare the blandness of the outgoing model to the style of the new 5008.
We expect that the new Peugeot 5008 SUV will hit showrooms in time for July’s 172 registration plates. There will be a range of trims to the Irish market, including; Access, Active, Allure, GT-Line, and GT. Once we get further information on prices, trimline features, etc., we will update this page.