Peugeot’s family-sized 5008 gets a facelift, but how does it stack up in the ultra-competitive seven-seater segment?
It’s fascinating to note the sheer variety of options available out there in Singapore for those who want a car that’s capable of ferrying seven people. There are models for sale that range from budget Chinese-made electric vans, to traditional Japanese MPVs, to ginormous tech-filled Korean luxury movers.
On the European front, the choices tend to veer towards large seven-seater SUVs, although there are a handful of classic MPV shapes on offer as well. One of those is Peugeot’s 5008, which has recently been facelifted to keep it updated in this highly-competitive segment.
The key changes are not very major, but they do include a redesigned front end that is meant to be the new family face of Peugeot, with its dramatic ‘whiskers’ grille and headlights that we’ve seen on the smaller 3008 crossover, and will also feature on future Peugeot models.
But otherwise, the rest of the 5008’s styling is as per usual, with a rather conservative look that is oddly devoid of French flair. The rear end is angular and square, in a nod to the 5008’s utilitarian purpose, although the taillights are slightly jazzed up LED items. Still, it doesn’t have quite the same design bravado as its smaller siblings.
Nevertheless, given that it’s a seven-seater people carrier, it’s the inside that really counts. And in that respect, the 5008 fares slightly better. Upgrades include a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that is said to be clearer and easier to read than traditional displays.
The premium Allure variant as tested here also gets a 10-inch high-definition capacitive touchscreen for the infotainment system, which is actually a doddle to use and feels somewhat more intuitive and reactive to inputs over most other touchscreen systems. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity is also standard, while there’s also a wireless smartphone charger down on the centre console.
It’s in the back though that the 5008 does truly excel, and the second row in particular feels like a rather nice to place to be. The large rear doors offer easy access, and the fold out seat-back tables are a neat touch, and proved especially useful as a makeshift dining area given that this review was undertaken during a period when dining out in food establishments was prohibited.
Like most seven-seaters of its size, the 5008’s third row is really only suited for small children, or folks of a smaller stature. Legroom can be slightly increased by shifting the second row forwards, but it’s still not really recommended for putting adults there for long journeys.
That said, boot space is surprisingly decent for a seven-seater. With all seats up there’s 166 litres of capacity, which doesn’t seem like a lot but is enough for a couple of small bags. Fold the third row down though and there’s a whopping 780 litres on offer, larger than even some station wagons. Get the second row down as well and you’ll have 1,940 litres of space to play with, enough to fit in some heavy duty furniture or a large mountain bike.
So far then, the 5008 seems to pass muster as a practical family wagon. And it seems to take that attitude into its driving demeanour too. The 1.2-litre turbo three-pot engine produces 129hp, which doesn’t seem like a lot to carry around a large seven-seater people carrier. And while the figures reflect that, with a leisurely 0-100km/h sprint time of 10.2 seconds, the 5008 actually feels a bit more sprightly than its specs suggest.
Like many small capacity turbo engines, the 5008’s unit feels energetic and lively thanks to its torque delivery low down on the power band, with its 230Nm coming in at just 1,750rpm. It makes progress relatively smoothly too, helped along by a decent eight-speed automatic transmission and generally well-sorted refinement.
As befitting its family carrier status, the 5008 leans more towards comfort than outright driving enjoyment. It tracks reasonably well in the corners, although some natural body roll is obviously evident. In return, the 5008 compensates with its extremely composed ride quality, and excellent noise insulation at speed. This is a car that’s clearly more at home on the highway than a mountain road.
Whether that’s enough to make the 5008 stand out from the myriad of seven-seaters in the market is a tough question to answer though. The smart Pug does have a lot going for it, but it’s kind of a well-sorted all-rounder as opposed to something that majors in one particular area (like how the Kia Carnival trades on its massive space). If that’s good enough for you, then perhaps the 5008 is one contender that is worth your serious consideration.
Peugeot 5008 1.2 Allure
|Engine||1,199cc, inline three, turbocharged|
|Power||129hp at 5500rpm|
|Torque||230Nm at 1750rpm|
|VES Banding||B / S$0|
|Price||S$151,888 with COE|
|Verdict:||Well-sorted Peugeot 5008 is practical and comfortable, and makes for a decent choice for families looking for a seven-seater|