Saturday 23 September 2017

Peugeot speeds up the crossover revolution with new 7-seater 5008 SUV and it's due for 172-reg

First Drive in Lisbon: Peugeot 5008 SUV

Peugeot 5008 SUV
Peugeot 5008 SUV
Real delight: the wonderful iCockpit in the cabin
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

I know from the level of enquiries we get in Motors each week that there is growing demand for seven-seater motors.

People want the extra two seats for occasional use in most cases.

And for the most part we have been directing them towards people carriers (MPVs).

Of late we're finding ourselves doing so towards what we call large, but compact, SUVs as well. There is the Nissan X-Trail, the imminent Skoda Kodiaq and the recently unveiled Peugeot 5008 SUV.

Real delight: the wonderful iCockpit in the cabin
Real delight: the wonderful iCockpit in the cabin

The 5008 is very much the modern Crossover/SUV - it has the looks, dynamics, set-up etc. As you know the current 5008 is a 7-seater people carrier. So there has been something o f a revolution. Why? Because you, the buyer, are unrelenting in your demand for more and more crossovers rather than people carriers.

This latest Peugeot SUV is due in Ireland for 172-reg. I expect it to come in around the €29,000 mark though with people opting for higher and higher spec levels the models bought in volume will cost more.

Going on European price comparisons with the 3008 SUV (which starts in Ireland for a shade under €26,000) and factoring in our VRT, I think you can expect the larger 5008 to kick off around €28,500/€29,000. That pitches it lower than the 7-seat Kodiak (€29,795) for example. They're even talking in terms of competing for buyers with the likes of the higher-priced Land Rover Discovery and Hyundai Santa Fé.

In testing the 5008 most of my attention was focussed on the interior and equipment because those are the crucial areas for families.

Most particularly we flipped, flicked and flattened seats at a rate of knots; it was ridiculously easy. And you can have just one seat occupied (the front passenger folds too) or all seven.

They have changed everything: a new body on a new platform. A whole new approach. There's an energy about this SUV thrust from the French automaker. The 5008's arrival means Peugeot have, in a year, transformed the 2008, 3008 (just arrived) and 5008 into a line-up of SUVs. The timing is undoubtedly linked to extraordinary demand for the genre: 26m SUVs were sold globally last year; 4m in Europe where 1-in-4 vehicles purchased was an SUV.

Some dimensions of the 5008 for you: It is 6.64m long (up 11cm). It's the same height as the 3008 (1.64m - roof bars standard) but 19cm longer. The wheelbase is 16.5cm up on the smaller stablemate too - hence the extra third-row room at the back. They claim it has the best roominess-for-size in the segment.

I'm not mad about the overall look - the 3008 SUV has us spoiled - but form follows function in this and that is the most important thing for people.

Other practicalities: the tailgate is wide and the loading sill is low; we found it easy to get the third row into sit up or fold flat mode.

Controls on the top of the second-row side-seat backs make light of getting to the third-row. The second-row tilts and slide forward. And you can take the third tier out altogether (leaving you a 1,060 litres luggage area). Every seat folded adds 40litres of luggage space.

But the real delight in the cabin was the wonderful iCockpit: the small steering wheel (flat top/bottom) lets you see the 12.3in digital head-up instrument panel (great graphics) and in the centre of the dash is the 8ins touchscreen. Seven switches give quick access to its main functions and there are remote controls on the steering wheel. It's as near idiot proof as dammit. I mean I can use it.

Even though it is the same width as before (1.84m) there is better elbow room (11mm in the front), knee room in the middle row (+6cms) and head room in the third row (+21mm).

Importantly, as with the old 5008 MPV (and often overlooked), there are three ISOFIX points on the second row of three individual seats (all same size by the way). That's what people ask about so much.

Bodyweight is down by as much as 95kg, which makes the engines'performance all the more notable as they don't have to push as hard.

We drove the lively 1.2-litre turbo 3cyl 130bhp automatic - plenty of power and torque - and the 150bhp version of the 2-litre diesel (also 180bhp). The 1.2 petrol and 1.6-litre 120bhp diesel will be the ones in demand in Ireland.

By the way, on top-of-range versions you can have Advanced Grip Control and new Hill Assist Descent control that certainly provides real grip-and-go at a fraction of 4x4 cost or mechanical weight.

There are several sockets, boot cover, blinds, aeroplane trays on the back of the first row seats, hooks, cup holders and 38 litres of storage spaces in the cabin; but we would have loved another USB.

One thing that's big across the 5008 is the level of spec (see accompanying panel) - there is a lot of demand not just for higher trim but for extras on top of that.

But for me the big attraction is a 7-seater package that will, realistically, cost you around the €30,000/€32,000 mark. No wonder it has already gone on our list of cars-to-look-at for future reader queries.

SPEC CHECK

Access (standard spec) has speed limit recognition, cruise control with speed limiter and recommendation, i-Cockpit (12.3in digital instrument panel, 8in touchscreen, multifunction steering wheel), 17in steel wheels, electric windows, three mid-row Isofix child seat fittings, electric/heated door mirrors, semi-automatic air-con etc.

Active adds Euro NCAP Pack 2 (Advanced Emergency Braking System with video camera, radar and Front Collision Warning), rear parking sensors, 17in alloys, roof rails, electric parking brake with Hill Assist, automatic headlamps and wipers, rear parking aid, camera, LED daytime running lights, automatic and bi-zone air con, Mirrorscreen connectivity and Wifi.

Allure: adds Safety Plus Pack to include Active Blind Spot Detection (ABSD), Active Lane Keeping Assistance (LKA), and Advanced Driver Attention Alert (DAA3), smartbeam assist, front parking aid, 18ins alloys, driver seat lumbar adjustment, sensors etc.

GT-Line adds: LED fog lamps with cornering function, keyless go, reverse and front camera with park assist, smart charging plate and 220v socket, twin exhausts, 18in alloys, full LED headlights, panoramic opening roof.

GT trim gets Advanced Grip Control with Hill Assist Descent Control, real grey oak insert on dash, voice recognition, full-grain leather driver seat multi-point massage function.

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