It seems like a long time ago now, but the 5008 seven seater was Peugeot’s first step into a new generation of SUVs in 2017.
It was a bigger deal for the French maker than most, because up to that point Peugeot was all about people movers (and really rather good at them).
The design and configuration of the 5008 reflected that tentative change in focus. It was really a hybrid of SUV and MPV, with high ground clearance and crossover looks, but a strangely square roofline and genuinely clever sliding/folding/removable seat options.
The 5008 really does seem like a larger 3008 on first acquaintance. The new frontal styling is identical and it has a similarly comfort-oriented gait on the road (which we very much like). Same lineup of engines, too: a 1.6-litre Puretech 165 (121kW) turbo-petrol for the entry model and the choice of 1.6-litre PureTech 180 (133kW) or 2.0-litre BlueHDi 180 (130kW) turbo-diesel for the flagship GT.
Our test car was the GT 180, the combination of the high-output petrol and full GT trim being a relatively new thing for Peugeot (and mirrored in the 3008 range). All 5008 models are FWD.
There’s no 5008 equivalent to the 3008 Hybrid4 PHEV right now, by the way. So no plug and no AWD.
On road, the 5008 GT 180 delivers silky low-down power, driving through a smooth-shifting but occasionally indecisive eight-speed gearbox. The upgraded interior focuses on a larger 10-inch infotainment screen with simplified menus: nice to look at, if a little sluggish to respond to inputs.
With the i-Cockpit layout (steering wheel low, instruments high) it’s all very idiosyncratic and quite appealing. Again, familiar stuff from the 3008 that we’re visited in different guises this year.
To really appreciate the 5008 you have to start sliding and folding stuff. This really is a multi-purpose vehicle at heart and a cut above the SUV mainstream in terms of practicality and flexibility.
The second row is split into three equal-sized seats, which slide individually. Fold them forward and you get an impressively flat load-through – if the third row is also stowed, of course.
Speaking of which: the rearmost seats are occasional, like most three-row SUVs. But they can also be folded flat or removed completely, which liberates a small well in the boot floor for extra storage. You can also fold the front-passenger seat flat for extra-long loads. It would take you a long time to run out of passenger/cargo combinations with this car and it’s pretty easy to load too: the tailgate is powered and the aperture is low and wide.
Despite the emphasis on clever cargo-type stuff, the 5008 still feels pretty posh, thank to Peugeot’s avant garde cockpit design and an impressive level of fit and finish throughout.
Our test car also had the $5000 GT Premium Pack, which adds special 19-inch wheels, Nappa leather (black here, but you can also have red), Dark Lime Wood trim inserts, a Focal sound system and acoustic laminated front side windows.
It’s a lot of car for an all-up price of $65,990, although in many respects the 5008 is still living in the shadow of the smaller, more popular 3008.
PEUGEOT 5008 GT PETROL 180
ENGINE: 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four
GEARBOX: 8-speed automatic, FWD
0-100KM/H: 8.3 seconds