The force of Storm Doris may have caught many off guard; but while she was tearing up trees at home, I was in Lisbon getting a preview of something which is sure to have a huge impact of its own when it finally makes land fall in Ireland this July. The all-new Peugeot 5008 makes its departure from its former traditional MPV body shape in favour of a new 7-seater SUV form. This new look 5008 is well poised to piggy back on the fantastic response which its 5 seat sibling the 3008 has received. Since the 3008 was launched in October, over 80,000 orders have been placed in Europe alone. Now the 5008 will go head to head with the new Skoda Kodiaq for the 7 seater crown.
These larger C-SUV segment models are matching all the functionality which the traditional MPV models offered, but presenting it in a far more pleasing package. SUV’s have been a revelation to the motor industry and their success to date has been remarkable. In fact, one in four cars now sold in Europe is an SUV and worldwide sale of SUV’s topped 26 million last year. So it’s easy to see why the French manufacturer has redesigned their 5008 model. This new 5008 is actually the third new Sports Utility Vehicle to be launched by the lion-brand in the last 12 months. And all going to plan, it too should follow the success of the new 2008 (which was crowned “Irish Small SUV of the Year” for 2017) and the new 3008 which is set to be launched in Ireland next week but has already claimed a number of awards in other markets.
Now “SUV” may well be the term of the moment but regardless of what 3 letter abbreviated category the 5008 falls into, what really matters is – how well does it work as a 7 seater? First impressions are that it actually fits the brief very well indeed. It’s based on the same EMP2 platform as the 3008 but benefits from an additional 190mm in its overall length. It still falls into the C-SUV segment as the 3008 but the 5008’s clever 7 seater layout gives it its own unique identity. Often 7 seater models can be large cumbersome looking machines but the roofline and long wheelbase of the 5008 disguises it’s interior volume beautifully. It sits at the same height as the outgoing 5008 but receives an increase of 11 centimetres in width; resulting in more interior space for front and rear seat passengers alike.
The 2nd or middle row has three seats, each capable of moving, folding and tilting independently of each other. Legroom for this row is plentiful and all three seats have ISOFIX anchorages – which should prove very popular! The third row consists of two separate folding seats, which if desired can both be easily removed to increase luggage capacity even further. As you can imagine legroom in the third row is a little limited so these seats are probably best suited for younger passengers. The 5008 boasts a class leading boot capacity of 1,060 litres. Adding further to its practical applications is the folding front passenger seat allowing you to carry everything from planks of timber to surfboards right up to 3.2m in length.
The 5008 has the same iCockpit layout as is found in the 3008. It’s all very angular but is undoubtedly stylish and well finished, in fact you could easily compare it to the kind of cabin more often associated with the big premium marques of BMW or Audi. Peugeots now signature small, hexagonal steering wheel does at first feel a little undersized for a car of the 5008’s stature but it really does allow for a clear line of sight to all the instrumentation. The 12.3” flatscreen, digital binnacle is a real standout feature and displays all the required information including the navigation. On the centre console is another flatscreen display for the infotainment system, beneath which are a set of very stylish ‘piano key’ toggle switches for controlling the air conditioning among other things. The driving position is spacious, airy and very comfortable.
The 5008 will be offered with a choice of either the class leading BlueHDi diesel or the ‘International Engine of the Year’ winning PureTech petrol engines across five trim levels – Access, Active, Allure, GT Line and GT. I drove both the 150bhp 2.0L BlueHDi and the 1.2L PureTech petrol at the launch and both proved incredibly refined. The torquier diesel was slightly better suited to the mountainous roads of the Parque Natural da Serra da Arrabida but the small turbocharged PureTech engine never at any point felt under powered. Road and wind noise very minimal. Throughout the 200 or so kilometres of the test route the 5008 delivered a smooth and comfortable drive.
Understandably enough Peugeot have high expectations for this new model. Colin Sheridan, Sales and Marketing Director at Gowan Distributors Limited, Peugeot Importers in Ireland said, “The new Peugeot 5008 SUV aims to build on the strong commercial success of the existing Peugeot 5008 MPV, the second best-selling compact 7-seater MPV in Ireland in 2016 and a former Irish Family Car of the Year winner. Three clear objectives have been set: to pursue the brand’s move up-market, to be an international success and to become the benchmark in the seven-seater C SUV Segment, a segment that is showing real demand and a lot of potential. Together with the arrival of the critically acclaimed new 3008, the 5008 SUV is sure to bring new customers to the Peugeot brand in Ireland. ”
Prices and specifications for the new 5008 SUV for the Irish market will be announced closer to launch but we should see the 5008 coming in at around the €29,000 mark. If that is the case, then it’ll undoubtedly prove to be a another hugely successful SUV venture for the French manufacturer.