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King of the Pride

King of the Pride

Peugeot is back with a vengeance! The ‘Lion’ brand had a few years of doldrums in which they appeared to be mewing rather than roaring. However, they found their mojo and are back with it. The stunning Peugeot 508 sedan was launched recently and will come to our shores (salivate!). Peugeot have embraced turbo engines, a raft of technology and a rather cool interior design too! The 5008 second generation which we are testing today is the big brother of the 3008 and the biggest in their passenger car range (barring the proper vans). The 3008 was tested by Tharindra Kulasinghe in the March 2018 issue. So is the 5008 a 3008 with a stretch, or is it more than that? It’s officially classed as a medium-sized crossover, but marketed as an SUV. So is it an SUV, an MPV or a SUMPV (yes we came up with that)? Read on…

 

Exterior 

Right off the bat, our Pearl White 5008 tester in GT Line spec looks mean, purposeful with an ‘eyes’ design at the front. While the 3008 looked lithe and muscular, the 5008 looks longer and more MPV-like. However, I have to say it’s one of the best looking MPVs I have seen in a while. Particularly those ‘claw’ styled rear lights that are meant to represent a Lion’s paw swipe! I also like Peugeot’s grille treatment which is neither lines nor plain black.

The 5008 rolls on eighteen inch “Los Angeles” diamond-cut, two-tone alloys with 225-section rubber. Overall, I like how Peugeot have not made the design overly fussy with many intersecting creases and bulges, but have kept it simple. The GT line spec adds chrome window accents, black diamond roof and door mirror covers and aluminum roof rails on the outside.

 

Mech & Tech 

A carbon copy of the 3008, the 5008 is built on the same EMP2 platform and comes with the same Hill Descent Control and Grip Control system that allows you to select from Normal Mud, Snow and TC off. We are testing the 1.6 litre four-cylinder turbo model with 165bhp, driving the front wheels through a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters.

Steering is via an electric rack while disc brakes all round bring the behemoth to a stop, aided by ABS of course. Suspension is multi-link.

 

Driving Experience 

Once you are behind the wheel of the 5008, the sheer size of it melts away, helped by great visibility all round. You sit on a soft nappa leather seat. The engine fires up quietly and has impressive response. The mid range is more than enough and you don’t need to wring it out to the red line to make decent progress. Of course, even if you do wring it out it revs willingly.

The 5008 is a large vehicle and you can’t hustle it around a corner without some body roll, although much less than expected. It’s a predictable, safe handler that offers you and your passengers that pillow-like Peugeot ride. So enjoy the cruise rather than trying to bruise.

The brakes are very strong and inspire confidence when you reach a corner at speed. There is also no torque steer transmitted through the electric power steering – actually nothing comes through, no feedback either. This all cements the 5008’s cruiser attitude.

The gauge cluster is like an eye – a slit. It’s fully digital and you can customize it mildly. The rev counter sweeps anticlockwise which takes some getting used to (at idle, the position looks like that of 7000rpm in a regular car!), but your brain adjusts after a while. The paddles are fixed to the steering column so they don’t rotate with the wheel. It takes some getting used to, but take solace in knowing that another manufacturer who adopts this method is Lamborghini.

I must mention the fantastic driver massage seat – once again a ‘cruiser’ characteristic (comes on GT Line spec). I haven’t come across another vehicle in this price range that offered this and it pampered me to no end, to the extent that photographer Chamila noticed my glee while doing the photo shoot, and mentioned it. You can select from several styles, including my favourite, ‘cat’s paw’. This is all part of the ‘i-Cockpit’.

 

Living with the 5008 

What can I say here? The 5008 is like your living room! In this GT Line spec model, you get comfy nappa leather chairs, rear AC with blower control (front has dual-zone climate control) and a very pleasing ten-speaker Focal audio system with subwoofer to start with. Controlling major functions is done through the touchscreen or ‘i-cockpit’, with the function selected from a row of black and silver ‘piano keys’ – climate, cabin ambience, media, telephone and GPS. The system also has Bluetooth for integration with Apple Carplay / Android Auto, and Wi-Fi. A wireless phone charger is present too.

You can also set a cabin ambience through adjusting the intensity of cabin ambient lighting, driver massage settings, vehicle driving setting (Sport or Normal) and cabin fragrance. This uses canisters of fragrance (the agent stocks them I am told) and releases scents into the cabin periodically. The climate control also has an air quality system that removes particulates and odours.

Want some sun? No worries, open the sunshade on that full-length panoramic sunroof or go a step further and open the front half to the elements!

The third row is strictly for kiddos, an adult may be able to ride in the ‘lotus’ position for short periods of time. Second row space is much nicer. Headroom is slightly less due to the sloping roof, but leg and knee room is ample. You can slide the second row seats fore and aft too.

For cargo carrying, you can fold all seats (except the driver, of course) flat, and in doing so, gain a load area with a 3-metre length! Or you can vary the combination of seats and luggage space as required.

 

Safety 

The 5008 comes with six airbags, that includes full-length curtain bags. Other features include a tyre pressure monitor, stability control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, driver attention alert and distance alert all feature. Parking sensors are also there, as is a reverse camera which is a necessity in a tall and long vehicle like this. Adaptive cruise control is an option too, that uses engine as well as wheel braking and can bring the vehicle to a complete stop if necessary.

 

Fuel Economy and Price 

The range starts at Rs.9.99 million for the 1.2L Active line, and tops out with the Rs.15.8 million 1.6L GT Line model as tested here. This represents great value for one who is looking for a large family vehicle that can carry seven in a decent fashion, and has a European badge on it. Fuel economy, you could realistically expect around 9-10km/l in Colombo and 15-16km/l on the highway and rural roads.

 

Final Words 

The 5008 represents an interesting choice, as you have seven seaters (from Europe and Japan) on either side of its price bracket (if you take the top line 15.8 million 1.6L GT Line, which would be the spec of choice). These seven seaters are of varying sizes, purposes and equipment levels. The 5008 cuts a nice dash between them and offers a great lot of features. So head down to Carmart’s showroom and have a look. The owner of our test car is already smitten with it!

 

TECH SPECS

Engine

1.6L 4-cyl, turbocharged

165bhp @ 6,000rpm

240Nm @ 1,400rpm

 

Transmission

6-speed automatic

Paddle shift

Front wheel drive

 

Front

MacPherson Strut

Ventilated Disc Brakes

225/55 R18 tyres

 

Rear

Twist beam

Disc brakes

225/55 R18 tyres

 

Performance

0-100km/h in 9.2s

206km/h max speed

(manufacturer claims)

 

Misc

Length: 4,641mm

Width: 1,844mm

Height: 1,646mm

Kerb Weight: 1,365kg

Boot Space: 952L

Fuel Tank: 56L