MASSTRAN­SIT

Carry seven — or their fur­ni­ture — in the Peu­geot 5008, a peo­ple-mover with dis­tinc­tive de­sign and a fresh driv­e­train

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News - PAUL POT­TINGER CARS­GUIDE EDI­TOR paul.pot­tinger@cars­guide.com.au

DRIVEN some bloody de­cent cars this past six months. From $14K to $410K it’s been some­thing of a red-let­ter year to date.

Why then, when some­one makes the er­ror of ask­ing, do I find my­self bang­ing on about peo­ple-movers?

Per­haps it’s a reaction to the lem­ming-like charge to com­pact SUVs. If a small hatch is too small or at least in­suf­fi­ciently elas­tic for your fam­ily’s needs, why move to an el­e­vated ver­sion of the same, a ve­hi­cle that com­bines the disad­van­tages of small cars and off-road­ers with­out the ad­van­tages of ei­ther? Yet tens of thou­sands more of you will have been car­ried by the rush be­fore this year is out.

With the ca­pac­ity to seat seven— at least some of the time— and to mu­tate the in­nards to ac­com­mo­date any amount of cargo short of a com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle load, peo­ple-movers are the think­ing per­son’s fam­ily car. Peu­geot’s 5008 is its ver­sion of sib­ling brand Citroen’s Grand Pi­casso, a car with a de­voted ur­ban cult.

To the hardly over­crowded ranks of the so-called MPV, the 5008 brings Pug’s dis­tinct de­sign and a fresh driv­e­train.

VALUE

We’ve driven the en­trant 5008 Tour­ing Ac­tive petrol auto. Its $36,990 sticker makes you think twice about the size­able im­post for the diesel at $40,490.

Com­mon and stan­dard to both is a proper six-speed au­to­matic, full-length sun­roof, 7-inch re­tractable colour sat­nav screen, rear vi­sion mounted re­vers­ing cam­era with sen­sors, elec­tronic park brake with hill start as­sist, dual zone cli­mate con­trol air­con with al­limpor­tant rear vents, 17-inch al­loys, re­tractable blinds for the back two rows and— nice

touch this— a torch po­si­tioned in the boot’s side trim. Op­tions are metal­lic paint at $800, so­called ‘‘ pre­mium’’ metal­lic paint at a cheeky $1300 and leather/heated front seats at a splut­ter­ing $3000.

For $500 un­der the en­try 5008, Kia’s ex­cel­lent Rondo runs a ballsy diesel engine that’ll come into its own with a full load, but it lacks nav and some of the Pug’s touches. The diesel-only Pi­casso is a grand un­der the same-en­gined 5008.

TECH­NOL­OGY

The nov­elty of the en­try 5008 is in host­ing the seg­ment’s only turbo petrol engine, one found in small cars through­out the Peu­geot-Citroen world and over the bor­der in Mi­nis and BMW’s 1 and 3 Se­ries. Even in its mildest state of tune, the Euro V-com­pli­ant 1.6 is good for 115kW and a use­ful 240Nm.

With twin-clutch au­tos such as DSG sud­denly about as pop­u­lar as La­bor, this runs a re­as­sur­ingly con­ven­tional sixspeed torque con­verter auto. It might have been made for the zesty lit­tle four, with which it uses less than 8.0L/100km in com­bined con­di­tions while emit­ting 175g/km of CO . 2

DE­SIGN

Though the ex­te­rior lines are plainly drawn for max­i­mum in­te­rior fa­cil­ity (you get the high driv­ing po­si­tion of an SUV too), de­sign is what gets me bab­bling at un­sus­pect­ing in­ter­locu­tors.

Third-row seats are raised or re­tracted flush with the floor with one hand. The front pas­sen­ger seats fold into a ta­ble al­low­ing car­riage of stuff as long as 2.7m. Mid­dle-row pas­sen­gers ac­cess fold­out ta­bles, fine to set up an iPad.

There are myr­iad stor­age com­part­ments, in­clud­ing a chilled cen­tral con­sole. An op­tional video pack keeps kids in the back off your back. It can be as bright back there as nat­u­ral light al­lows or clois­tered as you want with cur­tains and roof drawn.

Back seats up, stor­age is still the equiv­a­lent of about one and half big sedan boots, al­most three with the par­cel shelf out. Flat­ten both rows and you have 2506L when stuff is packed to the roofline that’s ap­proach­ing a white van’s ca­pac­ity.

Not all plas­tics are pleas­ant to the touch. Those fring­ing the seem­ingly bot­tom­less cen­tre stor­age bin are sharpish. The dash’s dig­i­tal read­outs are a bit ’ 90s. As for Peu­geot’s per­sis­tence with that for­est of four wands (no com­mon au­dio or cruise but­tons on the steer­ing wheel, merci very much), it’s high time the Frogs got over them­selves.

Just be­cause it’s your idea doesn’t mean it’s not rub­bish.

SAFETY

Five stars sought and re­ceived from the Euro crash test­ing au­thor­ity, with high­est rat­ing in its seg­ment for child oc­cu­pant pro­tec­tion. There are airbags on ev­ery row, all belts are linked to warn­ing sys­tem, in case the rear­most ru­grat de­cides to do with­out theirs.

DRIV­ING

With only my­self and an­other equally burly bloke up front, the 5008 is al­most in­de­cent fun, more over­grown hatch­back than any­thing so an­o­dyne as an MPV— or com­pact SUV for that mat­ter.

That perky engine, able auto and quick­ish elec­tric steer­ing make al­most light work of the 1565kg kerb weight plus some 220kg of us.

With a fuller load though, it’s hard to imag­ine how that fuel fig­ure won’t be greatly ex­ceeded and to hear in your mind’s ear that re­fined and ca­pa­ble mo­tor whin­ing in protest. But, as we’ve said of com­peti­tors in­clud­ing the ex­cel­lent Rondo, peo­ple­movers at this price point are seven seaters only in ex­tremis for when you’ve been dra­gooned into pick­ing up the kid’s school friends or their team­mates.

In­deed, it’s a mis­take to think of this only as fam­ily car. Smart own­ers make full use of the in­te­rior flex­i­bil­ity for bikes and the sort of recre­ational equip­ment ap­par­ently nec­es­sary to what’s known as an ‘‘ ac­tive life­style’’.

They may want the ex­tra 100Nm plus the tow­ing ca­pa­bil­ity of the diesel but the leisurely ac­cel­er­a­tion of the petrol is surely go­ing to be enough for most.

VER­DICT

An­other ex­cel­lent rea­son not to buy a com­pact SUV.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.