Extra seats, more edge in 5008
Adding third-row seating brings unexpected benefits for Peugeot SUV, writes
The latest Peugeot 3008 is one of our favourite SUVs. In fact, we chose it as our Top Medium SUV of 2017. So if you take the 3008, make it a bit less SUV-ish and a bit more MPV-ish, does that make it much less desirable or quite a bit cooler? Against all odds, it’s the latter. A stretched 3008 is very much what the 5008 is. It has the same platform and powertrain choices, frontal styling, dashboard layout and specification choices.
But it has 165mm extra in the wheelbase, it’s 190mm longer overall and has third-row seating with some very clever packaging inspired by the 5008’s former life as a boxy people-mover. Which was never sold new in New Zealand. Because it was a people mover.
Let’s discuss the known-quantity stuff first. As with the 3008, the flagship model (featured here) is the GT with a 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine. But you can also have an Allure 1.6-litre turbo-petrol, which we preferred in 3008-world. It’s $10k cheaper, although we’d advise adding the $1750 Safety Pack that brings adaptive cruise control, front collision warning, advanced emergency braking up to 140kmh, parking assistance and 360-degree camera (it’s standard on the GT).
Both 5008 models are FWD, although you get an adjustable traction system on the Allure called Grip Control. You can add it to the GT, but you have to downsize from 19-inch to 18in wheels.
The GT engine is strong on torque and the chassis capable in corners, although we’d prefer even more of a focus on comfort than the 5008 already has. It already rewards smooth driving more than a point-and-squirt technique, which is exactly what you’d expect/prefer from a family focused vehicle.
But the steering can a feel a little nervous (partly due to the tiny wheel that’s part of Peugeot’s iCockpit interior design) and the ride can be abrupt on urban surfaces - even with the longer wheelbase of the 5008 compared with its 3008 sibling.
But it’s still a nice way to travel, especially if you’re the driver enjoying some of the ‘‘iCockpit Amplify’’ features standard in the GT, such as the five-mode seatmassage function.
But I digress. If you’ve purchased the 5008 then it’ll be for the space and practicality, right? Otherwise you’d have gone for the smaller, less-expensive 3008.
It’s pure 3008 up front. But from the second row backwards, things get interesting.
The middle row has three chairs which slide and fold individually. The backrests also recline, they have fold-down tray tables and there are blinds on the side windows. Under-floor storage areas as well. This is all classic MPV stuff.
You can’t actually remove the second-row seats like you can in many proper MPVs, but when you fold them the squabs ‘‘kneel’’ out of the way to ensure a low, flat load surface. When you do so, there are flaps on the seatbacks that you can deploy to cover the gap between cargo area and the second row, so you don’t loose small items down the crack.
The two third-row chairs are occasional only, with modest leg and foot-space. Some second-row sliding is required. But that’s very much the way of things in this type of vehicle and third row is still protected by a window-curtain airbag.
If you do have the third row in use, there’s a neat little mount for