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Car reviews - Peugeot - 5008 - Allure

Our Opinion

We like
Daring interior design, dynamic handling, compliant ride, silky smooth engine
Room for improvement
Sunroof-compromised second-row headroom, hesitant automatic transmission, some fit and finish issues

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Peugeot logo2 Apr 2018

By JUSTIN HILLIARD

Overview

PEUGEOT has had a pretty tough run in Australia recently. Dwindling sales, an ageing model line-up and a change of importer have made for an interesting period. However, the bounce back began in August last year when the 3008 mid-size SUV burst into showrooms as one of the year’s most surprising newcomers.

Fast forward six months and Peugeot have rolled out the 5008, a seven-seat version of the slightly smaller 3008. On paper, this bodes pretty well for the French brand, but the 5008 wouldn’t be the first three-row mid-size SUV to try and do too much.

Peugeot clearly doesn’t care about precedents though, as it has thrown caution into the wind and created an ambitious interior and exterior design for the 5008. So, is it good different or bad different? We test the 5008 in entry-level Allure form to find out.

Price and equipment

The 5008 Allure kicks off from $42,990 before on-road costs, with its premium price matching its premium ambitions. While it is on the pricier side, the Allure’s feature list is stacked when compared to its seven-seat mid-size SUV rivals. To Peugeot’s credit, they have pumped up the 5008 with loads of value – something that most growing families will appreciate.

Standard equipment includes rear privacy glass, power heated side mirrors, roof racks, 18-inch Detroit alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Primacy 3 225/55 tyres, dusk-sensing halogen headlights, LED daytime running lights, halogen foglights, LED tail-lights, rain-sensing windshield wipers and a space-saver spare wheel.

Inside, dual-zone climate control, an electric park brake with hill start assist, blue LED ambient lighting, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, keyless entry and start, a full-grain leather steering wheel with contrast stitching, Mistral Piedimonte leather and cloth upholstery, second-row window blinds, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, satellite navigation, a six-speaker sound system, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and three 12V sockets feature.

Our test car was fitted with the optional panoramic sunroof with power blind and side lighting ($2000), hands-free power tailgate ($500) and Artense Grey metallic paint ($690).

Interior

Peugeot deserves a pat on the back for its efforts with the 5008 Allure. It has shown no fear in delivering a crucial new model which could easily divide opinion among new-vehicle buyers.

Why all the controversy? Well, the 5008 employs the latest version of Peugeot’s innovative i-Cockpit interior layout. This means you get a squared-off, compact steering wheel that is mounted low and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster which sits above. Even if test driving cars is your forte, this set-up takes some getting used to, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.

Truth to be told, it is so far removed from the traditional cockpit that it is a welcome breath of fresh air. Concept to production, Peugeot made it a reality and should be commended for its boldness and creativity.

Things only get better, of course, as the driver-focused centre stack and its minimal buttons again highlights how classy the 5008 Allure’s interior is. Big, bold graphics and an intuitive user interface mean the infotainment system is a winner – save for the frustratingly hard-to-find trip computer.

Lashings of high-quality leather combine with grey/black cloth to great effect.

Rather than boring hard plastic surfaces, the 5008 dares to be different by making the most of its alternative materials. Throwing in a bevy of soft-touch materials does no harm either.

Nevertheless, the Allure does have its shortcomings. The optional panoramic sunroof eats into second-row headroom, meaning six-foot adults may struggle to sit comfortably. Meanwhile, the third-row pews are comically small, making them best suited for children, or smaller adults going on short journeys.

Additionally, there are some fit and finish issues. These are most apparent around the centre stack and console where some trim pieces don’t line up properly or sit flush. This may just be true of our test car, but it is disappointing nonetheless.

However, the 5008’s most frustrating element is that once its parcel shelf is removed (to use the third row), there is no obvious place to stow it. It is too wide to sit behind the third row, so we determined that it best lay down next to the feet of second-row occupants, compromising their wriggle room.

That being said, three Isofix child seat attachment points in the second row are a welcome sight. Same goes for the small tray tables that are attached to the back of the first-row seats, offering second-row occupants somewhere to place a book, handheld device or meal while on the move.

Measuring in at 4641mm long, 1844mm wide and 1646mm tall with a 2840mm wheelbase, the 5008 is on the larger side for a mid-size SUV, meaning cargo capacity is a strong point. Up to 952L is available when the second row is upright, or 2042L when it is stowed, with the latter aided by the two third-row seats that can be stored under the boot floor or removed altogether – bravo, we say.

Engine and transmission

The 5008 Allure is motivated by a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 121kW of power at 6000rpm and 240Nm of torque at 1400rpm.

It is one smooth unit, offering plenty of torque from down low, making it more than enough for the average seven-seat mid-size SUV buyer.

According to Peugeot, the Allure will sprint from standstill to 100km/h in 10.5 seconds while on the way to a top speed of 201km/h. In reality, these claims appear to be on the money as the 5008 is no speed demon.

Granted most owners won’t be driving it like a performance car, but we found that a little more power would be appreciated in certain situations, such as overtaking.

A lot of this depends on its six-speed automatic transmission that features a torque convertor, sport mode and paddle shifters, and exclusively sends drive to the front wheels. We found that the automatic can be hesitant in some scenarios – namely when powering out of corners in third gear.

Unfortunately, its reluctance to kick down often impedes performance, but sport mode can improve matters as gears are held onto for longer, edging the Allure closer to its modest peak power.

The transmission itself is one smooth shifter and smart enough to hold onto gears (without sport mode) when the accelerator is consistently buried, but it just doesn’t react so well to spontaneous inputs.

It should also be noted that the paddle shifters are actually buttons, meaning they lack pronounced travel, which has long served as an indicator of whether a gear change has been accepted or not.

While claimed fuel consumption on the combined cycle test is 7.0 litres per 100 kilometres, we averaged 10.7L/100km during our week with the Allure. However, our 400km stint was largely skewed towards city-based driving, meaning it was actually not far off Peugeot’s claim on the city cycle (9.8L/100km).

Ride and handling

Like most new models, the 5008 Allure features electrically assisted power steering, and its version is good, really good. It is direct and communicative – two things you want in the post-hydraulic era.

Admittedly, the oddly shaped steering wheel (it’s basically a square) can impact manoeuvres from time to time, but as the driver and the Allure become one, this issue is likely to subside.

We didn’t expect the 5008 to be so dynamically capable, which makes it even more of a delight. Throw it into a corner and body roll is at a minimum as it remains flat and planted. Naturally, it isn’t sportscar-like, but it is an impressive effort for an SUV nonetheless.

A lot of this has to do with the Allure’s independent front suspension that consists of MacPherson struts with coil springs, and its semi-independent rear set-up that is comprised of a twist beam, while both axles feature shock absorbers.

The ride is on the firmer side, but it is by no means uncomfortable. In fact, the 5008 is able to soak up potholes, speed humps, and unsealed and uneven roads with aplomb. It is so beautifully adept that even enthusiasts will be pleased. Who would’ve thought?

Safety and servicing

Neither the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) or its European counterpart, Euro NCAP, have crash tested the 5008 Allure, but the mechanically related 3008 mid-size SUV achieved a five-star safety rating in August last year.

Advanced driver-assist safety technologies in the Allure extend to adaptive cruise control with stop functionality, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, driver attention alert, speed limit recognition, front and rear parking sensors, park assist and a 360-degree camera.

Our test car came fitted with the optional safety pack ($650), which also bundles in active blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning, advanced driver attention alert and high beam assist.

Passive safety features in the 5008 include the usual traction and stability control systems, anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake force distribution and emergency braking assistance, and six airbags (dual front, side and curtain).

As with all Peugeot models, the Allure comes with a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, which includes five years of roadside assist. Additionally, three years of paintwork and 12 months of corrosion coverage are provided. Service intervals are 12 months or 20,000km, whichever comes first, while capped-price servicing plans are also on offer.

Verdict

If you told us that one of our favourite new models launched this year would be a Peugeot, we would’ve channelled Michael Caton as Darryl Kerrigan in The Castle and said: “Tell ‘em they’re dreamin’!” … but here we are, the 5008 Allure is such a good thing.

Perhaps one of the 5008’s best qualities is its drive to be different – something it does so well. Yes, French styling is once again on show, but the Allure also stands out in so many other meaningful ways.

We won’t mince our words here, the 5008’s interior design is one of the best we’ve experienced, making it more desirable than its seven-seat mid-size SUV competitors. You’ll have to pinch yourself to remember that this the Allure is only the base model!Add to this its dynamic handling, compliant ride and smooth engine, and you have a comprehensive package that should not be ignored. However, the hesitant automatic transmission, and minor fit and finish issues can detract.

Naturally, Peugeot has to contend with questions about reliability and quality, but its new five-year warranty goes some way in boosting consumer confidence.

Nevertheless, we think family buyers will feel pretty good when they slide behind the wheel of the 5008 Allure – we know we did.

Rivals

Nissan X-Trail ST-L FWD seven-seat (from $38,700 before on-road costs)
The X-Trail has a well-executed interior, with its package aided by its competent ride and handling. However, its thrashy CVT and ordinary infotainment system are sure to detract.

Honda CR-V VTi-L FWD seven-seat (from $38,990 before on-road costs)
Cabin comfort and quietness are strong points for the CR-V, as is its peppy engine. Nevertheless, second-row headroom and storage space behind the third row are compromised.

Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed AWD petrol (from $41,000 before on-road costs)
Spacious, comfortable and providing good value for money, the Outlander is a contender, but its lack of power and quality concerns are apparent.

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