ROAD TEST: Peugeot 5008 Allure an eccentric fashionista
LOOK around popular vehicles nowadays and it's shades of beige.
While each brand does its own thing, essentially it's the same format and choices are dictated by feature differences, brand strength and the sharpness of dealership pencils. Even colour palettes are becoming more bland as families opt for plausible over passion.
From the outside you'd think the Peugeot 5008 is more of the same.
The five-door sports utility vehicle fits the modern criteria popular with so many - high riding driving position, flashy alloy wheels and refined lines. Yet this SUV sets itself apart with individuality.
French quirks used to mean compromise. But Peugeot has evolved for the better, and is setting itself apart with uniqueness and stand-out cabin style.
The base model Allure starts from $44,490, which is a hefty foundation point when compared to key rivals. For your investment Peugeot does throw a lot of kit in standard, and our experience revealed you'd easily live with the base model choice that still feels like a premium product.
From the moment you step inside it is distinctly special.
The driver looks over the steering wheel, rather than through it, with the 12.3-inch instrument panel designed to be more like a "head-up” display - most other vehicles project transparent information like speed and satnav directions onto the windscreen.
Peugeot's design works once you become accustomed to the position, with the small steering wheel feeling chunky and sporty in your hands. Other complimentary gear includes 18-inch alloys, eight-inch touchscreen with smartphone mirroring apps Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless phone charging, dual zone aircon along with rear air vents, embedded window blinds in the second row, tray tables behind the two front seats, power tailgate and satnav.
Capped price servicing is among the more expensive at $3026 for five years with intervals annual or 20,000km, but warranty coverage meets the new mainstream standard of five years.
Australia's safety analysis organisation gave the 5008 five stars with features like lane departure warning and active lane keep assist which automatically steers the SUV within white lines in highway conditions, radar cruise control along with autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot detection, parking sensors front and rear, as well as 360-degree camera view and auto parking for 90-degree and parallel positions.
Honest performance is derived from the turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine.
Certainly no rocketship, the 5008 sounds leisurely on paper with a 0-100km/h sprint in 10.5 seconds. In reality the 5008 feels quicker, maybe just due to the athletic feel of the compact steering wheel.
Carpark dexterity is among its advantages, despite the 4641mm length it's simple to park in comparison to larger seven-seat SUVs.
Daily tasks are handled well and despite a lack of straight-line urgency the Pug gets along nicely with little fanfare or complaint.
Fuel consumption was more than eight litres for every 100km, about one litre above than the official figure from Peugeot. Plus, you'll be filling it with premium unleaded.
Where the SUV impresses is common sense. Cup-holders are rarely something to get excited about, but for once they are useful in a French car. Parisians love their piccolo espressos, but they have seen sense and put in holders that can handle a decent-sized coffee cup.
Shortcut buttons on the dash make it easy to locate functions hidden within the touchscreen, the gear shifter has a joystick appeal and the boot space is a massive 952 litres.
Use of the third row seats is best left to kids because of limited leg room but the seats tuck neatly into the floor when not in use. They can also be removed for additional load space.
Having the lion badge gives me some extra kudos at school drop-off, a rung above mainstream.
There are less expensive seven-seaters around but the Peugeot design and interior smarts offer distinction.
MAZDA CX-9 SPORT FROM $46,990
One of the seven-seat segment's most popular buys, it's larger than the Peugeot and available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (from $50,990). Has impressive tech and features as standard, and it's powered by a turbocharged 170kW/420Nm 1.5-litre 4-cyl engine.
SKODA KODIAQ from $42,990
The 2017 News Corp Car of the Year shares similar underpinnings but is larger than the Volkswagen AllSpace, with more luggage space and legroom in the third row. Its 132kW turbo four is matched to a seven-speed auto. Comes with all-wheel drive, Alcantara leather, satnav and full safety gear.
A stretched version of the five-seat 3008 SUV, the 5008 is refreshingly different from the SUV pack. Packing plenty of family smarts and a strong list of standard features, it's posh without the premium price tag.
AT A GLANCE
PEUGEOT 5008 ALLURE
PRICE From $42,990 (expensive but good kit)
WARRANTY/SERVICING 5 years/unlimited km, $1737 for 3 years (good w'ty, OK servicing)
ENGINE 1.6-litre 4-cyl turbo, 121kW/ 240Nm, 6sp auto (fairly sedate)
SAFETY 5 stars, 8 airbags, auto emergency braking, active cruise control, lane departure warning, driver attention alert (good)
THIRST 7.3L/100km (OK, but needs premium)
SPARE Space-saver (not ideal, but expected)
CARGO 952L, 2150L with rear seats out (massive)