"Refined, safe, innovative cars that are engaging to drive," this is what we were promised when given the keys to the latest Peugeot 5008.
Indeed, there's a lot to take in, not the least of it being a modern cabin bathed in plenty of sunlight. Also, I-Cockpit - a sensory experience, tactile too complete with 'piano key' toggle switches like a love letter to analogue times. Peugeot isn't afraid to dip into the past which, incidentally, is also where you'll find the most exciting concept cars ever conceived, a discipline they've long led the pack in.
You can have your new 5008 with either 121kW and 240Nm if you opt for the 1.6 petrol, or with 110kW and 370Nm in the 2.0 diesel. Both come in entry level Allure and flagship GT Line trim levels and all can be had for under R600,000.
This seven-seater crossover is based on the long wheelbase EMP2 platform, making it 100kg lighter. It's all quite clever - in fact Peugeot were able to file over 116 new patents during its construction. This level of cleverness will even affect fuel consumption as much as 22% because the 500 is so light.
Light. Lights! Unique daytime running lights, claws for tail lamps and animated indicator lights atop LED headlamp clusters make up the 5008's jewellery. In the cabin, customizable 12-inch digital clusters dazzle the driver whilst an 8-inch touchscreen dominates the dashboard. The middle row features three individual seats for great flexibility with loading items, people and pets, you name it. Speaking of which, it also features a hands-free motorised tailgate.
Peugeot i-Cockpit - you'll either love it or hate it. We love it!
'Amplify?' It's a button on the dash designed to titillate four of your senses, touch (thanks to massaging seats), sound (that banging audio system), smell (many fragrances, many intensities), and sight with admittedly impressive screen colours and so on. Then there's the reams of technology such as Mirror Link, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Safety? Try Blind Spot Monitoring, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping technology, Visio Park 180 park assist and finally driver attention alerts.
I sampled the 5008 GT Line 1.6 THP along 300km of asphalt and gravel and can report that it is energetic, competent and just plain fun. I've always maintained that manufacturers really need to get the cabin right, as it's the aspect of a car that we spend the most time experiencing. It feels special in here, and I'm including that denim-like fabric that Peugeot have covered bits of the interior with.
It's a feel-good car that deserves to find its way on many South African driveways. Are you ready to own a Peugeot or does that French stigma still put you off despite the new 5-year (100,000km) warranty and service plan?
Peugeot 5008 Pricing:
|Peugeot 5008 Allure 1.6 THP||R534,900.00|
|Peugeot 5008 Allure 2.0 TDI||R554,900.00|
|Peugeot 5008 GT Line 1.6 THP||R579,900.00|
|Peugeot 5008 GT Line 2.0 TDI||R599,900.00|