Text: Brent Co / Photos: Kelvin Christian Go | posted February 09, 2016 15:03
If exterior styling was all that mattered
The MPV segment is one of the more popular segments in the country with the Filipino (and generally Asian) tradition of larger than average families traveling together in one vehicle.
The Peugeot 5008 is one such product that attempts to introduce some French flavor into the mix. Having been part of Peugeot's inital offerings when it returned to the Philippines in 2012, we were naturally curious on how this will perform in the local 7 seat MPV market.
The Peugeot 5008 is arguably the most stylish of the MPV choices in the local market. It is in my opinion a proper take on an MPV; not too flashy, neither does it look boring. It has the right elements to make it a modern MPV with a nice set of wheels to finish off with that French flair.
Once you open the door and set yourself on the driver’s seat, you will be welcomed by a sea of grey with thin aluminum trimming to brighten up the cabin. The only "exciting" part was the heads-up display and the centrally mounted LCD infotainment display. It could use a little more flair and excitement, being a French car. Air-conditioning was disappointingly inadequate for Philippine weather despite being set a full "Lo" temp. Audio quality was above average for the entertainment system. With large glass panels and windows along with the panoramic roof, the 5008 is perfect for the claustrophobic as it gives you a spacious feel while inside.
Under the hood is a 2.0-liter inline-4 common-rail turbodiesel rated at 163 PS, topping at 3,750 rpm with a respectable 340 newton-meters of torque at a very low 2,000 rpm. It is mated to a six-speed automatic with manual mode. In the city, the engine is peppy and very much able, while the transmission fits it very well, while shifting very smoothly. Out on the open road, the power mill reveals quite a punch and you can go through all six gears as the engine propels you faster for as long as you step on the accelerator. In terms of economy, it is as frugal as other Peugeot diesels we’ve tested; 9.0 kms/liter in the city with a full load without really trying to be efficient, about 10.8 kms/liter with no passengers, and 15 kms/liter on the open road.
Suspension is composed of a MacPherson Type with Drop Link Roll Bar for the front and a Multi-Arm Connected by a Crossmember and Anti-Roll Bar at the back. This combination gives this 4530 mm long people mover a firm and confident feel at spirited paces. It responds well to bends, but don’t expect it to turn like a GTI or an RCZ; this after all is an MPV and much larger vehicle than those mentioned. However, when destined to urban use, the rigid suspension coupled with the uniquely high tire pressure requirement results in a rather uncomfortable ride; even with a full passenger load.
Peugeot is perhaps one of the more unique brands in the market as it is difficult to pronounce. Believe me, we’ve probably heard all "versions" of how people call the brand in the country. But the 5008, while not lacking in its merits of performance, space and versatility, loses out on what matters most — ride comfort. And this for me has indeed sentenced it to the purgatory of cars. If they can re-spec the suspension, I might actually give it a second try. The pricetag is what completely takes away the cake. At 2,190,000, there are more affordable and better riding alternatives for a lot less, namely the Kia Carens and the equally European Volkswagen Touran.