The Lion's Share
Seven-seat vehicles appear to be all the rage today. Whether it's an MPV, crossover, or SUV, having an extra row of seats at the back is becoming more popular than ever. While they may not see everyday use, the third row provides some peace of mind if you need to ferry more passengers or need additional space when they're folded.
But in the sea of 7-seaters in the Philippine market, how do you stand out from the rest of the competition? If you're Peugeot, that's easy. With its signature French flair, the brand wearing the lion badge appears to always stand out thanks to its unmistakable design, inside and out.
We got to test drive the 2008 and the 3008 crossovers. Now it's time to check out what 5008 has to offer. Serving as the second biggest vehicle in Peugeot's lineup just below the Traveller, the 5008 recently received an update inside and out. But do these changes actually translate to a vehicle worth shortlisting for those who are looking for a 7-seater crossover? And is there actually enough space at the back for luggage and/or passengers?
First and foremost, let's take a good look at the 5008's stylish exterior. Despite being a facelift, Peugeot was quite busy giving the three-row vehicle a flashier appearance. Unlike before, the 5008 now has a more feline-like appearance which highlights its more aggressive look. Perhaps the most noticeable changes are the new fang-shaped LED daytime running lights and the frameless front grille. Paired with the redesigned LED headlights, larger side air intakes, and a revised front lip, the 5008 is both stylish and menacing.
Changes around the back are subtle. However, keen eyes will notice the LED taillights are now thinner and feature updated claw lighting signatures. It even gets sequential LED turn signals that provide some extra eye candy whenever you use them. And if you're carrying bags of groceries, the 5008 has a hands-free tailgate that can be automatically opened with a simple foot movement below the rear bumper.
If you thought the exterior looks good, wait until you see the interior. Those who like the cabin of the 3008 will be happy to know the 5008 carries a similar look. From the sporty steering wheel, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, the 10-inch touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, the toggle switches on the center dashboard, and the uniquely-designed gear selector, Peugeot knows a thing or two about making a stylish cabin that looks like you're in the cockpit of an aircraft.
The seats are comfortable and are upholstered in leather which adds to the vehicle's high-quality look. Unfortunately, the massage function for both front seats has been removed although it's a feature one can live without. In case you have no signal on your mobile phone while using Waze or Google Maps, the 5008 has built-in navigation which is always a plus in my opinion.
While it may look like I'm all praises for the 5008's interior, I do have some gripes with it, particularly with its onboard controls. The touchscreen may be nice, but in order to make changes to the various vehicle settings, you have to go through several layers of the menu just to turn something on or off. This includes automatic climate control, parking sensors, security alarms, as well as other amenities. Perhaps Peugeot should have put some physical buttons for some of the in-car functions.
Another improvement Peugeot could have done on the 5008 is the sound system. The system does deliver a relatively crisp sound, but for a vehicle that costs over PHP 2.430 million, I was quite disappointed by its overall quality. Yes, it has an equalizer so you can customize how you want your music to sound but I still feel that Peugeot could have used a better sound system.
Last but not least are the third-row seats. While it's nice to have additional seats in a vehicle, the ones on the 5008 are best left for kids or shorter adults. Yes, you can slide the second-row seats to make more room but only just. I'm also disappointed that those seated at the very back do not get their own aircon vents. On a hot summer's day, those sitting in the third row way might have to think of ways to cool themselves. At least they have a 12V power socket to recharge their mobile devices.
If there's one thing that I really like about the 5008, it's the powertrain. While some of you might say it only has 1.6 liters of displacement, do remember that it's turbocharged. It makes 165 PS at 6000 rpm which is more than enough to propel this 7-seater. But what really impressed us is how it delivered its torque. As early as 1400 rpm, peak torque of 240 Nm is immediately sent to the wheels which allows the 5008 to get off the line as quickly as possible.
With just me behind the wheel, the 5008 was able to move with ease and maintain its momentum at any speed. Paired with a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission, the crossover shifted through each cog seamlessly. And if you prefer a bit more oomph from the turbocharged 1.6, you can set it to “Sport Mode” which sharpens acceleration and holds the revs for longer. But since the powertrain was doing a good job in its regular setting, I rarely turned on Sport Mode.
If you prefer to manually change gears yourself, it does come with a manual mode which will allow drivers to use the paddle shifters. However, I do wish the paddles were placed on the wheel itself, not on the steering column. Because in this setup, you lose the ability to manually switch gears while doing a turn.
When it comes to fuel consumption, the 5008 was able to return around 8.5 to 9.0 km/l in light city driving. Meanwhile, it was able to average around 15.0 km/l at highway speeds. Some might say it could be better but one will have to remember that this vehicle is nearly 4.7 meters long and weighs over 1520 kg. Fill it up with passengers and you can expect fuel economy to go down further.
While it may not look like it, the 5008 is actually quite agile for its size. Granted, it's not a subcompact crossover, but this 7-seater handles nicely. Turn the wheel in and the vehicle just follows through. Steering, on the other hand, delivers feedback to the driver which is always a plus as most electronic power steering assist systems have a rather numb feeling. Combined with its compact steering wheel and the 5008 feels light on its feet.
Riding comfort is also one feature that I really liked about the 5008. Like the pre-facelift model we got to drive years ago, the 5008 is neither too floaty nor too stiff. It's able to walk a fine line between delivering a lofty yet stable ride no matter the terrain. While there is a degree of stiffness at the back, it's hardly noticeable and was probably deliberate to compensate for the vehicle's load-carrying ability. And speaking of load-carrying, Peugeot claims the 5008 can swallow 952 liters worth of cargo with the second-row seats up and 2,042 liters with both the second-row and third-row seats folded down.
So the 5008 is essentially a lengthened 3008 with extra seats, additional cargo space, and extra toys. Despite its huge size, the 5008 is light on its feet and is relatively quick thanks to the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine. It also rides well and has plenty of features and amenities to keep you and the passengers entertained and relaxed.
At PHP 2.435 million, it's quite an expensive vehicle. But compared to when it was first sourced all the way from Europe (it's now sourced from Malaysia), it's actually more affordable today since the pre-facelift version used to retail for PHP 3.190 million.
Still, this makes the Peugeot 5008 more expensive than its closest competitors. There's the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro 1.6T which is selling for PHP 1.698 million. The Honda CR-V SX Diesel has a sticker price of PHP 2.290 million while the 7-seater Mazda CX-8 is available for PHP 2.330 million. On the flip side, the Peugeot 5008 is the cheaper option compared to the Kia Sorento SX which retails for PHP 2.638 million.
If you want the looks and practicality of the Peugeot 3008 but prefer it with a longer body, and additional seats, and you don't mind ponying up over PHP 2.4 million for a sleek 7-seater crossover, the Peugeot 5008 could be the three-row vehicle you're looking for.