9tro issue #9
Photos: Adrian Wong
I read that the Peugeot 5008 was named What Car?’s Best MPV (Multi-Purpose Van), but when I took it out for a test drive, it somehow failed to make the impression on me. Launched last November with a weekend family carnival at its showroom, the 5008 is closely related to the 3008 but is able to carry seven people across its three rows of seats instead of five.
Maybe the colour of the test drive unit did not sit well with me, making the design look a little flawed. Nonetheless, compared to its Japanese competitors, it is less boxy and has a lot more rounded edges and curvy flows, somehow prompting me to think of an over-inflated puffer fish!
For some reason, driving the 5008 reminded me of the time when I test drove the 1.6-litre Proton Exora. But the 5008 is turbocharged, hence spits out more power – at 156bhp at 6,000rpm – and has a peak torque of 240Nm at 1,780rpm. Driving such a large car around with a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine gets quite daunting at times and indeed, the car struggled to fall into place quickly when changing lanes and panted for breath uphill especially when there are more than two passengers within.
The best part of the family car is its truly spacious trait, offering boot capacity of 823 litres up to 2,506 litres, depending on how you vary the seat configuration.
The middle row of three seats can be reclined as backrests for a more comfortable ride, folded into the floor, stowed away under the floor or folded cinema-style (think flip-up).
The outer seats of this second row also allow easy access to the back row by lifting and moving forward. In addition, the last row and the backrest of the front passenger seat can be folded flat, creating lots of loading area for the driver.
Other than loading space, there are also a lot of tiny stowaway areas (which adds up to another 48 litres of storage) – great for women to store their sunglasses, purse, earrings, perfume, handphone, pens, tissue packets and hand cream. Likewise, men have more than ample place to store their wallet, glasses, handphone, watch, cashcard or namecards.
There are cubby holes almost anywhere you can think of – the huge glove box compartment, large door pockets, a refrigerated centre console box, two under-floor storage compartments, a storage area under the steering wheel, drawer under the driver’s seat and even a hidden boat compartment. However, putting things all around might mean forgetting where you placed each item!
Natural daylight streams in and fills up the cabin through its 1.69 square-metre panoramic glass roof – great in giving the car a healthy disposition, but not so good an idea when the sun gets too hot on some days.
Standard convenience features make up part of the package, including automatic light and rain sensors, automatic electronic parking brake which activates the handbrake once the engine is switched off and deactivates it upon acceleration, cruise control and a child-check mirror so you can clearly see your children in the back to keep an eye on them while driving. Be mindful that both eyes should remain on the road ahead at all times though.
This is the French carmaker’s first foray into the compact MPV market and everyone has to start somewhere so for a first-time effort, I must say that it deserves that much credit.
Peugeot 5008 1.6 Turbo Luxury (A)
Engine: 1,598cc inline-4 twin-scrolled turbocharged
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Max Power: 156bhp at 6,000rpm
Max Torque: 240Nm at 1,780rpm
0-100km/h: 9.7 secs
Top Speed: 195 km/h
Price: S$131,900 with COE