It’s stunners like this that will put the French brand back on Aussie shopping lists.
It looks terrific, like something you’d want to own and a cut above what your friends and neighbours might be driving.
The 5008 used to be a boxy, practical people mover, but has completed the transition to a sleek seven-seater that sits low, is comfortable to drive and is bigger inside than it looks — a bit like Doctor Who’s TARDIS.
Although larger than either, it sits on the same platform as the award-winning Peugeot 308 hatch and 3008 SUV, with three rows of seats and plenty of tech to play with, including an impressive digital instrument cluster.
These days Peugeot’s also get a five-year warranty which could make people fill a little more comfortable about buying European – mind you the Europeans don’t have a problem.
What’s it cost?
Prices start at $42,990 for the Allure, $46,990 for GT Line and $52,990 for the flagship GT.
Now for the fine print. Allure and GT Line are powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine. Top of the tree GT is a diesel and we might add the only diesel version available at this stage.
Our test vehicle was the mid-spec GT Line fitted with optional $2000 sunroof and stunning $3700 quilted, cross-stitched leather upholstery with a driver’s seat that will give your back a massage.
That’s a yes please to both.
Standard equipment includes seven seats, with three individual middle row sliding seats, two fold-flat third row seats and fold flat
front passenger seat — the rear two can be removed completely if not required.
The wagon sits on with 18-inch alloys, with two zone climate air that incorporates with rear vents, plus auto lights, wipers and rear view mirror, blue ambient interior lighting, adaptive cruise control, 360-degree overhead camera, front and rear park sensors, and will steer itself into a parking space without your help.
The instrument panel is fully digital and can be customised, with a touchscreen that offers 3D navigation, DAB, CarPlay, Android Auto and Mirror Link, voice recognition, smartphone wireless charging, Driver Attention Alert and Lane Departure Warning — with speed sign recognition to cap it off.
The list gets even longer with GT Line and GT, suffice to say our test vehicle comes with a built-in fragrance diffuser, with a choice of three perfumes:
Cosmic Cuir is the brand’s sensual, vibrant signature perfume
Aerodrive is a crisp, stimulating scent with verve (‘Boost’ mode default)
Harmony Wood is a grounded, down-tempo fragrance (‘Relax’ mode default)
What’s it go like?
Getting into the car for the first time is confronting.
The layout is unlike other cars and it takes a while to work out what does what and where it can be found.
For instance although the car has active cruise control, which automatically maintains a distance from the car in front, we couldn’t work out how to adjust that distance — or I should say we did once then we were damned if we could find it again.
The good news is that you do get the hang of it after a while.
The steering wheel is incredibly small too, with a flat top and bottom, and perhaps too small we felt initially — but again you do get used to it.
The petrol engine produces 121kW of power and 240Nm of torque, while the more expensive diesel is good for 133kW and 400Nm. Both are teamed with a six-speed auto, with drive to the front wheels.
The petrol engine might not look too impressive on paper, but take heart because it feels better than the figures suggest.
Maximum torque is available from a low 1400 revs, delivering lively but never quite sporty performance, .
Sport mode, selected with a console button, adds some zip to the proceedings, and gear change paddles are provided, fixed to the steering column like a Ferrari.
But don’t take our word for it. Take one for a spin. It’s worth the effort, if only to play with the instrument panel. With navigation selected, watch the tacho and speedometer dials pivot sideways, to allow the road ahead to unfold in panorama between them.
The six-speaker audio with digital radio sounds pretty good too.
There are some annoyances however, like the electric park brake, old style Euro cruise control stalk and temperamental stop-start button which must be held down for a good two seconds before the engine actually shuts down.
In terms of fuel consumption, the car is rated at 7.0L/100km. We were getting 8.4L/100km after close to 500km — not bad but still not convincing.
This one gets a space saver spare.
What we like?
Superior ride quality
What we don’t?
Old style Euro cruise control stalk
Not clear whether engaging park also engages the hand brake
Have to push stop button for a couple of seconds before it will actually stop
No safety rating from ANCAP yet but comes with eight airbags and auto emergency braking
The bottom line?
This could just be the right car at the right time for Peugeot. It’s certainly the most exciting Pug we’ve driven for a long time. It looks the goods, isn’t too expensive and targets the market’s seemingly insatiable desire for SUVs.