2020 Peugeot 5008 GT-Line review

Ahead of an updated 5008 coming in early 2021, we find out if it’s worth striking a deal on Peugeot’s seven-seater SUV.

Peugeot was once renowned for hot hatchbacks, cutesy convertibles and plush-riding passenger cars, yet – like so many carmakers – the French brand’s sales these days are dominated by SUVs.

In Australia, they accounted for as much as 79 per cent of showroom traffic in 2018. That’s fallen to 63 per cent so far in 2020 as the 508 large car and Expert van make some progress, though a new-generation 2008 compact SUV due later this year should kick that figure higher again.

The 2008 will sit below the mid-sized 3008 SUV that has been out since 2017, and the larger 5008 SUV we have here that followed a year later.

The 5008 is 194mm longer than the 3008 and seats up to seven rather than a maximum of five occupants.

At 4.64m, the 5008 is a little shorter than direct rivals such as the Skoda Kodiaq (4.69m) or Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace (4.71m), and a bit longer than a Land Rover Discovery Sport (4.6m).

As with its 2020 pricing strategy for the 3008, Peugeot Australia – under the stewardship of Inchcape, the importer company behind Subaru Australia – has ditched the entry-level, $44,490 5008 Allure… And raised prices (a move blamed on exchange rates).

The result is a $3500-higher starting price of $51,990 for the 2020 Peugeot 5008 GT-Line we’re focused on here. For reference, that’s a $4000 premium over a 3008 GT-Line, but right now (until the end of September) the 5008 GT-Line is advertised with a $55,990 drive-away deal including leather trim and sunroof.

It’s another $7000 to get into the top-spec GT that has both extra equipment and a turbo diesel engine instead of the GT-Line’s turbo petrol.

Exterior highlights for the GT-Line include LED headlights, black contrast roof, and 19-inch alloy wheels.

Cabin technology includes a fully digital driver display (optional on the equivalent rival Tiguan Allspace, if standard on the Kodiaq Sportline), 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and start, wireless smartphone charging, and surround-view cameras at the front and rear. (A new, 10.0-inch infotainment display is part of several updates for an MY21 5008 due in early 2021.)

Active safety features comprise speed-limit notification, auto high beam, fatigue monitoring, blind-spot detection, front/rear sensors, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist and autonomous emergency braking. There are also self-levelling headlights.

There are two key options, both fitted to our test car: a $1500 panoramic sunroof and $3000 Nappa leather upholstery.

The upshot is that the 5008 GT-Line’s standard equipment stands up well to a $52,490 Tiguan Allspace 162TSI better than it does a $46,990 Kodiaq Sportline 132TSI.

However, it’s worth noting both VW Group models come with all-wheel drive to add some extra value, whereas the 5008 is front-wheel drive (as with the 3008).

The front half of the 5008’s cabin is unchanged from the 3008, which is hardly a negative when that means a sharing of quality materials, solid construction, lovely details such as the row of ‘piano’ function keys, and an interior design that overall is more interesting than your average mainstream SUV.

The same optional Nappa quilted leather seats also dramatically enhance the upmarket look, though perhaps at the 5008 GT-Line’s price point they should be standard.

The dual-pane electric sliding panoramic sunroof is good value at $1500 – most carmakers charge about $2000 upwards – and is worth it for the amount of light it brings into the cabin. It features a full-length blind when a cooler cabin is preferred.

Storage is excellent up front: big door pockets that integrate an angled section for large drink bottles, a centre console with cupholders, tray, large wireless smartphone charging area, and a big, twin-lid cubby that includes a moveable tray and a scooped floor section for coins etc.

The key pitch to families, however, is the back half of the 5008.

With a wheelbase that’s 16.5cm longer than the gap between the 3008’s front and rear axles, Peugeot’s largest SUV brings the expected step up in second-row space. A wider rear door also provides good access to the rear seat and isn’t heavy.

Where the 3008 uses a rear bench, the 5008 installs three individual seats – each with slide and recline functionality. This is also a rare vehicle that offers ISOFIX child-anchor points in all three second-row positions rather than just the outboard seats.

Three child seats will fit across, too, while an adult can also sit relatively comfortably in the centre-middle seat between two child seats. A fully flat floor helps, too, and the centre rear seat is actually best for taller passengers as the (optional) sunroof installation limits head room in the outer seats.

The second-row seats all feel quite firm and the cushioning could provide better under-thigh support.

My seven-year-old preferred the 5008’s second row over the 3008’s owing to its extra space, sunblinds, and the fold-down tables on the front seatbacks. The vents also add fan-speed control.

However, he was then disappointed to learn he couldn’t sit in the rearmost row. Third-row occupants need to be tall enough to wear a seatbelt, as there are no ISOFIX or top-tether points.

It’s seating that’s best for shorter people, as it’s very cramped back there, even if a second-row seat is slid forward.

The 5008 is more a 5+2-seater than a genuine seven-seater – like the Tiguan and Kodiaq, but you’ll find more rear-seat space in a Mazda CX-8 or CX-9. Those Mazda SUVs are a fair bit longer, however – 4.9m and nearly 5.1m, respectively (and we know there are some buyers who find the CX-9’s size particularly a bit intimidating).

Access to the third row is also only possible from the side of the vehicle, if you have one of the outer second-row seats free of a child seat (unless someone doesn’t mind climbing into the back via the boot!).

It’s not the widest access, and there’s no one-touch ‘walk in’ set-up as with some rivals, such as the CX-8/CX-9.

Curtain airbags extend to the third row for this five-star-rated ANCAP vehicle.

Raising and lowering the third-row seats is simple. After pulling back the two sections of folding boot floor layers, pulling a single (black) strap lifts the seats into position, while pulling another (red) strap folds them back into the floor.

The 5008 is no different to other seven-seater SUVs in presenting limited luggage capacity with the third row seats in place – just 166L. When they’re out of the way, boot space is huge – or 702L (up to the top of the seatbacks) if you want that adjective as a number.

That claimed volume is neck and neck with the Tiguan Allspace (700L) and bigger than several other seven-seater SUVs, such as the Hyundai Santa Fe (547L), Kia Sorento (605L), Mercedes-Benz GLB (640L), Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (502L), and Toyota Kluger (529L; outgoing model).

The 5008’s boot space behind the second row can be even bigger, though, as those rearmost seats are removable (and not overly heavy at 11kg each) to create more depth.

Those three second-row seats also fold individually to provide more loading flexibility, with truly cavernous space with all flattened. The front passenger seat also folds flat to allow items up to 3m long to be stored in the 5008.

The boot compartment – accessed via an auto tailgate – includes a 12-volt socket, cargo blind, elastic side strap and side compartment box. Unlike some rivals, though, there’s no underfloor storage spot for the cargo blind when you want to use the third-row seats.

As the biggest – and naturally heaviest – SUV in Peugeot’s line-up, it’s a surprise the GT-Line is powered by the same 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine as found in the 3008 and even smaller models such as the 308.

In a classic case of ever diminishing returns, the 121kW/240Nm engine is great in the 308 GT, decent in the 3008, but feels underpowered at times in the 5008 – and that’s with just a driver aboard.

The six-speed auto tries its best to keep the 5008 in the optimum gear, though ultimately it lacks the response or strength of the 162kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo in the Tiguan Allspace 162TSI or the 170kW/420Nm 2.5-litre turbo in the CX-9.

At least the 5008 is relatively light at just 1473kg. Mazda’s seven-seater duo, for example, are closer to two tonnes.

And kickdown acceleration can still make fairly light work of overtaking manoeuvres (albeit again tested with just a driver). There’s also a Sport mode, which makes the engine sound sportier, if not necessarily much more responsive.

If you expect to be ferrying kids/people on a regular basis, Peugeot’s 131kW/400Nm turbo diesel (with an eight-speed auto) is better equipped to provide more effortless progress on the move – the problem is that it’s available only on the more expensive flagship GT.

The diesel promises better consumption, too – officially rated at 5.0 litres per 100km compared with 7.0L/100km for the petrol.

We got impressively close to the petrol’s claim, with an indicated 7.2L/100km after a mix of suburban, country and freeway driving. The petrol’s official consumption is one of the lowest figures in the field of seven-seater SUVs, while acknowledging some rivals use their bigger size to offer more third-row space.

Engine aside, the 5008 drives very much like a stretched 3008. The steering has the same light, effortless nature, a turning circle that seems little different despite the longer wheelbase, smooth braking, and a similarly comfortable all-round ride – if not quite as impeccable at ironing out urban bumps on its one-size-larger (19-inch) wheels.

Smaller-than-average dimensions for a seven-seater ensure it doesn’t feel intimidating to park.

It’s a pleasure to drive out of the city, too, with composed country-road manners and a relaxed demeanour on freeways.

You just need to learn the placement of the various cruise-control buttons, as the stalk is obscured by Peugeot’s compact steering wheel. The stalk also forces the paddle-shift levers higher, placing them out of natural finger reach.

This is all part of Peugeot’s polarising ‘i-Cockpit’ design, which makes it tricky to find a driving position where you have both an optimum height for the steering wheel and a clear view of the customisable digital driver display ahead.

There’s a genuine cockpit feel, though – created by the angled infotainment display and driver-biased centre console and centre stack.

Peugeot’s five-year warranty is in line with the new industry average of five years. Servicing costs are higher than average. Identical to the 3008, maintenance visits cost between $474 and $802 – equating to $1737 over three years (or up to 60,000km) or $3026 over five years (or up to 100,000km).

While the equivalent Tiguan costs $3240 to service over five years, Skoda offers a $900 three-year plan or $1700 five-year plan for the Kodiaq. And Mazda charges $1116 to service a CX-8 over three years, or $1885 over five, though the caveat is 10,000km distance intervals that are half those of Peugeot’s.

With the turbo petrol engine requiring 95RON unleaded as a minimum as well, there are some premium running costs to go with Peugeot’s premium ambitions for its products – and those price rises.

Yet there is a genuinely upmarket vibe to the 5008 – with one of the poshest-looking interiors in the mainstream large-SUV segment (especially with those quilted leather seats included). We would say it even compares favourably with the cabin of the Discovery Sport.

Those leather seats would be standard, ideally, along with electric adjustment for the front seats, though Peugeot’s biggest SUV is generally well equipped at its price point.

Buyers just need to check they really need the 5008’s two extra seats. They have limited use, and a 3008 is still a roomy SUV with a big boot.

The other big factor is the updated 5008 that has been revealed recently, and is due here in the first quarter of 2021 with revised exterior styling and upgraded cabin displays. If you want a 5008 in the interim, it’s well worth trying some dealer negotiation.

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