If we recall our local automotive history, Peugeot briefly did business here in the Philippines under the distributorship of AutoFrance Philippines. The brand was launched in 2003, but because of uncompetitive prices, mostly due to the unfavorable exchange rates between the Peso and the Euro, AutoFrance Philippines was unable to price their Peugeots competitively, which eventually lead to their demise. Fast-forward today, it’s easy to notice the economy between Europe and the Philippines becoming much more friendly, enabling Peugeot’s new distributor, Eurobrands Distributor Incorporated (EDI) to price their vehicles competitively. Under this new leadership of EDI, Peugeot is armed and ready to battle in the Philippine automotive market. With a goal of opening 12 full-service dealerships by last year’s end in order to achieve at least a 5% market share of our automotive market, will this Peugeot 5008 help EDI meet its target?
If there’s one thing the French are good at, it would be styling a car. More often than not, French are people whom style is above everything else, and the Peugeot 5008 is no exception. In a sea of boxy and boring MPVs, the Peugeot 5008, just like the new Kia Carens, is a breath of fresh air. Clever design tricks such as the character line that runs from the nose, and to the headlights, all the way to the amazingly designed rear light cluster make the Peugeot 5008 look very dynamic. The raked windshield gives it an aerodynamic and sporty silhouette, while the boxy, yet exciting to look at rear design pays dividends to the Peugeot 5008’s interior space and versatility. This is an MPV that can be considered a head turner without even desperately trying to be one. It attracts attention, as passer-bys draw closer to it in order to further admire the 5008’s appearance.
A high quality interior welcomes you aboard the Peugeot 5008. There are plenty of soft touch materials, plus the stalks, buttons, knobs, and switches, all have a quality and robust feel, making the cabin feel more expensive than what the SRP suggests. The seats are done in fabric, but they are far from feeling cheap and basic. The fabric used feels sporty and of very high quality.
Even if the Pegueot 5008’s interior is a stylistic work of French art, they thankfully didn’t forget about ergonomics, because the buttons, gauges, and switches are all logically laid out, akin to a fighter jet. The design is driver focused, with a wrap-around shape that also mimics the Audi R8’s dashboard. Driving position is excellent as well, which feels like a sports car, rather than an MPV, since you sit in it, rather than on it, unlike most MPVs. Again, it is a breath of fresh air from what I am accustomed to when it comes to MPVs, since the adjectives “sporty” and “exciting” usually never go together well with MPVs.
Space and Practicality
The Peugeot 5008’s interior is spacious and practical. There are plenty of cubby spaces inside the cabin, and in the center console, there’s a really deep storage bin, which I assume can store a small handbag. Only a single cupholder is made available in the front, but I don’t really mind, since I rarely sip a cup of coffee while I drive anyway.
The Peugeot 5008’s cleverly designed seats have received universal acclaim from the international media for being versatile. There are three seats in the second row, and similar to a van, these seats can be individually folded and adjusted easily. Adults will find the third row a bit cramped, but then, the third row seats are normally meant for children. If the third row of seats won’t be used, 512 liters of space is at your disposal. Fold all the seats down, and an enormous 2,104 liters of space is what the Peugeot 5008 will offer to its delighted owner.
A quirky practicality feature that I would also like to talk about in the Peugeot 5008 are the picnic tables, which come as standard on all variants. Its a good thing these are hinged at the bottom, making it more stable, unlike most picnic tables that are hinged on top.
Even if this is the base Peugeot 5008, it certainly doesn’t feel like one. Everything you need, plus a whole lot more, is already offered on this Active model. All variants are equipped with a generous amount of airbags, 6 of them to be exact, including curtain airbags that extend through the third row of seats, enough letters from the alphabet to convince you this is a safe car, Cruise Control, Bluetooth, Halogen Headlights with Auto-Light Control and Daytime Running Lights, Distance Alert, which warns the driver if the Peugeot 5008 is too close to the car in front of it, Head-Up Display, Electronic Parking Brake, Central Locking, Keyless Entry w/ Immobilizer, Rain Sensing Wipers, Power Windows with One Touch Up and Down and Anti-Pinch feature in each window, Dual Zone Climate Control with Rear AC Vents, and lastly, a huge Panoramic Sunroof.
Filipinos love diesels because of their fuel economy and torque. It’s good news for Peugeot then, since diesel engines are Peugeot’s strengths. Powering this Peugeot 5008 is a 1.6 liter turbocharged diesel engine with eHDI Micro-Hybrid technology, which is mated to a 6-Speed Automated Manual Transmission. While not exactly powerful, producing only 112 hp at 3600 rpm, the engine does have a lot of torque, producing an asphalt-grinding 285 Nm at an early 1700 rpm. It is a Euro V compliant diesel engine, but Peugeot states that it can run on our Euro 2 diesel fuels. Further aiding the Peugeot 5008’s environmental friendliness is its FAP diesel particulate filter, which eliminates the harmful particles left by unclean diesel fuels, resulting in very clean emissions.
The 1.6 liter diesel, as said in the beginning, is equipped with eHDI Micro-Hybrid technology, which is essentially a Start/Stop system. Peugeot says that this reduces fuel consumption by up to 15%, and later in the review, we’ll see how well this Start/Stop system performs.
How It Drives
eHDI Start/Stop System activated as seen in the gauges below, with the engine speed at 0 rpm.
Driving the Pegueot 5008 is a definite pleasure. The highway miles will easily be eaten up by this MPV, thanks to the comfortable seats and quiet cabin. Refinement is top notch, unmatched by any of its Asian or American rivals, because the cabin is very well insulated from road, tire, and engine noise. Impressively, the Peugeot 5008’s cabin stays silent even when traversing through some of the Philippines’ roughest tarmac, with barely an evidence of tire roar going through the cabin. There is a little bit of wind whistle at high speeds though, but this is because, all other noise sources in the cabin are so well insulated, the minor wind noise becomes noticeable. This means that kids will easily fall asleep while you are taking the family on a road trip to Subic.
Bring the 5008 to a winding country road, and your kids will soon complain about your driving style, because this MPV begs to be driven hard. With a firm but comfortable and absorbent suspension, sharp and progressive feeling brakes, and an electric power steering that is precise, has plenty of feedback, and becomes nicely weighted as you go faster, the Peugeot 5008 is unlike any other MPV. It is very fun to drive through the bends, with lots of reassuring grip and not a lot of understeer, given the vehicle’s size. If you step up to the top spec Allure variants, they come with Anti-Roll Control, which further eliminates the 5008’s body lean, making your children feel a lot more car sick, as you’ll definitely want to drive this fast in the corners. Honestly though, you’ll be completely fine with the 5008’s standard suspension set up.
Because the engine has plenty of torque, the Peugeot 5008 effortlessly accelerates and never feels weak, even at higher speeds. Thanks to the cabin that is well insulated from outside noise, you may sometimes accidentally go beyond the 100 km/h speed limit on our expressways without even realizing it unless you look down on your instruments. Speaking of instruments, the head-up display (HUD) definitely helps the driver avoid distractions, since the information is projected at your line of sight. Therefore your eyes are still focused on the road ahead.
Another Peugeot strength is fuel economy and emissions. The Peugeot 5008’s fuel economy is simply mindblowing, logging a fuel economy rating of *17.5 km/l in mixed driving situations, including sudden bursts of acceleration and spirited driving in winding roads. The best part is I wasn’t even taking desperate measures to achieve that kind of fuel economy. Trust me, 20-25 km/l is very achievable in the highway, even if you are not hard trying to do so.
In the city, fuel economy is still very impressive at *11.2 km/l. Part of the reason behind the really impressive fuel economy figure in the city is its eHDI Start/Stop system. The proper term is sensitive, not intrusive. The Start/Stop system cuts the engine at, lets say, a stoplight, while still providing enough power to let the AC and other electronics to stay on, in order to save fuel. Release the brake, and the 1.6 liter diesel engines comes back to life. Often times, the vibrations do go through the cabin upon starting up, but it isn’t too bad. eHDI also contributes to lower CO2 Emissions, which are also very low, emitting merely 113 g/km of CO2.
On The Downside
The 6-Speed Automated Manual transmission does take a bit of getting used to. It isn’t as terribly jerky as a Dual Clutch transmission when driving in the city, but unlike a DCT, the slight jerks of the Automated Manual are present even at higher speeds. Actually, jerking may not the proper term, but loss of power while it is in the process of shifting may be more appropriate. The recommended operation of Peugeot’s Automated Manual transmissions is, predict when the transmission will shift, and once the system does shift, lay off the gas pedal in order to eliminate the jerkiness. It is similar to operating a manual transmission, but without the clutch pedal. At least it becomes even more fun to drive when using the paddle shifters in pure manual mode.
Another downside would be, since it is an Automated Manual transmission, it lacks the “crawl” feature present in a typical torque converter automatic transmission, therefore a little bit more effort in pressing the gas pedal is needed to get the Peugeot 5008 to start moving. Also, when driving at an incline, the transmission can sometimes be reluctant to downshift, sending vibrations through the cabin. Again, the transmission does take a bit of getting used to, since the jerks or shocks aren’t terrible to begin with, but once you get the hang of Peugeot’s Automated Manual transmission, the Peugeot 5008 is very pleasurable to drive. I still wonder though how the Peugeot 5008 would perform if it had the typical torque converter 6-Speed Automatic found in the top spec 2.0 Allure model.
I am very happy with the time I spent with the Peugeot 5008. Planning to buy a 7-seater MPV for your family? This is the only car you will ever need. It is a sensible MPV, yet it delivers a lot more than its intended purpose. It is stylish, fun to drive, powerful, practical, versatile, and incredibly fuel-efficient. Many consumers are still reluctant at owning a Peugeot, because of what happened when Peugeot was under AutoFrance Philippines. The good news is, EDI was able to really expand exponentially last year. They were able to open 10 dealerships, though it is 2 dealers short of its goal.
For now, it is hard to give customer satisfaction reports and vehicle reliability data, since Peugeot only started operations in the Philippines on Q4 2012, but in Europe, the 5008 scores pretty decent in reliability ratings. It isn’t the most durable, but it also isn’t the worst, though I am happy to report that this Peugeot 5008 didn’t encounter any reliability problems or any after sales service issues in its lifetime. At P1,695,000, it costs more than your usual MPV like the Toyota Innova, but those aren’t the 5008’s true rivals. The Kia Carens, Volkswagen Touran, and the Chevrolet Orlando are its true rivals. When compared to its competition, including the features, refinement, and fuel efficiency the car possesses, the 5008 turns out to be a pretty damn good value for money. Of course, nothing in life is perfect, but if a perfect MPV is what you’re after, the Peugeot 5008 is the closest to being one.
Exterior Design: ★★★★☆
Interior Design: ★★★★☆
Interior Quality: ★★★★☆
Fuel Efficiency: ★★★★★
Value For Money: ★★★★☆
OVERALL: 4.11 out of 5
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*Fuel consumption results may vary depending on conditions and the driver itself.