THE French, automotively speaking, do it differently. We have just spent some time behind the wheel of the 2021 Peugeot 5008 GT and it’s a nice place to be. Like earlier Peugeots we have driven, its handling and ride are capable.
The car goes just where it’s pointed, calmly and confidently. But before we go any further, we have to give full disclosure about something.
This author once drove a Peugeot MI16 from Sydney to Tasmania via a large commercial catamaran. It was an enormous test of the brand’s liveability and it performed very well.
It was not just leather patched tweed jacket folk that favoured French cars back then. That vehicle had a quiet Gallic competence which is still evident in this one, many generations later.
This time round, we’re driving the petrol version of the sole grade now available in the 5008, which is the GT. It is a front wheel drive, three row, seven seat SUV, that’s well spec’d with endless seating configurations.
The Nappa leather pattern-stitched seating looks and feels premium. The driver can really indulge with a touch of soft massage on the journey, if desired. The bolster padding and shape absolutely adds to the comfort on offer as well.
We all like to feel cosseted and the Peugeot’s seating surely does that. Both front seats have extendable thigh support and are heated, with the driver scoring memory and those massage functions we mentioned already.
The squished egg shape of the leather-clad steering wheel is immediately comfortable, if not a little controversial (for the record, we like it). It’s supported by i-Cockpit; a simple way to tailor the instrument cluster in the way which suits you best.
Wood door and dash inserts with satin chrome accents complete the ambience. The split fold console armrest opens to allow access to a cooled box with a bottle-like hollow at the front. So very French.
A relocatable small items tray fits at the top of the box with a console recess forward of the two cup holders. There are front seat-back fold down picnic trays (perfect for some cheese and crackers), with lower nets and door pockets for convenience.
The second row passengers are treated to door shade blinds for additional sun blocking too. Rear console vents add to personal comfort. Two rear USB-A outlets are available for handy device recharging.
Now for the cargo options. Folding some or all of the second and third rows ensures there is very little that can’t be transported elegantly. This flexibility also extends to removing the rear row seats completely.
By then folding down the second row, 2150-litres of cargo space is available. The folding front passenger seat makes room for carrying items you’ve never thought about before.
It’s a very practical car in other ways too, with an electric tailgate with foot wave sensor and one touch power window operation all round. A wireless charging pad sits at the front of the console adjacent to a USB-A port and a 12-volt power outlet.
Second and third row passengers each have access to a 12-volt outlet. The central chrome toggle switch set up front covers commonly used functions that can also be adjusted on the touch screen.
On the road, it’s a car that rides high and proud yet often underneath the radar. Our Pearl White test vehicle was fitted with silver roof rails, privacy glass and 18-inch two tone alloys.
Chrome side trims run from the headlamps to the tailgate, and then flow back along the waist line. A floating black grille with chrome accents is flanked by LED head lights, intersected by the plunging DRL in a strong front styling statement.
The claw-style tail lamps stand out in a dark themed rear end either side of the lion logo. That lion also features on ground projection below the door mirrors.
Our Peugeot 5008 GT was fitted with a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine, although a 2.0-litre diesel model is also offered. Our engine was mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission which did everything we asked of it.
That powerplant delivers 121kW of power and 240Nm of torque. During our time with the vehicle we returned 8.0-litres/100km over mixed suburban and freeway conditions. We can’t help wishing for a few extra kilowatts, though.
Should you be keen, you can have your Peugeot 5008 GT in Sunset Copper, Artense Grey, Celebes Blue, Nera Black and Platinum Grey, Elixir Red and Pearl White. Our vehicle was optioned with the full grain Nappa leather interior trim with grey stitching as well.
Additionally, the panoramic sunroof option box was ticked too. All of these items, including some of the colours, carry add-on costs, but as tested, our 5008 GT would set you back $63,607 drive away.
The 5008 is covered by a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty with 5-years of roadside assistance. Safety is addressed with active blind spot detection, autonomous emergency braking, and active cruise control with lane departure warning.
You’ll also find speed sign detection, a reverse camera with virtual overhead views, and high beam assist.
Oui, there are more exciting SUVs in the price range, if that is what you want. But you owe it to yourself to drive this Peugeot to see whether the je ne sais quoi is what you are looking for in a car. You’ll just know if it is right for you.
Our test vehicle was provided by Peugeot Australia. To find out more about the 2021 Peugeot 5008 GT, contact your local Peugeot dealer.