Monday, 21 November 2011 9:30 AM
That’s my opinion of the Peugeot 5008, which has hints of the distinctive GMC truck driven by a certain B. A. Baracus in the cult US action series. The Pug is boxy at the rear and the design follows a similar path to the GMC van although the 5008 is closer to the ground, has a lower more slanted windscreen and there isn’t that big grille either, making it more aerodynamic. This is the French manufacturer's “first own official MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle)”, according to Peugeot’s Craig Morrow.
Bearing in mind the size of a people carrier, the 5008 is a competent performer, handling and cornering well. Plus there’s no wallowing at high speed. In common with all the latest Peugeots build quality is impressive although it lacks a sliding door for Hannibal and his crew to jump from although there are a host of extras for them to enjoy during a mission. These include: air-con and electric windows, panoramic glass roof, video screens in the rear headrests, folding tables and a fold-flat third row of seats. Plus there’s a clever mirror above the rear view mirror for checking on Murdock or Face in the back – particularly useful for monitoring baby daughter Harriett.
My only criticism is that there are too many gadgets on the dashboard including a switch for measuring the distance of vehicles ahead. On start up a pop-up sat nav and a head up display with mph reading lift from the dash, which can distract the driver.
Well-designed leather seats provide a very comfortable and supportive driving position while the armrests at the side of the front seats are a useful addition. Last week I tested an Alfa Mito 1.4 turbo MultiAir and its seats resulted in my already temperamental back suffering additional twinges.
With regards fuel economy 5008 HDi drivers enjoy 55mpg, helped by a responsive six-speed manual gearbox and cruise control, which can be used at under 30mph.
When parked the 5008’s wing mirrors electronically fold, which is particularly worthwhile when parking on a roadside, preventing them from being knocked by other vehicles.
Parkers, the car experts say: “Although Peugeot has a long tradition of seven-seat cars, the 5008 is the first model it has offered as a direct alternative to cars like the Vauxhall Zafira. Compact people carriers have become far more popular in the last couple of decades, particularly those flexible enough to carry more than five, but whose extra seats are unobtrusive. The Peugeot 5008 rivals cars like the Citroën C4 Grand Picasso and Volkswagen Touran for flexibility, but is more like the Ford S-MAX and Mazda5 in terms of driver appeal.”
It just needs to be painted black and have a red stripe down the side and I am sure the A-Team would be delighted, particularly with the improved economy over their GMC truck.
Before the people mover, families or on-the-run special service war veterans... had two options: a van or an estate car.
The concept is not a new one, dating back as far as the German made DKW Schnellaster minivan of 1949. But arguably the idea only really took off in the ‘80s when Renault launched its futuristic Espace MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) complete with swivel seats and folding tables.
Toyota followed with its Spacecruiser and slowly other manufacturers latched on realising there was valuable market share to be grabbed.
Today, drivers have many choices from Vauxhall, Citroen, Ford or Volkswagen, each of their models transporting five adults in comfort and returning over 50mpg.
It took Peugeot a while to produce its own version, first introducing a people carrier - its 806 - in 1995 (followed by the 807), although Peugeot’s Craig Morrow says: “Actual seven seat vehicles are nothing new to Peugeot with the 504 estate family car from 1970, which had three forward facing rows (2 - 3 - 2).”
Peugeot 5008 Allure Exclusive HDi
Engine: 1.6-litre diesel
Top speed: 112mph
New price range: £20,645 - £23,095
Used price range: £9,502 - £17,176
By Tim Saunders
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