Peugeot’s double bill: Try these two for size | Fin24

Peugeot’s double bill: Try these two for size

Jan 27 2020 14:18
Glenda Williams

Locally, Peugeot has been reinventing itself. 

Spearheaded by turnaround specialist Xavier Gobille, Peugeot Citroën SA's new CEO, its focus has been on brand value, product enhancement and customer satisfaction. 

The latter was achieved by closing 30% of Peugeot’s dealerships and appointing new ones in the drive to improve after-sales efficiency.

Peugeot aims to get “back in the race” through tough tactics and a product value offering. 

The brand’s market share at its relaunch in September 2019 was 0.6%. 

This is higher than 0.2% in 2018. According to Gobille, the company aims to have 2.5% of the market by 2021.

Emotion must always be at the core of the automobile experience for Peugeot. 

It plays with the senses, evident in both its small entry-level Peugeot 108 and its largest SUV, the  7-seater 5008. 

Perky little city slicker 

Peugeot’s 108 takes on the city vehicle market segment with its extroverted entry-level modelFrench flair and Japanese engineering (via a Toyota alliance) merged to produce a compelling and cost-effective city slicker. 

Peugeot’s entry-level city car is an urban run-around. 

The car has some quirky styling and the compact 108 model features a chunky bonnet, fog lights and LED daytime running lights, reduced front and rear overhangs as well as flip-opening back windows. 

The rear end showcases Peugeot’s signature three claw-mark taillights.

The cabin space, comfortable for the average person, could be tight for the burly. 

The interior features electric front windows, comfy cloth seats, a height-adjustable steering wheel, a large infotainment touchscreen and smartphone connectivity with MirrorLink technology. 

The boot, with its spare wheel, is decently sized.The safety features in Peugeot’s little 5-door hatch are leading in this segment. 

The model comes standard with six airbags, electronic stability control, ABS braking, brake assist, hill start assist and baby seat Isofix mountings.

One derivative, a 1-litre, 5-speed manual, is currently available. 

The robust 998cc engine is a naturally aspirated one, so with that comes somewhat less bolt power than some of its turbocharged peers. 

Still, it provides a lively drive with slick manual gearing and direct steering. 

But why the steering wheel is larger than the smaller, sporty steering wheel offered in its larger siblings is uncertain. 

Aside from a shortage of power on inclines, (a hindrance that can mostly be addressed with timely gear changing), the quality-built 108 model has a lot to offer. 

It’s an urban hatch, with a 9.8m turning circle, that is great fun to drive and offers a ride that is comfortable and planted. 

And you don’t need to spend a lot of money to own this pint-sized hatch. 

For the package and price, the Peugeot 108 is a good value offering, with Japanese engineering adding reliability. 

Just a few kilowatts more power would have given this little car top marks.

Big SUV, big offerings 

The flexible and spacious 7-seater Peugeot 5008 bodes luxury, comfort, tech and utility.

The Peugeot 5008’s long dynamic profile is completed by a strong rump and LED ‘claw effect’ rear lights.

Stepping inside the 7-seater SUV’s roomy, well-appointed cabin reveals leather and chrome materials, a compact leather steering wheel, 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, digital heads-up display, and chrome switches. 

The Peugeot 5008 2.0 HDI GT’s cabin features high-end offerings including 3D navigation, connectivity via MirrorLink, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and a smartphone charging plate.

The multipoint massage system on the lumbar-supporting driver seat was put to good use.

The progressive driving assistance systems like lane keeping, adaptive cruise control with front collision warning, park assist, and blind spot detection provide a safety arsenal that also includes six airbags.

The seating is unexpectedly flexible. 

Three rows of seats are offered, the second row of equally sized seats offering folding and tilting as well as sliding for adjustable length, while seats in the third row are removable, which is made easy via the hands-free electric tailgate. 

The spacious 5008 is 165mm longer than the 3008 with performance and a ride similar to that of its smaller sibling. 

Plenty of torque, even power from the efficient 2-litre diesel engine together with a seamlessly changing 6-speed automatic gearbox and great suspension setup, creates a quality ride on 19-inch alloy wheels.

The 5008, with its great road handling and agility, impressed with its performance on gravel, delivering a ride that was exceedingly comfortable on a road that was rocky and corrugated. 

This article originally appeared in the 16 January edition of finweek. Buy and download the magazine here or subscribe to our newsletter here.

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