Family Fun Wine Weekend with the Peugeot 5008: A Car Review

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Anyone familiar with this website knows two things:

  1. Daddy’s watching his figure but he. Loves. His. Wine.
  2. Daddy knows EVERYTHING there is to know about family cars.

How do I know so much? Well, I have a family – my lady friend and my little miracle baby. Also? I have a car. Case closed.

If you need any more evidence, I published Part 1 of a now-famous car-purchasing guide. I haven’t run Part 2 yet because people are still talking about how amazing Part 1 was and I didn’t want it to be overshadowed.

So when I was offered a test drive of the Peugeot 5008, an SUV / hatchback type family car, I thought, “You’ve done your research. Welcome home.”

Now that I’ve spent a considerable amount of time with the car, I’ve gotten to know its quirks and temperament, the way it purrs when you scratch behind its ears or the way it has one glass of wine and goes right to sleep even though you were all set to watch that new extra sad/handsome Superman movie.

So I could certainly give you a serious review of the car like these guys and these guys.

But I won’t. What I’ll give you instead is a story. A story about a car named Peugeot 5008, who became a member of our family, safely escorting us to and from a holiday weekend in Hunter Valley…

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Big Fun – But Not Too Big

Before embarking on our weekend away, I drove the car around town a lot by myself, honking the horn at old people, shouting “good for you!” at people headed to the gym and pretty much having an amazing time. For a bigger car, it handles well and driving isn’t too lumbering for sharp urban navigation.

But with all its space and interior comfort, it’s really best used for family transportation. (If you don’t have a family, roughly five of the best friends you now treat like family – but will quickly lose touch with once you have a real family – will suffice.) So I picked up my three-year-old little miracle and my lady friend and tossed them into the 5008 and we hauled ass to wine country.

The first thing I noticed was how comfortable my three-year-old son seemed. Normally, when I strap him into our car, he screams things like, “Owwie… beltie hurts!” and “This thing is too f*#*#*$#@ tight! Too tight! Jesus in Heaven!” and “It’s easy to loosen the strap. Just pull on the thing over there. It’s right there!” I’m not sure what he’s getting at (I always assume he’s hungry) but when I put him in the 5008, he put his head back and sighed as if an extremely tight belt was not squeezing him into a seat.

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A Child’s Perspective

My little miracle just loved the new perspective that the height of the car provided, allowing him to actually look out the window. He kept pointing out fire engines and trains, which was adorable. And once we got to Hunter Valley, he was particularly excited about all the kangaroos. There were more than we’d ever seen before and he was in heaven.

“Kangaroo!” he kept shouting. “Ho-ly sh#^#&@^@… Look at all these f*$&*#@ing kangaroos!”

I could have done without the language, but I loved seeing him so excited. Of course, as with anything he takes a shining to, he eventually grew tired of looking at kangaroos.

“Hey, check out that kangaroo,” I said.

“Are you still talking about kangaroos?” he said. “I’m looking for piggies.”

“I don’t know how many piggies we’re going to see out here,” I told him.

“I’m looking at one right now.”

“Where?”

“He’s right there, driving the car. Look at him, oinking and driving, oinking and driving…”

“I am not oinking!”

Walked right into that one, you guys. But the point is the boy loved the car. I even asked him which car he preferred, our old car or the new car. “The new car!” he shouted. I asked him why. “Because I do. Next question.”

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Daddy Loves His Gadgets

The 5008 lives up to its Small-UV status (I just made that classification up – don’t steal it). There was plenty of room for our bags and wine and it even had one of those things that extends over the back area so people can’t see all the wine you’ve bought and judge or rob you. I felt like one of the smugglers on Boardwalk Empire (without all the racism and murder).

And my lady friend certainly appreciated the size, saying it made her feel safe. But if I’m being honest, what Daddy really cares about are the amenities. The gadgets. The more things in a car that whirr to life when you flip a switch, the better – that’s my motto.

Movie Screens

You can watch movies in this thing!

Automatic Windshield Wipers

With a flip of a switch, the windshield basically comes alive and tells the wipers when it’s raining. I don’t know what kind of black magic is involved here and I don’t want to know. I loved it.

Electronic Parking Brake

This thing automatically engages whenever you turn the car off. No more hernia-causing handbrakes!

Rear View Camera

It tells you what the world looks like right behind you when you’re backing up, which is great if you’re trying to back over a neighbour’s bicycle or if you’re going backwards on the highway.

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Folding Mirrors

At one of the wineries, the wine man, who deals with fancy wine all day, said he had never seen a car whose mirrors folded in automatically. It was like he woke up and was suddenly in Blade Runner. I thought about suggesting he  get off the wine farm a bit more, but who was I to talk? I loved that the mirrors did that on this car. It’s amazing.

Arm Rests

Not technically gadgets, but these things proved to be invaluable. Did you know that you can rest your arms while you drive? I didn’t. And it’s like I’ve been born for the very first time. No more keeping my elbows up by my ears or glued to my sides. They can sit comfortably on the armrests, like God intended.

[Ed. Note: Somewhere in here we did a lot of (responsible) wine tasting and wine buying. I’ve gone on record as someone who loves wine and knows how not to be a wine snob and what the official policy on giving a baby wine should be. There’s no need to go into great detail here.]

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At the End of the Day, It’s about Family

As much as I loved the 5008’s wizardry, what mattered the most is that my little miracle baby fell in love with it. At dinner, the boy couldn’t stop talking about the car. He kept asking where it was! So cute…

“I want to see it,” he’d say. “I need to look at her. To know she’s safe.”

“She’s right out there in the parking lot,” I said. “She’s fine.”

“But she looks so cold, so lonely,” he said. “Does she need a blankie?”

“I’m not sure there’s a blankie big enough,” I said.

“Why don’t we use the big fat elephant blankie you use.”

I could have done without the fat shaming, but it was adorable to see how much he cared about the car. And as we drove back to Sydney, he joyfully sang Little Rabbit Foo Foo, making up his own lyrics and slamming his pink bunny on the seat…

Little rabbit foo foo walking through the forest,
Picking up field mice and putting them in an affordable car they could drive safely,
Little rabbit foo foo, going wine tasting, watching Daddy drink too much wine and poisoning himself with dark chocolate covered raisins, which I call sultanas because I’m Australian and he’s a foreigner…

So sweet…

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Essential Vehicle Specs:

Performance: That’s private, but I’ve never had any complaints. Well, a few complaints.

Ride & Handling: Delicate, yet tough. Romantic, yet practical. (Like me.)

Refinement: You better believe it.

Buying & Owning: Why not do both?

Quality & Reliability: Pretty high up there, I’d say.

Safety & Security: I never felt like anyone was in danger at any point. The size certainly helped.

Behind the Wheel: Definitely put someone behind the wheel. Not safe to have no one driving.

Space & Practicality: Yes, sir.

Equipment: Plenty.

Drivetrain: This is a car, not a train.

Output: I find that you get out of life what you put in.

Curb Weight: I try not to focus on weight. I’m more about health.

 

The Verdict:

My lady friend and I felt safe and my little miracle baby loved every minute of being in this car. Not for haters.

 

 

 

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Nick lived and loved in the United States of America (maybe you’ve heard of it), working in film, television and publishing New York City and Los Angeles until he moved to Sydney, Australia in 2007. He’s married to his special lady friend and their little miracle baby was born in 2010. Most recently, Nick has worked as a magazine editor and writer. He also writes essays and screenplays.

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