Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good Arriving Down Under in June 2010 the Peugeot 3008 is a refreshingly modern Crossover that in concept takes the best bits from a hatchback passenger car, People Mover and SUV and molds them into one. It does without an all-wheel-drive system which lowers vehicle mass and thus improves fuel economy. Furthermore, 2WD SUV’s are a smart buy for the majority of buyers in this segment that have no intention of ever driving along hardcore off-road tracks. The 3008 share’s a platform with the brands 308 hatch yet unlike that model, Peugeot’s super oversized and shiny front grille looks more appropriate on the chunkier, bigger bodied 3008.
Not so good From the outside you could never call the 3008 a natural beauty; from a number of angles its proportions look a little unusual. There is also an excess of black plastic on display at the rear end (we admit styling is subjective) however choosing the Nero Black paint colour hides this well. This is the last Peugeot to use the big oversized grille styling; all new designs from 2011 will feature a less confronting front end.
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good The interior is classy and well-built, in a number of ways it’s class leading. The dash features primarily soft-touch plastics, the transmission tunnel is trimmed in a premium Piano Black finish and cool shiny silver accents are everywhere. Add a raised centre console between the driver and front passenger, a sloping dash, a host of toggle switches (XTE grade), big comfortable seats up front (with a distinctive headrest design) and a full length glass roof (XTE grade) - we can’t think of a nicer interior, up front at least, in the compact SUV segment. The heavily raked windscreen helps to create an airy cabin (as does the glass roof), the driving position is comfortable and the combination of a tall roofline yet low window line ensures second row passengers also get a clear view outwards. We also like the large 13.5L storage bin in the centre console, the underfloor storage in the rear bench footwells (XTE grade) and the big 512L boot with a split tailgate, 3 level adjustable luggage floor, standard removable auto-recharge torch and super generous sized cargo net. Should the need arise, the rear seats also fold flat into the floor (another benefit of doing without an all-wheel-drive system, which needs the extra space under the floor).
Not so good The steering wheel is very fat (smaller hands may wish for a thinner rimmed wheel) and we prefer when audio controls are placed on the wheel itself rather than on stalks off the steering column (again, a subjective view). The head up display is a useful feature (standard on the XTE grades) and is displayed on a pop-up plastic screen that emerges from the dash in a very cool manner. However, it may be a bit of a gimmick as Peugeot could have just displayed the projection straight onto the windscreen like a number of BMW and Lexus models for example. Rear seat legroom is lacking for tall adults and teens.
Performance

Performance

Good 3 four-cylinder engines on offer, 2 diesels and 1 petrol, all turbocharged. The 1.6L petrol (the same engine is also found underneath the MINI Cooper S) generates 115kW of power and 240Nm of torque, the 1.6L diesel 80kW and 240Nm and the 2.0L diesel 120kW and a much healthier 340Nm. Fuel economy ranges from a super frugal 4.9L per 100km (official combined figures) to a still respectable 7.8L per 100km depending on grade. Our pick of the range is the petrol 1.6L turbo. It offers much more oomph than the 1.6L diesel yet is costs significantly less than the 2.0L diesel (however, in the diesel’s favour is lower fuel economy). A good dose of mid range torque ensures the petrol’s happy to accelerate quickly when required for overtaking and it also can tackle hilly terrain.
Not so good No surprise that the 1.6L diesel is the least peppy of the engines on offer, and in the real world it feels slow and even breathless at times. The problem is a lack in low to mid-range torque. Whilst we recommend the petrol 1.6L turbo, it’s not the most exciting engine in the compact SUV segment. Initial acceleration from the lights is never overly fast (but if you’re after a performance car, you should know to look elsewhere). The six speed automatic transmission can also feel indecisive at times.
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good The 3008 sits a full 14cm higher than the 308 hatch which it shares a platform with, yet remarkably feels as if it sits flatter and more stable through corners, even at high speeds. This confidence inspiring and agile handling is thanks to Peugeot’s Dynamic Ride Control system, which automatically adjusts the damping to minimise body roll. For a high riding front-wheel-drive Crossover we’re impressed. For buyers that require extra traction (snow lover’s etc) Peugeot offer the optional ‘Grip Control’ which provides extra traction through the car’s traction and stability control systems by five selectable modes – standard, snow, all terrain, sand and ESP-off settings.
Not so good The electrically assisted steering is a touch over-sensitive and lacks the communication and road feedback of the class best. The XTE grade comes with great looking 18 inch alloys, yet for a more forgiving low-speed ride (especially on our typical coarse and broken road surfaces) the XSE’s 17 inch wheel and tyre combo might be a better choice.
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good Ticks the safety box with six airbags, anti lock brakes with electronic brake distribution, electronic stability and traction control standard across all grades. Standard features on the entry level XSE grades include dual-zone climate control air-conditioning, auto headlights and wipers, an automatic electric park brake and no less than three 12-volt power outlets. The XTE grades add bigger 18 inch alloys, power folding door mirrors and chrome highlights to the exterior and a power sunroof, head-up display for the driver, distinctive dash mounted toggle switches, distance control warning, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, front footwell lighting, the extra storage compartment in the rear seat footwells and rear-side sunblinds. Directional bi-xenon headlights, leather trim, power driver’s seat and metallic paint are optional.
Not so good The Peugeot is more expensive than similar sized competitors such as the Mitsubishi ASX, Nissan Dualis, Kia Sportage or Hyundai ix35 however the more classy and premium feel of the 3008’s interior means it’s more of a competitor to semi-premium offerings like the Volkswagen Tiguan (and the 3008 feels even more special inside than the VW). The XTE grade with its 18 inch alloys does without a spare tyre – buyers must make do with only a puncture kit and compressor. If you choose the Grip Control option you forgo the larger 17 or 18 inch alloys in place of smaller 16 inch alloy wheels fitted with mud and snow tyres (we’re being subjective again as function over styling could be viewed as a plus).