The Peugeot 3008 recently received a facelift, which has made it prettier, but it still sits very low to the ground. Should it be ignored, or does it have at least something going for it?
Our parking lot here at Leisure Wheels can sometimes be a magnificent thing to behold. For a while there last month, I had seven decent vehicles to choose from, and since editor Jannie Herbst and colleague GG van Rooyen were away on a trip, I could take my pick.
The batch included both the BMW 428i and all-new Subaru WRX STI for reasons I won’t elaborate on here, but the notable thing is that both of them remained stationary for a whole week. The reason? The Peugeot 3008 was here as well.
It seems hard to imagine that I’d choose the French crossover above the speed machines, but I’ve always believed that comfort trumps everything else, including speed.
Yes, there is a time and place for speed, but if you have to drive in peak hour traffic every day, comfort trumps everything.
The 3008 does comfort exceptionally well, but it’s not without its problems.
Parked next to its main rivals, the 3008 looks slightly underwhelming. The recent facelift has helped sharpen it up a bit, but it still doesn’t have the look of a crossover. It’s more MPV than SUV, which may be an issue for the more style conscious buyer.
While it may not have the look of a crossover, it certainly feels that way on the inside, thanks to an elevated driving position. As that’s one of the main features people are after in this segment, I’m willing to give Peugeot a pass on this one.
I’m fairly certain the average owner won’t cross over to the rough side, but just to see how the Peugeot fared, I drove it down an evenly scraped gravel road.
The suspension soaked up the worst of the bumps and the car behaved well considering that it’s available only in front-wheel drive. While it did fine on the gravel, it must be said that the 3008 is much better suited to life on tar.
I drove the top-of-the-line 2,0-litre HDI turbocharged diesel, which delivers 120kW and 340Nm of torque. This impressive powertrain is mated to a slick six-speed automatic gearbox. The combination makes the Peugeot a perfect daily companion as it takes all the effort out of stop and go traffic and highway cruising.
Maximum torque is available very low down in the rev range, which means the gearbox hardly ever has to shift down for overtaking, but you have to deal with some torque steer during a quick pull-away. When last did you hear of a crossover doing something impressive like that?
But let’s get back to the comfort. Apart from the near silent interior and the comfortable ride, you get a lot of standard equipment. Then again, that’s to be expected in a car costing R410 000.
For all that money you get every conceivable safety and comfort feature, including acronyms like ABS, ESC and equipment such as heated seats and satellite navigation. My personal favourite is the James Bond-like Head’s Up Display that flips up when you toggle a switch on the centre console. It’s nothing mind-blowing, but small features like this make the interior of a car feel really special.
What I loved most about the Peugeot was its frugal nature and the ease of use. In my hands the 3008 returned a consumption of roughly 7,0 l/100km, which is very impressive considering the vehicle’s pulling power.
There are several facets to “ease of use”. On the first day, I connected my phone and set a destination on the on-board navigation system in less than a minute. The rest of the car pretty much sorts itself out. The preferred climate needs to be set only once, while the handbrake, headlamps and wipers are all activated automatically if and when needed.
With all of this in mind, it’s easy to see why one would choose this car for normal everyday use ahead of something that would require more driver input.
The Peugeot 3008 won’t get you very far off road, but otherwise it will take you a long way without tiring you out.