Take one part SUV, one part family size hatchback, throw in a little chrome trim mix thoroughly and pour into a flamboyant French designed mould. Once it’s set, you’ll have Peugeot’s latest offering – the 3008. This may not be the exact recipe the French carmaker used when cooking up the 3008 but it’s certainly a mixed-breed machine that’s unique in both its appearance and its purpose. The 3008 enters a growing niche created by the Nissan Qashqai for vehicles that aren’t entirely committed to being a crossover. There is no 4WD system and ride height is only marginally raised, but these vehicles do have strong practical value and a definite nod to modern design. The 3008 represents Peugeot’s first attempt at building a crossover and while it could be seen as a half-measure in terms of possessing rugged ability, it’s definitely built to have a broad appeal.
From the outside some would call the 3008 awkward, others would say awesome but there’s no doubt it’s distinctive. There’s a lot of detail styling to draw the eye including the chromed toothy front grille and door mirror surrounds. At the rear a silver plastic diffuser sits below uniquely shaped two-piece taillights. Dimensionally, the 3008 has a bulbous charm with its high roofline and pumped up body that appears a fraction too wide for the track it rides on. The luxury looks are rounded off with prominent Peugeot badging and smart 18-inch alloy wheels. Whether you love it or hate it you can’t deny that the 3008’s bold sense of style will set it apart in the increasingly competitive crossover market.
Step inside and you’re greeted with a light and spacious cabin. Our tested Sport spec model was fitted, as standard, with a panoramic glass roof that nearly stretches the entire length of the cabin. Although it can’t be slid open, this transparent roof is a delight, letting huge amounts of light flood in and is equipped with an electric blind when shade is required.
Peugeot has likened the 3008 interior to an aircraft cockpit and it’s not too far from the truth. The centre console is raised and sweeps around the driver, switchgear is logically and stylishly laid out. A row of chrome toggle switches control various functions including a heads-up-display plastic screen that rises from behind the conventional instrumentation. Unlike most HUD systems that display speed directly onto the windscreen this is more of a gimmick but functions well and adds to the 3008’s individual appeal. The interior plastics generally look and feel good quality with a soft touch dashboard and subtle use of contrasting silver trim.
Standard equipment is generous for the money and includes treats like dual-zone climate control, auto headlights and wipers, cruise control and rear parking sensors.
Interior storage is excellent with clever hidden compartments in the rear footwells, plenty of cupholders, large door pockets and a centre storage box that’s very deep and cooled but unfortunately opens away from the driver making it slightly awkward to use.
The driving position is nicely raised and combined with the huge windscreen allows for commanding visibility. The rear seat has width for three occupants and while headroom is spacious, legroom is quite limited for this segment.
The 3008’s practical appeal is further strengthened by an excellent hatch area that has a two-way opening tailgate to create a flat loading floor. There is also an easy-to-use three-position hatch floor and a boot light that doubles as a removable torch. Storage capacity is 512-litres with the seats up or 1604 with them folded.
The 3008 is available in NZ with a choice of two engine options — a 2.0 litre diesel and a 1.6 litre petrol. Our tested vehicle was fitted with the 1.6 petrol that uses a single turbo to help produce 115kw of power and a healthy 240Nm of torque. While it’s a smallish engine to power a vehicle of this size the 4-cylinder is a spirited unit and can get the 3008 moving with haste. However, its performance isn’t quite as refined as the luxury styling might suggest. It can be a touch raw accelerating from standing or in stop/start traffic but is certainly lively and responsive.
Power is put through to the front treads by a 6-speed conventional automatic transmission that offers well spaced gear ratios and operates quietly and without fuss. Under heavy acceleration the transmission can get confused and go hunting for gears but tiptronic changes are always available through the gearstick. Fuel economy is quoted at 6.6l/100km combined.
Surprisingly for a compact crossover the 3008 feels more at home during open road duties than when stuck in suburban traffic. The seats are nicely comfortable, it cruises quietly and the suspension is set up with comfort firmly in mind. Bumps and dips in the road won’t unsettle the 3008 and the steering is light without being vague.
The 3008’s handling ability is impressive for a raised height vehicle and heavy body roll is limited to only the fiercest cornering moves. The rear suspension uses a Dynamic Roll Control system which links both rear shock absorbers and noticeably keeps the 3008 riding flat – allowing for quick exiting from corners. Grip is also keen from the low profile tyres and there’s minimal torque steer at the front driving wheels.
The 3008 is a family focused vehicle and Peugeot has taken all the right measures to make it very safe. Six airbags are included, as is stability control, brake assist, rear seatbelt warning systems and 3-point belts for all occupants.
So what’s the bottom line with the 3008? If you’re a fan of the unique exterior styling, or are willing to let it grow on you, then what lies underneath is a good family hauler. The interior is a high point with its great visibility, driving position and premium feel. The driving dynamics are competent and comfortable if not entirely engaging on the open road. The powertrain can be slightly raw but the petrol engine is peaky and willing to work hard to move the crossover quickly around town. If you’re looking for a safe, spacious and economical family vehicle and you want something a little bit different, then there’s no reason not to take a closer look at the 3008.
Price: From $42,990 as tested $47,990
What we like:
- Well appointed and thoughtful cabin
- Peppy petrol engine
- Solid handling ability for a crossover
What we don’t like:
- Styling won’t suit all tastes
- Limited rear seat legroom
- Powertrain can feel unrefined
Words and Photos: Adam Mamo
Other reviews of interest:
Peugeot 3008 Sport 1.6 (2010) — Specifications
High-Pressure Direct Petrol Injection Engine
6 speed Automatic Transmission
Cubic Capacity (cc) 1598
Max Power kW (HP) @ rpm 115 kW (154) @ 6000
Max Torque (Nm) @ rpm 240 @ 1400
WHEELS AND TYRES
Alloy Wheels Size 235/45 R18
Tyre Pressure Sensor
Front ventilated with sliding calipers piston diameter 302 x 26 mm
Rear solid discs with sliding calipers piston diameter 249 x 9 mm
Front”Independent McPherson type, helical springs and
hydraulic dampers, set to operating pressure of 5 bars.
Rear”Rear Torsion beam and integral Anti-Roll Bar, Helical
springs”Plus Dynamic Roll Control
Length (mm) 4365
Width (mm) with mirrors 2113
Height (mm) 1639
WEIGHTS AND CAPACITIES
Kerb weight (kg) 1539
With braked trailer (kg) 1400
Unbraked trailer (kg) 750
Boot Volume max (litres) 1604
FUEL CONSUMPTION & EMISSIONS
City cycle l/100km 10.8
Highway cycle l/100km 6.1
Combined l/100km 7.8
Emission of CO2 by weight (g/km) 182 (combined)
Emission Control EURO 5
Top speed kms/hr 202
5 star Euro NCAP safety rating
6 airbags”driver, passenger, front head & front side airbags
ABS (with EBFD & EBA)
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) (with ASR & CDS)
Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBFD)
5 x 3-point seatbelts with pre-tensioning front and load limiting
outer rear seatbelts
Front & rear seatbelt unfastened warning
Isofix on outer rear seats
Driver Assistance”Heads up display & distance alert
Central deadlocking and remote control locking
Rolling code transponder immobiliser
Visible VIN number
Security coded in-car entertainment
Auto-lock doors/boot over 10 km
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
Front & Rear park aid
Drivers seat height adjustment
Electric one touch windows
Front monochrome screen
Dual Zone Automatic air-conditioning with two rear air vents
Tinted windows & over-tinted rear window
Acoustic laminated windscreen
Toughened rear windows
3 spoke steering wheel with metal decoration
CD Player, reads MP3
Central armrest with leather handle
Adventure Pack”Chrome & Aluminium side decoration & bumpers
Instrument panel with active display
Driver seat adjustment with lumbar adjustment
Panoramic glass roof
Rear side manual window curtains
Chrome Toggle Switches
Front Heated Seats
Multi-Flex boot loading space
Automatic electric parkbrake
LIGHTING & VISIBILITY
Rain sensing wipers
Anti fog lamps
Front & Rear roof lighting
2 map lights
2 reading lights in back
Illuminated Vanity Mirrors
Ambiance lighting in footwell
Electric folding mirrors
Electrochrome rear view mirror