2017 Peugeot 3008 Review
Isaac Bober’s 2018 Peugeot 3008 review with pricing, specs, performance, ride and handling, safety, verdict and score.
In a nutshell: The Peugeot 3008 is European car of the year and while Peugeot’s dropped its five-year warranty there’s still plenty to like about this SUV.
2018 Peugeot 3008
Price $39,490+ORC ($43,880+ORC as tested) Warranty Three Years, 100,000km Engine 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol Power 121kW at 6000rpm Torque 240Nm at 1400rpm Transmission six-speed automatic Drive front-wheel drive (cost-optional Grip Control) Dimensions 4447mm (L); 1826mm – body only (W); 1624mm (H); 2675mm (WB) Spare space spare (18in) Boot Space 591-1670L Fuel Tank 53 litres Thirst 7.3L/100km combined – claimed – with Grip Control
PEUGEOT’S SECOND-GENERATION 3008 arrived Down Under after receiving widespread applause internationally, with European motoring hacks awarding it their loftiest of honours this year (2017), naming it the European Car of the Year; there’s even a sticker on the back of the car proclaiming the award.
Indeed, it’s not the only honour bestowed upon the new 3008 which launched Down Under earlier this year, with many other motoring outlets around the world heaping praise on the French SUV. Sure, the design copped a bit of grief, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so we’ll leave this one for you to make up your own mind.
What is the Peugeot 3008?
The new, second-generation Peugeot 3008 now rides on Peugeot’s much applauded modular (meaning it can be tweaked to suit a variety of vehicles, saving time and money) EMP2 platform. This platform also sits under the Peugeot 308 which is a vehicle we very much like for its ride and handling. So, the 3008 has a good starting point.
Peugeot admits that building an SUV isn’t like turning out a small hatchback because of its raised ride height making for a higher centre of gravity. Peugeot said each engine package for the 3008 gets its own unique suspension tune, with the brand’s Grip Control available on some variants.
Climb into the 3008 and you’ll see the dial showing various terrain responses, including Normal, Snow, Mud, Sand and ESP OFF and, if you weren’t reading it now, you might think that meant the 3008 is an all-wheel drive. It isn’t. It’s a front-drive SUV only, no matter the variant. Interestingly, Grip Control which is Peugeot’s tweaking of a Bosch developed system was designed for rear-wheel drive vehicles and so the French car maker needed to tweak it to suit front drivers.
There are two engines available in the 3008 here in Australia, a 1.6-litre petrol and a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel. And there are four model grades: Active, Allure, GT, GT-Line and GT which is exclusively available as a diesel. Pricing ranges from $36,990+ORC through to $49,490+ORC. This puts it firmly in the mix against key rivals like the Mazda CX-5 and Volkswagen Tiguan. Our test car had an as-tested price of $43,880+ORC featuring metallic paint $690 and a Panoramic glass roof, Grip Control and Safety Pack worth $3700.
What’s the interior like?
The 3008 boasts the latest version of Peugeot’s i-Cockpit a design that saw the removal of hard buttons and dials and, in turn, embedded that functionality in the infotainment screen. Sure, it made for a clutter-free dashboard, but it also made it just about impossible to adjust the air-conditioning without crashing the car.
This new car has seen a tweaking of the theme which sees a welcome return to shortcut menu keys for the infotainment and actual controls for adjusting the air-con and heating. That said, once you’ve selected the menu item via the key, you’ve still got to navigate through a multi-layered system that works great when you’re stationary, but can be a real pain when you’re on the move. Thankfully, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is now offered on the 3008 meaning you can use as much or as little of the car’s infotainment functionality as you like. The wireless phone charging works well, too; my iPhone 8 arrived just before I handed back the 3008 – hopefully it won’t be too long before we’ll have wireless CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
With cloth accents on the dashboard that has clearly been styled to be admired each time you climb inside the car, as opposed to the blatant conservative functionality of, say, the VW Tiguan’s or CX-5’s dashboard. And it does look beautiful, the materials used and the surfacing is stunning stuff that’s unmatched in this price range, or by many costing much more.
The small squared-off at the top and bottom steering wheel takes a little getting used to and, for me, it can’t be raised high enough to ever feel properly comfortable. And, then, when you do raise it up, it tends to obscure parts of the 12.3-inch colour instrument cluster. So, despite the beauty of the design and quality of the materials, it’s hard to give the i-cockpit full marks because of these ergonomic flaws.
The front seats are well-trimmed and comfortable with good support for longer drives. The driving position is nice and high, which is what you want from an SUV, and afford good vision all the way around the vehicle. That said, the rear three-quarter view over your shoulder isn’t amazing and so you’ll make plenty of use of the mirrors and blind-spot monitoring.
Climb into the back and there’s a good amount of room for adults; you’ll fit three across the back seat without too much drama. The seats are comfortable, although the middle seat lacks the shape of the two outboard seats. There are nets on the backs of the front seats for storing an iPad, I guess, and there are directional air vents at the back of the centre console.
The doors open nice and wide and because they extend down below the sill, the backs of your legs will remain muck free when you swing out.
The boot space is well shaped and the rear seats, which are 60:40 split fold can be folded down completely flat and via handles in the boot, which is handy. The tail-gate is automatic and can be raised or lowered via kicking your foot under the rear bumper and this is good, because I found I had to press the key fob several times before it reacted. Indeed, I noticed that was a theme throughout the 3008, that you had to either hold your finger on a button for longer than you would expect or press it several times before it would respond. Back to the boot.
There’s 591-litres of storage space with the back seats up and loaded to the roof, and with the back seats folded flat and the boot loaded to the roof there’s 1670 litres of storage. Beneath the boot floor is a space saver spare.
What’s it like on the road?
Our test car was the 3008 Allure which runs a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine making 121kW at 6000rpm and 240Nm of torque at 1400rpm. This is mated to a six-speed automatic with fuel consumption a claimed combined 7.3L/100km (our car had the cost-optional Grip Control).
While this engine doesn’t read like it’s overly endowed with oomph, on the road it’s more than sufficient with a nice easy nature from the get-go and with good in-gear punch once up and running. The engine proved quiet and refined throughout the rev range and noise insulation was good too.
The six-speed transmission is way off the too-many gears in some of this thing’s competitors but it showed that a decent six-speeder can be better than a rubbish eight, or nine-speed transmission any day of the week. The engine and transmission were well matched with the transmission responding well and instantly to the well-weighted and progressive throttle. Similarly, the brake pedal is nice and progressive allowing you to slow easily or creep along in stop-start traffic without lurching.
As mentioned, our test car ran the cost optional Grip Control which is intended to offer traction and stability control tweaks to suit a variety of terrains, with the intention the 3008 is just as wieldy across a rough road as an all-wheel drive vehicle. I took the 3008 across our short-run rough road track and it performed… okay. The suspension struggled a bit, running out of travel and becoming noisy across moguls. Admittedly, just about everything I’ve driven across those moguls, besides a new Discovery, has been noisy.
The track I was on was hard packed dirt so I didn’t get a chance to try out the different terrain settings, but I did put the 3008 into a cross-axle situation where I managed to get one of the two driving wheels to go light. With one of the driving wheels in the air and spinning uselessly, it took a moment longer than I’d expected for the system to catch up and send a bit more grunt to the wheel compressed into the track. Once it did, the car lurched ahead before collapsing back down.
My assessment is that Grip Control hasn’t been particularly designed for that sort of driving situation, a common one when driving on a rough road, and is more intended for low grip surfaces where both driving wheels are on the ground.
On the road and the 3008 feels stable and sure-footed but I was expecting it to feel a little more dynamic. It’s not that it’s sloppy to drive, although the dampers struggle to contain the car’s weight on larger hits which despite, an overall well insulated cabin, do thump through adding to the drama. You also need to get used to the small steering wheel and the speed of the steering which builds dramatically off centre.
It’s these foibles that stick out while the good bits tend to fade into the background. I think familiarity, though, would make you appreciate the 3008’s on-road stance; it’s comfortable (99% of the time) with good grip and you can’t ask for much more than that. But it’s not the class leader, not dynamically speaking, anyway.
What about safety features?
The Peugeot 3008 scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating for 2017 (testing was carried out in 2016) and, as standard, gets dual front, side chest and side curtain airbags. It also gets traction and stability controls, our test car had cost-optional Grip Control and driver attention alert, lane departure warning, and speed limit recognition and recommendation. Our test car had the cost-optional Safety Pack which adds adaptive cruise control, active blind spot detection, lane keeping assist (which I found to be ridiculously over sensitive, reacting to phantom lines on the road), Peugeot smart beam assist (which will turn on and dip high beam automatically, and this worked very well indeed), and autonomous emergency braking.
Our test car also features Peugeot’s VisioPark2 which features a front and rear camera and sensors as well as 360-degree view; the camera isn’t as clear as the one in the Kia Stinger, but it’s still excellent.
So, what do we think?
Overall, I reckon the new Peugeot 3008 is a good thing. I think it’s disappointing that the new importer dropped the five-year warranty back down to three-years but, beyond that, the 3008 is a competitive SUV that looks great inside, even if there are a couple of ergonomic quirks with the steering wheel. It’s roomy in the front, back and boot and it’s good to drive.