Car reviews - Peugeot - 3008 - GT
Beautiful cabin design, comfortable seats, roomy cabin, superb steering, urban-star handling, punchy yet efficient diesel
Room for improvement
Optional equipment should be standard, average fit-and-finish, small hatchback-like refinement
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5 Jan 2018
THE original Peugeot 3008 appeared like a creature from the deep. It was not only blobby and bulbous in appearance, but it created a murky line between SUV and MPV that few buyers snapped up. But to say this second-generation model marks a shift in philosophy is an understatement.
Although heavily based on the 308 hatchback, the second-gen 3008 is a proper mid-size SUV. From engine to equipment to exterior specification, this $35,000-to-$50,000 Peugeot emerges from the abyss to tackle the likes of the Mazda CX-5 head on.
While a trio of turbocharged petrol-engined model grades are available, selecting a turbo-diesel requires heading straight to the flagship 3008 GT, with the most power, the greatest torque, the fastest performance, the lowest fuel consumption and the highest level of standard kit in the range.
On-paper at least, it should showcase this latest French SUV at its best.
Price and equipment
Stepping up from the petrol-powered 3008 GT-Line to the diesel-only 3008 GT requires an extra $6000, at $49,490 plus on-road costs. The GT adds 19-inch alloy wheels, Alcantara dashboard trim, an electrically adjustable driver’s seat with massage function, and heated front seats, but that’s it.
Both include auto on/off wipers, LED headlights with high-beam assist, keyless entry with push-button start, part-leather trim, leather-wrapped gear lever and steering wheel, dual-zone climate control air-conditioning, satellite navigation, digital radio, front and rear parking sensors, automatic reverse-park assistance, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Additionally, both further feature autonomous emergency braking (AEB), blind-spot monitoring, active lane-keep assistance and adaptive cruise control. It is an impressive list, but more so for the GT-Line’s $43,490 ask.
Some optional equipment is also easier to swallow at GT-Line level than with the lofty GT, such as asking requiring $2700 for Nappa leather seats, $2000 for a panoramic sunroof and $500 for an electric tailgate. Option it all and the GT comes to $54,690 – close to a $57,900 Mini JCW Countryman.
Viewed another way, and a $49,990 CX-5 Akera diesel includes the aforementioned three options as standard, as well as an electrically adjustable passenger seat, Bose premium audio system, colour head-up display and all-wheel drive – versus the Peugeot’s front-wheel drive – that are unavailable here.
Premium perception combines successfully with practicality and pragmatism inside the cabin of this 3008 GT, which outshines the likes of a similarly priced Audi Q2 in terms of design and space. That might sound like a sizeable call to make, but the boutique interior styling of this SUV distances the Peugeot from the CX-5 and places it alongside car-makers renowned for delivering interior polish.
Swathes of textured soft-touch materials are complemented by soft mood lighting, quality trim and consistently matched high-resolution colour driver and multimedia displays. The addition of tactile shortcut toggle switches below the middle screen also aids ergonomics compared with the smaller 308, which packages audio, satellite navigation and climate control functions onto the touchscreen.
If there is a downside, it concerns some patchy fit-and-finish and quality, particularly around the glovebox shutline, creaky driver’s door handle and glitchy 360-degree camera – although these could be specific to this particular test car.
Peugeot has not forgotten about comfort levels, either, with wonderfully snug front seats combining nicely with a supportive back bench. And although legroom cannot rival a CX-5, it matches it with air vents. Without all-wheel-drive hardware, and with a simpler torsion beam rear axle, a low floor also helps to enhance packaging efficiency – a 591-litre boot volume easily bests the Mazda’s 442L.
Engine and transmission
With similar equipment and near-identical styling, under the bonnet is where the 3008 GT most assertively argues its case over the 3008 GT-Line. Simply, this 133kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder unit effortlessly ousts the 121kW/240Nm 1.6-litre turbo-petrol unit in every way.
Despite some clatter at idle and on light throttle, the Peugeot diesel smoothens out as revs rise. But unlike the petrol, which occasionally causes its six-speed automatic transmission to lurch back multiple gears and take a prolonged gasp towards redline, this 2.0-litre just toils dutifully away.
The auto is a happier partner as a result, and so too will be the driver who needs to use less throttle anywhere and everywhere. It also all helps to deliver a credible 8.9-second zero-to-100km/h acceleration time that is a full 1.0s faster than its cheaper sibling.
And although claimed combined-cycle fuel consumption of 4.8 litres per 100 kilometres is fanciful in the real world – we achieved 9.1L/100km mainly around town – the GT is still simply the smartest drivetrain pick.
Ride and handling
Diesel engines are typically heavier than petrol engines, and the larger unit in the 3008 is no exception. With a kerb weight of 1433kg, this GT adds 72kg over a GT-Line. Thankfully, though, this front-wheel-drive SUV weighs an astonishing 311kg less than an all-wheel drive CX-5 Akera.
Some of that gap comes down to ride quality and refinement differences. The latest Mazda is smooth, and it soaks up even the nastiest mid-corner bumps on country roads. Despite rolling on 19-inch wheels, the 3008 GT is also adeptly smooth and comfortable but mainly around town. Stride urban boundaries and the suspension struggles to keep up with choppy surfaces, bouncing and jarring while becoming loud on coarse-chip surfaces in particular.
Yet to be fair the Peugeot is perhaps even more fun than that rival, again particularly around town thanks to superbly light and quick steering, and a perky agility that is obviously 308 hatch-derived.
The 3008 might not be the most grown-up or refined choice, then, but it sure is regularly enjoyable.
Safety and servicing
Six airbags (including dual front, front-side and curtain), ABS, electronic stability control (ESC), front and rear parking sensors with a 360-degree camera, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assistance, and autonomous emergency braking (AEB) are included.
The Peugeot 3008 achieved a five-star safety rating, with an overall score of 32.9 out of 38 points when assessed by ANCAP in 2016.
Peugeot includes annual or 20,000km servicing intervals at an average of $633 each over the first five years or 100,000km.
Diesel is definitely the engine pick within the Peugeot 3008 line-up, but it certainly does come at a price. Tick a couple of options and a buyer is asked to stride past CX-5 Akera mainstream mid-size SUV territory and move onto Mini JCW Countryman performance SUV turf.
Should you find a good deal, however, then the 3008 GT can most convincingly be all things to most people, stylish yet spacious, and efficiently packaged while being brilliant fun.
Put another way, it is not quite as formal and roomy as mainstream rivals such as a CX-5, but neither is it a slave to fashion like a cramped Audi Q2 is. Only that Mini treads a similar path.
Peugeot is certainly back in business within this enormous segment, though.
What was once a homely SUV-cum-MPV should now – especially if a pricing revision for the diesel were to occur – simply find more homes around the country.
Mazda CX-5 Akera from $49,990 plus on-road costsA driver’s SUV as much as it is a comfortable and well-kitted family mover.
Mini JCW Countryman from $56,990 plus on-road costsSpacious and sporty, it takes the Peugeot’s premium virtues and adds performance.
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