Three months with the 3008 and it still remains our pick of the bunch.
We love the Peugeot 3008. For me, this remains the best SUV in its class. It has almost everything down pat: looks, performance, practicality, safety and daily liveability. So much so that it puts some of the more expensive German offerings to shame. Read the intro update here.
The original reason we asked for the 3008 was to see if it was an ideal car to join our family, primarily as an SUV that my parents could use that offered high levels of active safety, ease of entry and exit, and plenty of room in the back for our two young boys to comfortably go to their grandparents' house and be chauffeured around.
So far, the family feedback has been almost entirely positive. But let us get some of the negatives out of the way.
Perhaps the most concerning aspect of buying a French car, for those that have never done so before, is the perceived build quality. This so-called French reputation is due to some issues with models in the past few decades and punters have a long memory.
Nonetheless, as impossible as it is for us to say that the 3008 is built as good as anything from Japan or Europe in the long term, we can safely say that our Peugeot 3008 feels solid and fault-free since we’ve had it, with exceptional attention to detail, and panels and interior gaps that are consistent and on par with the best in the industry for low levels of tolerance.
Nothing feels poorly put together – the cabin, the exterior, the entire car seems to have that Japanese feel to it, in the sense that it has passed the highest levels of quality check, both at the design and factory levels.
We can't speak about the electronics or the drivetrain in the long term, which is why in our last update we suggested you push for a longer warranty period (three to five years) for peace of mind. Will it keep going forever like, say, a Subaru? Only time will tell.
However (there is always a but) we have had a few little issues. Firstly, the fragrance system in the glovebox (which allows for pleasant scents in the cabin) literally fell out of its dock. It fit back in after some fiddling, but it doesn’t seem secure enough for us to say it won’t do that again. It tends to move around a bit.
Secondly, after about 5000km of use, there is some fraying on the driver’s leather seats. The bottom parts of the seat’s stitching appear to be wearing poorly with threads beginning to look a little worse for wear. It hasn’t come undone or anything (yet), but it’s not exactly what you hope to see after such limited use.
Also, the multilayered interior surfaces don’t necessarily clean very well, particularly the dark grey fabric on the doors. They look amazing and help lift the cabin ambience, but if you get them a little dirty, it will take some undoing.
These ‘issues’ are minor and would more than likely happen in any car, regardless of origin. Besides, if they were to get worse, no doubt a warranty claim would have them fixed, so it’s not of long-term concern. The ‘feature’ that has come to annoy us the most is the reversing camera.
Here, with the flagship Peugeot product, you have arguably the most technologically advanced SUV for the money – with dual high-resolution screens and an absolutely amazing and super-fast infotainment system backed up by class-leading levels of active safety – ruined by quite possibly the worst reversing camera we’ve had the pleasure of using in recent times.
It works as intended, sure, but the image quality is very subpar, which is further amplified by the super high-quality screen. It’s like watching a VHS tape on a 4K TV. It’s such a basic part of the car, where other manufacturers have fitted higher-quality cameras more than a decade ago, that we are unsure as to why the French have chosen such a low-quality camera.
We would also love to see some hooks in the boot. With 591 litres on offer, the Peugeot can swallow a big pram and the week’s groceries with ease, however – as we have found out – there is nowhere to attach the plastic bags from Coles, so they tend to fly around a bit. An odd omission.
Other than that, though, the 3008 has been an excellent choice for our family. We have come to utilise the safety features of the car quite a lot. In particular, the active cruise-control system that not only follows the speed of the car in front (up to a preset speed), but also will steer for you on the highway (for short periods of time). We also love its faultless ability to read speed signs (of any kind).
What my old man has found most useful is the blind-spot monitoring system in the mirrors, so he doesn’t have to turn his head too far to shoulder-check, which he finds very comforting. He has grumbled a little about the gear stick, which is of the kind that doesn’t physically have different permanent positions for gears (push up for reverse or down for drive and it snaps back to its original position once a gear is selected), which can at times be a little finicky to use.
The ability to manipulate the digital instrument cluster to show navigation, speed, or other car functions is also handy on long trips. It’s a super-modern technological display that matches the car’s modern exterior. Speaking of which, we still find the constant looks and comments from strangers rather surprising, and even more so when they see the interior.
On the move, the 3008’s 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine has plenty of grunt and has never felt inadequate. With 121kW of power and 240Nm of torque, it moves the Peugeot's weight with ease both in suburban environments and on the highway. The claimed 7L/100km of fuel usage hasn't exactly been matched, but it's sitting in the low to mid 8s.
It also offers levels of ride comfort and compliance that are hard to match in this category. Compared to crowd favourites, the Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Tucson, the 3008 is a softer and more accommodating ride, absorbing Brisbane’s terrible roads with ease and grace, without compromising all that much on dynamic capability.
It’s not as sporty in its road-hugging mannerisms as some of its rivals, but that is a characteristic that sits pretty far down on our priority list for this class of vehicle.
Overall, our few months with the Peugeot 3008 have been rather rewarding. It remains this writer’s pick in the segment for its amazing looks, modern and practical interior, and the sheer level of technological brilliance on offer. With a longer warranty and a sharp deal, this should definitely be on the contender list for any SUV buyer.
We are hoping to swap into a diesel 3008 in the coming weeks to see if the price difference is worth it.
Click through to our gallery for more images by Toby Leung.