Peugeot wants to be considered a mainstream premium brand in Australia. And if the face lifted Peugeot 3008 is anything to go by, the French carmaker is going about it the right way.
The medium SUV segment is ripe for the plucking, with a host of mainstream and premium brands competing for traction. Plugging into that segment successfully needs something pretty special. And on first impressions, Peugeot has nailed the brief.
The Peugeot 3008 range arrives in Australia refreshed and reimagined – four variants now comprise the range, three with petrol engines and a single diesel-powered model.
The 3008 range gets underway with the $44,990 (plus on-roads) Allure. It’s powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine making 121kW at 6000rpm and 240Nm at 1400rpm. Drive is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic. That's a healthy premium to pay over one of its major rivals, the Volkswagen Tiguan, which gets the ball rolling at $34,990 plus on-roads. An interesting strategy then, from the French brand,
The same engine and transmission does the hard work in the 3008 GT ($47,990 plus on-roads), the extra cost accounted for with equipment upgrades. You can read our full pricing and specification story for the Peugeot 3008 range here.
Starting at $50,990, the Peugeot 3008 GT Diesel is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel with 131kW at 3750rpm and a healthy 400Nm at 2000rpm. It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
And topping the range is the Peugeot 3008 GT Sport powered a more powerfully-tuned turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine with 133kW at 5500rpm and 250Nm at 1650rpm. It’s mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s priced at $54,990 plus on-road costs.
|2021 Peugeot 3008 GT||2021 Peugeot 3008 GT Sport|
|Engine||1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol||1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol|
|Power and torque||121kW at 6000rpm, 240Nm at 1400rpm||133kW at 5500rpm, 250Nm at 1650rpm|
|Transmission||Six-speed automatic||Eight-speed automatic|
|Drive type||Front-wheel drive||Front-wheel drive|
|Fuel claim combined (ADR)||7.0L/100km||5.6L/100km|
|Fuel use on test||NA||NA|
|Boot volume (min/max)||591L / 1670L||591L / 1670L|
|ANCAP rating||Five Stars (2016)||Five Stars (2016)|
|Warranty||Five years/unlimited km||Five years/unlimited km|
|Main competitors||Volkswagen Tiguan, Mazda CX-5||Volkswagen Tiguan, Mazda CX-5|
|Price as tested (plus on-road costs)||From $47,990||From $54,990|
Peugeot has rolled the dice with the GT Sport variant, a model exclusive to the Australian market, the French brand believing local consumers are looking for more equipment and better value in their vehicle offerings.
As well as a healthy swag of equipment and a more powerful turbo-four, the GT Sport model is distinguished by its exclusive-to-the-model Black Pack that brings black 19-inch alloys, as well as a host of blacked-out elements including the grille, fender trims, roof rails and spoiler. It certainly looks the part, if black is your thing.
External changes to the 3008 range include a revised grille and front bumper with modified air intakes. The LED headlights and daytime running lamps have been redesigned while at the rear, Peugeot’s signature three-claw tail-light design has been upgraded to full LED with dynamic indicators., The whole assembly is now housed inside smoked glass lenses.
Peugeot says the redesign aligns its SUV range with Peugeot’s new design language that first appeared on the 508 Sportback and Wagon, no bad thing, the 508 presenting a handsome and striking countenance. The refreshed Peugeot 3008 carries that external design easily and comfortably, at once visually more striking and sportier looking than the model it replaces.
We sampled two variants of the 3008 at the mid-size SUV’s local launch, held in Sydney’s almost-Biblical rain-drenched conditions.
First up was the petrol-powered 3008 GT with as tested price of $52,630 plus on-road costs, thanks to a couple of options including premium paint ($1050) and the Nappa Leather pack ($3590) which adds not only premium leather seats, but also heated front seats, and electric adjustment for the driver’s seats with massage function.
Certainly in this specification, the interior of the 3008 GT looks every bit the premium SUV. It seems a lot of thought has been put into the use of materials and the tactility of switchgear.
The new 10.0-inch screen sits nicely on top of the dash, its graphics sharp and clear. And while touchscreens are de rigueur, it’s nice to see Peugeot continues to offer a range of shortcut buttons, in this case, the piano-key style toggles nestled into the dahs just below the screen. They’re intuitive and lovely to use, a satisfying ‘snick’ with every press.
One minor gripe is the positioning of the cruise control switchgear, down low on the steering column and out of the line of sight Yes, you would get used to it with prolonged use, but not being able to see the myriad controls and what they do is distracting, That said, the adaptive cruise control works just fine.
Peugeot’s persistence with its small and sporty steering wheel continues to confound and makes viability to the 12.3-inch digital instrument display a bit tricky. Certainly, my 173cm satire requires the wheel set quite low in order to read the instrumentation. Not ideal.
The Nappa leather seats feel great, with a softness that feels expensive and luxuriant. They’re supportive as well as heated, and richly textured, while the stepped dash treatment looks a million bucks, especially with the faux timber trim that is not overdone or chintzy, instead simply classy.
The second row offers plenty of space for adults, and thanks to its flat floor (no pesky drivetrain tunnel eating into foot room) can accommodate three in comfort. The seats fold flat in 60:40 split fashion, expanding cargo capacity from 591 litres to 1670L. That’s pretty decent for a medium SUV. There are air vents back there as well as a couple of USB point to keep devices topped up.
On the road, the 1.6-litre mated to its six-speed automatic is a decent combination. There’s enough urgency from take-off for most situations the 3008 is likely to encounter. It’s quiet and refined too, adding to the cabin ambience.
Power delivery is nice and linear, even at higher speeds, with easy and predictable acceleration.
The six-speed auto is slick and intuitive, too, selecting the right ratio for the situation. Press the accelerator with some vigour for say, an overtake, and the six-speed shuffles down the ratios easily and quickly, to find the optimal gear.
There’s a nice comforting cushioning to the ride as well, a facet highlighted by the shocking conditions of mid-flood damaged country roads forming our launch drive.
Small potholes (and there were plenty) offered little resistance to comfort while even larger potholes did little to ruffle the calm ambience inside the cabin.
The steering felt nice and direct too, with good resistance. Accurate too and with conditions requiring plenty of sudden direction changes to avoid the worst of Sydney’s flood damage, the question of handling was asked and answered well.
It all adds up to a comfortable and decent mid-size SUV package, the nicely designed cabin that looks and feels premium and a little bit different to most mainstream offerings, providing a pleasing backdrop. That’s only underscored by the experience behind the wheel, a blend of refinement and solidity that’s hard not to like.
That experience is only enhanced by the 3008 GT Sport, its more powerful iteration of the 1.6-litre turbo-four filling in any gaps its ever so slightly tamer sibling might have left.
There’s some vim and vigour from the powertrain, a feeling enhanced by the eight-speed auto. While the six-speed transmission is perfectly acceptable, the eight-speed adds some zing to the driving experience. Gear changes to throttle response are razor-sharp, resulting in pleasing surges of speed.
And toggling drive mode into Sport – one of three options alongside Eco and Comfort – only enhances the experience, with the eight-speed holding onto gears longer for pleasing power delivery. And with maximum torque available quite low in the rev band, the engine never feels stressed or underdone.
Ultimately, buyers in this space are looking for comfort and practicality, and the 3008 delivers on both fronts.
Peugeot claims the 3008 GT will get by on 7.0 litres of 95RON per 100km while the more efficient eight-speed transmission of the GT Sport sees that number drop to 5.6L. Our test loops weren’t indicative of real-world usage so we’ll save our judgment for when we get every variant through the CarAdvice garage for week-long road tests.
Peugeot covers the 3008 range with its now standard five-year/unlimited km warranty. It carries a five-star ANCAP rating from 2016, this mid-life – and fundamentally cosmetic – update unlikely to see any change to that score.
The French brand makes no apologies for its ‘mainstream premium’ positioning in Australia’s crowded new car market. Certainly, in the ever more crowed medium SUV segment the Peugeot 3008 plays in, standing out from the crowd has never been more important.
That the 2021 Peugeot 3008 does exactly that is noteworthy. On cabin design and ambience alone, the Peugeot 3008 is a winner. That it doubles down with a refined choice of drivetrains married to a ride that’s as comfortable as any of its European rivals can muster, is commendable, making the 3008 worthy of consideration.
It is, to borrow a phrase from its homeland, très chic.