Regular readers may remember our jaunt with Peugeot’s then just-released second generation 3008 crossover about a year ago – a quick media drive to Taiping, Perak, and back to Kuala Lumpur. Even then, it was easy to deduce Peugeot had given itself a steady contender in this hotly contested crossover segment.
Fast forward to the present and, unlike our last outing, we finally had decent time behind the wheel of one recently, meaning we could test it more properly. So, after going through an entire weekend of typical and not so typical routines with it, here’s what is in store for those who dare to be different…
At a glance, as you would most likely know, it’s refreshingly stylish, posh grille, modern LED headlights and tail lights, 18-inch alloy wheels, generous chrome trimming and all.
Inside, the cabin is as chic. Roomy enough, upmarket and very mod. Besides the plush leather, soft touch plastics and high-end fabric, there’s the aviation-inspired, signature Peugeot i-Cockpit design.
Of substance too are its digital and very interactive instrument display and touchscreen infotainment screen, crisp-sounding Arkamys six-speaker sound system, dual zone automatic climate control with rear vents, electric driver seat adjustment, and keyless entry and ignition.
In looks, feel and features count, the 3008 is matched by only a handful of its rivals. Nevertheless, there’s fierce competition from that handful and it needs more than just those attributes to put up a fight – that it has. That little bit of ‘extra’ is seen in the way the 3008 performs, thanks to a dynamic chassis and a revised drivetrain.
In harness is a revised version of Peugeot’s signature 1.6-litre THP turbocharged petrol four-cylinder mill that delivers a decent 165bhp and 240Nm, the torque pitching in from as low as 1,400rpm. Typical of Peugeot, all that power and torque is delivered to the front wheels, and tasked with managing it is an Aisin-sourced 6-speed automatic.
The abundant torque from low to mid-range gives the 3008 decent off-the-line acceleration. Typically European too is its ability to cruise at higher than average (read Autobahn-like) speeds on highways. If driven right, it’s quite economical, averaging seven litres/100km.
Its chassis architecture, totally new when this generation came into being, completes the performance package. It’s, perhaps, the 3008’s best characteristic on the go. Traversing the urban jungle’s pothole-ridden paths is a cinch thanks to the 3008’s long travel suspension, slightly lifted height, sublime damping and driver-friendly electric power steering system.
So, good road manners, then. Comparable to, if not better than, its main rivals. Even when the going gets a little rough, it has an answer in the form of a multi-terrain drive mode selector. It came in handy when we found ourselves on some typical dirt roads going through a small kampong during a short family daytrip.
While full-blown, rough terrain isn’t its forte, the fact that it can take some of the rough stuff somewhat offsets the 3008’s minor quirks. For instance, we reckon the addition of a powered tailgate – a feature common to a number of its rivals – would make the usual grocery or school run easier. We’re also certain plenty of folks will find the steering wheel to be a tad too small.
However, these shortcomings aren’t deal breakers given how many safety features are built into it. Besides the standard six airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control, Peugeot has installed, for example, blind-spot information system and lane-departure warning for good measure.
Overall, the Peugeot 3008 isn’t entirely perfect – which car is? – but it’s definitely far from dull or run of the mill. It has as much performance, versatility and safety as its peers – and that certain French flair most urban folks will undoubtedly appreciate.
They might also appreciate its price, which starts from RM147,090.75 and is reasonable, to say the least. Though pricier than most of its Asian rivals, it’s more affordable than its chief European rivals. The price includes a five-year or 120,000km warranty, which should somewhat quell any unease about ownership.
Not your average family crossover as it packs better styling, tech and features. Could use a powered tailgate though…
VW Tiguan 1.4 TSI Highline
Benchmark German offering, but costs more.
|Powertrain||1.6-litre direct injected 4-cylinder turbo petrol, FWD, 165bhp, 240Nm|
|Economy||7L/100km, 129g/km CO2|
|Performance||0-100kph in 8.9 secs, 206kph|