- Gorgeous, high-quality interior
- Supple ride
- Good engine and transmission combo
- Expensive servicing
- Ghastly sport mode
- Facelift arriving soon
There’s a lot more that determines whether a car flies off showroom floors than simply whether it’s a good car or not. There’s brand reputation, heritage, perceived value and reliability to take into account, and the problem for a lot of challenger brands in Australia is that our market heavily saturated. Yes, choice might be great for the consumer as it pushes brands to go the extra mile, but it presents a problem for cars like the 2020 Peugeot 3008. Despite being crowned European Car of the Year in 2017, the 3008 is often overlooked in favour of more mainstream competitors.
The 3008 is the French brand’s second-generation mid-sized SUV and it has all the makings of a sales leader. It offers the practicality SUV buyers look for and then goes further by adding a healthy dose of style and European charm. The biggest hurdle for Peugeot is that Australian consumers are often heavily influenced by what is sitting in their neighbour’s driveway, and the French brand is a relatively small player locally. Are Aussie consumers shooting themselves in the foot by leaving the 3008 off their shopping lists? Let’s find out.
Price & Specs: 8.0/10
The 2020 Peugeot 3008 offers three variants – starting from the Allure, before climbing to the GT Line and GT. Rather than offering a true base model, the Allure is priced and specced as more of a mid-spec model – starting from $43,990 before on roads. The GT Line and GT twins top the 3008 range, with the former costing $47,990 and the latter topping out at $54,990.
Across the 2020 Peugeot 3008 range you get a total of six airbags, stability control with an electronic anti-skid function, driver attention alert, lane departure warning, active lane-keep assist, autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, active blind-spot detection and automatic high-beam.
All models also get front- and rear-parking sensors, front- and rear-view cameras, automatic parking, proximity keyless entry and start, an automatic electric tail gate, auto-folding door mirrors, an electronic parking brake, an auto-dimming mirror, one-touch automatic up/down electric windows, Peugeot’s i-Cockpit 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB+ digital radio, a wireless smartphone charger, a leather-wrapped steering wheel front and a leather-wrapped gear selector. Very impressive stuff.
The GT Line and GT twins add 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights with LED scrolling indicators, LED front fog lights, GT Line or GT badging, a unique chequered grille, a contrasting black roof and exterior mirrors, and blue ambient lighting. The GT swaps out the part fabric/part artificial leather seats for part Alcantara/part artificial leather seats. The GT also gets heated front seats along with a driver’s eight-way electric seat with massage function.
GT buyers can opt for full Nappa leather seats for $2,500 while GT Line buyers can opt for full Nappa leather along with the GT’s aforementioned electric and massaging driver’s seat for $3,000. Allure models can be equipped with ‘Claudia’ leather seats and ambient lighting for $2,500 and all models can be optioned with a panoramic sunroof for $1,500.
The Allure and GT Line get a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine offering 121kW/240Nm hooked up to a six-speed automatic while the GT exclusively gets a 2.0-litre turbo diesel offering 131kW/400Nm combined with an eight-speed automatic.
Our 2020 Peugeot 3008 GT Line was optioned with the Nappa leather pack, the panoramic sunroof and finished in metallic copper for an additional $690 – bringing the total price to $49,180 plus on-road costs. A Volkswagen Tiguan 110TSI specced to match the our 3008 GT Line – including metallic paint, the driver assistance, luxury and sound and vision packages – equates to $49,090 plus on roads. While the pair are evenly matched on price and specs, Peugeot is offering the 3008 with three years of free servicing and a $2,000 factory bonus towards optional extras at the time of publishing.
Performance & Economy: 8.0/10
The GT Line’s 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine might sound familiar and that’s because it is. It’s the same unit, albeit detuned, as the 508 GT we tested recently. The 121kW and 240Nm version of the 1.6 is paired with the older six-speed Aisin automatic transmission, rather than the latest eight-speed unit seen in the 3008 diesel and 508. Sending power exclusively to the front wheels, the 3008 is capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h in 9.9 seconds.
While that might not sound particularly impressive, the 3008 never feels slow or sluggish. The mid-range punch from the torquey turbo means that it feels spritely and responsive on the move – perfectly suited to pottering around town or doing the school run. We even stretched the 3008’s legs on a quick day trip to Bathurst, and the 1.6 left us impressed by relying on its torque and staying in sixth gear – even when overtaking.
The six-speed automatic plays a big part in this relaxed and effortless drive. It is smooth in stop/start applications and smartly selects the right cogs to stay in the sweet spot of the rev range. It’s quick to respond to throttle inputs and helps keep the revs down when the time is right. Who needs eight cogs, right? The only odd anomaly when comparing the six-speed to the 508’s eight-speeder is that it did roll back on slight inclines on a few occasions. This odd dual clutch-like behaviour was not present in the newer transmission from the 508. One gripe we had was the sport mode button, which held onto gears a little longer and introduced the worst fake engine noise we have ever heard in a car.
Fuel consumption was kept modest, especially during our trip to Bathurst with a stellar 6.6L/100km. This averaged out to a still-respectable 7.8L/100km, if not quite as frugal as the official combined figure of 7.0L/100km. The 3008 requires 95RON minimum and the 53-litre tank gives it a theoretical range of around 750km.
A Volkswagen Tiguan 110TSI’s 1.4-litre turbocharged engine is very closely matched to the 3008’s 1.6 but manages to out sprint the 3008 – reaching 100km/h in a swift 9.2 seconds. Some Australians will also be put off by the lack of all-wheel drive – a problem that could be solved if Peugeot Australia introduces the stonking 220kW Hybrid4 variant to our shores.
Ride & Handling: 9.0/10
Despite the GT Line badging, the 2020 Peugeot 3008 does away with any falsity of sporty pretensions. No ridiculously low-profile tyres or fancy adaptive suspension here, just a MacPherson setup up front and a rather basic twist beam at the rear.
Some might scoff at the lack of fully-independent rear suspension or adjustable damping, but Peugeot has done a masterful job of tuning the 3008’s ride and handling. It feels soft and supple – really marrying the drive experience with the ambience of the luxurious interior. It effortlessly irons out finer imperfections and remains composed after bigger bumps. This is no doubt helped but the chunky rubber.
The tiny steering is light and effortless – clearly aimed for lots of tight turns you’d expect from urban environments. It does take a moment to adjust from a ‘conventional’ setup to Peugeot’s i-Cockpit layout. The steering sits low in your lap and has a quicker ratio than you’d expect of a family-friendly SUV. Once you acclimatise, it really adds to the charm of the 3008.
Shuffle the 3008 a little quicker and it’s clear that the French SUV prefers to take it easy – exhibiting notable body roll if you get too enthusiastic around a corner. On the other hand, the handling never gets unruly. It remains safe, predictable and surprisingly agile should you have to swerve to avoid an obstacle. This is no doubt helped but the 3008’s lithe 1,371kg kerb weight.
While rivals like the Volkswagen Tiguan offer all-wheel drive and trick adaptive dampers (at a cost), the 2020 Peugeot 3008 shows that front-wheel drive and a well-tuned passive suspension setup is more than enough for most families. The lack of complex hardware also reduces weight and complexity, making for a better drive and fuel economy.
Interior & Practicality: 9.5/10
The 2020 Peugeot 3008’s pièce de résistance becomes apparent as soon as you open the driver’s door. In most SUVs, the interior is make or break because people buy them for their practicality. In the 3008, Peugeot takes it a step further by delivering a practical and high-quality interior adorned with a stylish design.
The multi-tiered dash is almost architectural in its form, and the use of contrasting surfaces and textures help it to feel much more expensive than it actually is. The top tier of the dash and doors is finished in a soft-touch plastic with copper stitching details. Below this is a grey cloth looks like it was inspired by high-quality furniture, adding warmth to the cabin. There are also delightful satin chrome elements, such as the piano-like hot keys for the infotainment system. At night, the cloth on the upper doors are highlighted by blue ambient lighting that is repeated under the driver’s display and in the panoramic sunroof. Our test car was also optioned with the delightful charcoal Nappa leather seats in place of the part cloth/part TEP seats. This also adds heating for both from seats as well as electric adjustment and massage function for the driver.
Like the 508 Fastback we tested recently, the i-Cockpit layout features a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display on the top tier of the dash. The screen is high resolution and slick in its operation – offering customisable gauges, navigation and mapping, information about the driver’s aids and a trip computer. Being perched atop the dash also means that it is directly in the driver’s line of sight and negates the need for a separate head-up display.
Unlike the 508, the 8.0-inch touchscreen is perched next to the driver’s display rather than inset lower in the dash. It immediately feels less up to the minute than the rest of the cabin, with a lower resolution than the i-Cockpit display and the bezel is chunkier than necessary. This will be resolved with the upcoming facelift that will swap it for the 508’s 10.0-inch screen. At least the software is fundamentally the same as in the 508, but the narrow screen doesn’t allow the climate controls to permanently flank either side of the screen. The piano-like hot keys placed below the screen allow for quick and easy navigation from function to function. Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto fills the screen and the voice control button on the steering makes it easy to ask Siri for help. The hot keys also work seamlessly with smartphone mirroring. For example, the phone key takes you to your favourite contacts and the music key takes you to Apple Music or Spotify rather than the system’s proprietary menus – a nice touch. And while we’re on music, the unbranded eight-speaker stereo is good enough to get some branded systems a run for their money. Unfortunately, as with almost all digital driver’s displays, maps from your smartphone cannot be projected onto the the driver’s display.
The form is backed by a healthy dose of function. Other than the dismal glovebox (c’mon, Peugeot!), the interior has enough storage to accomodate your goods. The door pockets are large and lined with felt to stop loose items from rattling about. The centre console features a wide tray in front of the gear selector that has a ribbed guide that shows where to put the wireless charger, along with a USB port for smartphone mirroring. There is a key tray next to the gear selector, two large cupholders further back, and a positively enormous chilled bin hiding underneath the twin-door armrest. We managed to easily fit three 600ml bottles, hand sanitiser, sunglasses, wallets, keys and it wasn’t even half full.
Moving to the back seats and the 3008 offers plenty of leg and headroom – enough to easily fit my 6’3 frame comfortably under the panoramic sunroof. The flat floor means that all but the broadest will be happy to sit three abreast. Rear storage is sorted with decent door bins, netted map pockets and a flip down armrest with two cupholders. It’s worth keeping in mind that there is only a single 12V socket rather than any USB ports and it would be nice to see some extra practical touches such as built-in sunshades or flip down tray tables.
The boot is a very handy 591 litres with the rear seats up, expanding to 1,670 litres with the seats folded flat. The pull tabs in the boot make folding the seats down simple and the hooks and side bins make it easy to keep the space organised. It also has the added practicality of an electric tail gate with kick to open, a ski hatch and a space saver tucked beneath the boot floor.
The 3008’s interior is its crown and glory. It outclasses its competition in terms of design, materials and build quality – even four years on from its launch. It is more inviting when compared to the Volkswagen Tiguan, which has noticeably more hard plastics and a more conservative design. The Tiguan’s boot is bigger with the rear seats up (615 litres) if smaller with them down (1,650 litres).
Running Costs & Warranty: 6.5/10
We criticised the Peugeot 508 for its decidedly expensive servicing costs – more than double that of some rivals – and the 3008 faces the same problem with the first five years or 100,000km costing a whopping $3,026. The Volkswagen Tiguan 110TSI’s capped-price servicing will cost you $2,996 over the same period or a shorter 75,000km but it counters that figure with the option of a five-year service pack – costing just $2,140. Suddenly the three years of free servicing sounds even more enticing.
The Peugeot claws back some points with a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty and five years of roadside assistance, but cost of servicing is definitely an area that Peugeot needs to look at improving.
2020 Peugeot 3008 GT Line DiscoverAuto Rating: 8.2/10
The 2020 Peugeot 3008 is a thoroughly impressive mid-size SUV that shakes off preconceived ideas of what a family car should be. Yes, it follows design trends like ubiquitous black plastic cladding and a jacked up ride height, but it offers more in areas that its competitors don’t.
The lack of all-wheel drive and an ultra-light platform helps the 3008 feel quick, energetic and spritely while maintaining excellent fuel consumption and an incredibly supple ride. Its clever packaging creates versatile space out of relatively compact dimensions – helping provide a roomy second row and a practical boot. And while the 3008’s competitors may be able to offer a good ride or a practical interior, none of them offer a cabin that feels genuinely premium.
It all comes together in a stylish and modern package that helps the 3008 stand out in a sea of predictable SUVs, making it the perfect car for a family who wants something a little bit more special. In 2017, the Peugeot 3008 was described as a ‘darling’ by majority of the Jury for European Car of the Year and we can’t help but agree with them.