- Published: Friday, 10 November 2017 09:34
Peugeot’s compelling SUV is now available with a petrol engine and a smaller price tag
If you think you’ve seen this car appear in these pages before, you’re absolutely right. Five issues ago in CB258, we tested the 1.6-litre, turbodiesel version of the Peugeot 3008 in the highest ‘GT Line’ spec.
While that car thoroughly surprised and impressed us with its interior design and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink equipment list, there were two major problems with it: firstly, in that spec it cost upwards of $180,000 with COE, and secondly, apart from that demonstrator unit, no other diesel 3008 ever made it to Singapore. Bummer.
Thankfully, petrol-powered 3008s have made their way here, and this time, they are on sale to the public. Two engines variants are available, both turbocharged - a 1.2-litre, three-cylinder with 129hp, and the one we have here, a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder with 163hp. The 1.2 can be had in either basic Active or premium Allure trim, while the 1.6 only comes in the latter form. The 3008 now may be garnished with a few less toys than before, but fundamentally the recipe is still sound. After all, it wasn’t crowned the 2017 European Car of the Year by accident and it's light years away from the previous 3008 which was more MPV-like than anything, and generally uninspiring.
The 3008 is still an incredibly slick proposition, thanks chiefly to its interior. The sci-fi cockpit continues to impress with its angular double-decker dashboard, the Star Trek-style gearlever, and the holographic-effect customisable instrument display. It’s a refreshingly different style that really helps it stand out in a sea of Germanic and Nipponese blandness.
Then there’s also the 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, which, with clear, large fonts, external buttons to switch between functions and instant response times, sets a standard that other manufacturers would do well to emulate, while also banishing the infotainment nightmares of basically every modern French car of the past decade.
The high equipment count is also a major distinguishing feature for the 3008. The 1.6 version has niceties like a panoramic sunroof, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, but even the basic 1.2 Active comes with the aforementioned touchscreen and instrument display, as well as Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, rear aircon vents, a reverse camera with birds-eye mode, lane departure warning and automatic lights and wipers.
On the move, the car is even better than before. The handling/ride comfort tradeoff is still clearly skewed towards the latter, but the addition of 43hp over the diesel is enough to cut the 0-100km/h time by nearly four seconds, and crucially provides enough grunt to make flooring it actually enjoyable.
Unfortunately the only major issue we had with the 3008 previously is still present here. In most cars, if we have any quibbles about the interior, it's usually down to cheap feeling materials that are at least screwed together properly.
In this case it's the opposite; the materials all feel superbly premium to the touch (particularly the felt/cloth on doors and dash), but there are a number of noticeable fit and finish issues, such as the glovebox not closing properly, the steering column shroud popping out, a weird smell from vents when the aircon is off, and general misalignment along the joins of various dashboard panels. It’s a very disappointing blemish on what would otherwise be an extremely premium ambience.
As with many things in life, the final reckoning boils down to cost. The 3008 may be more affordable than before but it’s still not a cheap car. The 1.2 Active starts at $134,999 (with Certificate of Entitlement), rising to $147,999 for the 1.2 Allure and peaking at $165,999 for the 1.6 Allure. That’s all still a good chunk of change pricier than many Japanese or Korean crossovers, but you do get a lot of toys and safety features for your money. Against uber-solid rivals such as the VW Tiguan or Toyota RAV4, the 3008’s French flair is certainly worthy of a second look.
Peugeot 3008 1.6 e-THP Allure
Engine 1,598cc, 16V, inline 4, turbocharged
Power 163hp at 6,000rpm
Torque 240Nm at 1,400rpm
Gearbox 6-speed automatic
Top Speed 206km/h
0-100km/h 8.9 seconds
Fuel efficiency 5.8L/100km
Price $165,999 with COE
Verdict: A very stylish, if pricey alternative to the typical crossover crowd. 1.2-litre versions are much better value for money.