What does it feel like to never be pressed for time?
This is something I have always pondered, but never actually experienced. Holidays do not count. I am talking about having the luxury of time every day.
In my mind, this must be one of the sweetest – if not the sweetest – feelings one could ever experience. Imagine never having to rush for anything. No wonder the idiom for this is “taking one’s sweet time”.
If you can spare the time, or just enjoy relaxed motoring in general, then the Peugeot 3008 1.2 is probably for you.
The 3008 isn’t just stylish – it’s also got plenty of road presence thanks to its unique design.
A swanky grille and curvy headlights give the front end its charisma. The unpainted plastic cladding lends this soft-roader the outdoorsy touch of an off-roader.
The tail-lights, which resemble claws, are another distinctive design element. More importantly, the tailgate is relatively wide, giving users a larger aperture to facilitate the loading of bulky items.
The Peugeot 3008’s design is successful because it doesn’t seem to have aged – at least not in my eyes. It’s not always easy to pull this off. When the styling is too eye-catching (or just trying too hard), it tends to look dated within a few months.
PEUGEOT 3008: INTERIOR TECH-FEST
The 3008 Active 1.2 is the entry-level model in the lineup, but you won’t find anything “basic” when you get behind its wheel.
Enveloping the driver is Peugeot’s latest i-Cockpit. This is comprised of a brilliant, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and an infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen interface.
The instrument panel offers several layout options – all of them equally impressive. You get the same graphical quality for the infotainment system, whose menus seem to load quicker than before.
Although the rocker switches offer direct access to key functions, I still dislike how the climate controls are still operated via touchscreen. If there was one function that could have been left analogue, it should be this.
Also needing improvement is the placement of the cruise controls, which are effectively “hidden” behind the steering wheel. One can get the hang of them after a while, but it’s more sensible to have them on the steering wheel, not behind it.
But perhaps doing so would have resulted in a larger steering wheel, and not the sporty, go kart-inspired one here. I like the sizeable paddle shifters, which are easy to reach and have nice feel, too.
That said, entry-level models will always have fewer goodies. This Peugeot 3008 does without the panoramic sunroof, powered driver’s seat and foldable passenger seat found in the 3008 Allure variant.
In addition, Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Monitoring System and High Beam Assist are also absent here. Though they make the car safer, most drivers will be okay without these functions.
MORE FRENCH HORSES, SI VOUS PLAIT
Most drivers will also be fine with the Peugeot 3008 and its 1.2-litre engine.
The turbocharged 3-cylinder unit sends 129hp and 230Nm through an 8-speed automatic to the front wheels. Nail the accelerator pedal to the floor and the SUV does zero to 100km/h in 10.9 seconds.
That’s slightly quicker than the average 1.6-litre family saloon. And thanks to the torque, which arrives just above idle, the 3008 has good low-end oomph to move off the line.
It is no performance SUV of course. The mid-range is decent rather than potent, so you’ll have to start accelerating early to merge with expressway traffic. But if time is on your side, you needn’t be too concerned. The Peugeot 3008 1.2 will eventually get it done.
Though the 3008 1.2 has fewer ponies than the 3008 1.6 (129hp versus 181hp), both models do have something in common: their handling.
Apart from its well-sorted ride, the Peugeot 3008 1.2 has the same tidy handling as its quicker sibling. It reacts progressively to your inputs, and won’t scare or overwhelm you, even if you were to say, enter a bend too quickly.
Helping in this regard is the accurate helm, which helps you place the 3008 exactly where you want it. That small steering wheel might be awkward at first, but it becomes fun as you get used to it. Regular steering wheels are going to feel oversized after a drive here.
PEUGEOT 3008: 1.2 OR 1.6?
If you can spare the time or just enjoy relaxed motoring in general, then the Active 1.2 is plenty. Its equipment level is nearly on a par with what the Allure 1.6 has. Both variants also have similar handling, and when driving in built-up areas there’s little difference between them.
However, ask anyone who loves to drive this question and the answer is always going to be the 3008 1.6. Having more power – even if you have a laid-back routine – is always better.
Peugeot 3008 Active 1.2 (A)
ENGINE 1199cc, 12-valves, inline-3, turbocharged
MAX POWER 129hp (96kW) at 5500rpm
MAX TORQUE 230Nm at 1750rpm
POWER TO WEIGHT 97.8hp per tonne
GEARBOX 8-speed automatic with manual select
0-100KM/H 10.9 seconds
TOP SPEED 197km/h
CONSUMPTION 19.2km/litre (combined)
PRICE INCL. COE POA (no VES rebate/surcharge )
Click here for our review of the more powerful Peugeot 3008 1.6
We pit the Peugeot 3008 against its “fraternal twin”, the Opel Grandland X, in this Group Test
Or check out the Peugeot 5008 1.2 review here