The mid-sized member of Peugeot’s crossover (a sort of halfway house between a regular car and an SUV) range has just received a facelift.
The 3008 loosely resembles the 308 hatchback on which it is based, but in an effort to ape an SUV to some degree, the former is 137mm taller overall. However, this is not exactly news – the facelifted 3008 is largely the same as the one that was launched in 2010, but with some mostly cosmetic tweaks and additions to its equipment list.
The updated 3008 sports Peugeot’s new corporate “face”, gaining more angular headlight and tail-light clusters (the latter featuring LED lighting), which makes it look less cutesy than the model that came before it.
On the inside, it is virtually identical to its predecessor, with most of the switchgear and equipment (including the head-up display and panoramic glass roof) carried over wholesale. What is new, however, is its infotainment system, which sports a screen that folds flush with the dashboard when not in use. Along with that, other new “toys” that come standard with the facelifted 3008 is a satellite navigation system and a reverse-view camera.
The biggest carry-over is its drivetrain: a 1.6-litre turbo-diesel with 115bhp mated to a six-speed automated manual gearbox (where the transmission’s electronics actuate the clutch instead of the driver’s left foot). While the former is perfectly serviceable, delivering plenty of in-gear punch (if sounding a little tractor-like while at it) thanks to its beefy torque output of 270Nm, the latter leaves something to be desired. The 3008’s gearbox has neither the smoothness of a conventional automatic nor the lightning-quick reflexes of a dual-clutch unit.
To put it bluntly, the 3008 is likely to induce motion sickness for its occupants as it lurches around, something that is particularly apparent during low-speed city driving.
It is possible, though, to work around the 3008’s clunky transmission. When I took matters into my own hands (literally, with the paddle-shifters mounted behind the wheel) and performed shifts myself and releasing the throttle just before shifting, as I would with a manual gearbox-equipped car, it made for far smoother progress than if it was left to its own devices.
And there are a few other niggles as well, like its central storage box. While there is an appreciably generous amount of space, the use of a single-sided hinge on the right means it only opens up on the left, making locating items therein an inconvenience at the best of times.
But it is not all doom and gloom for the 3008, as Peugeot’s largest crossover (the 208 supermini-based 2008 sits below it in the model range) has its share of merits. Merits such as how the 3008 handles in a surprisingly tidy fashion for such a tall-riding vehicle, and how it still managed to return 13.3km/litre during my time with it. Granted, that is some way off Peugeot’s claim of 23.8km/litre, but then again I was hardly conservative with the way I was driving it.
True enough, the 3008 is lacking polish in a few areas, but the amount of standard equipment it comes with is impressive, it is hugely practical (it holds a maximum of 1,604 litres of cargo and it has a clever split-folding tailgate), remarkably frugal and best of all, it is keenly priced.
Including a $15,000 CEVS rebate and COE, the 3008 costs $140,900, which should let it find some favour among those looking for frugality and practicality (and a little Gallic flair) in equal measure.
ENGINE 1560cc, 16-valves, inline-4, turbo-diesel
MAX POWER 115bhp at 3600rpm
MAX TORQUE 270Nm at 1750rpm
GEARBOX 6-speed automated manual
0-100KM/H 12.6 seconds
TOP SPEED 183km/h
CONSUMPTION 23.8km/L (combined)
CO2 EMISSION 110g/km
PRICE INCL. COE
$140,900 (after $15k CEVS rebate)