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Peugeot 3008 Allure

 

Peugeot’s new 3008 has had a very minor facelift. David Linklater takes a look.

Base price: $42,990.

Powertrain and performance: 1.6-litre turbo petrol four, 115kW/240Nm, 6-speed automatic, front-drive, Combined economy 7.6 litres per 100km, 0-100km/h 10.5 seconds.

Vital statistics: 4365mm long, 1639mm high, fuel tank 60 litres, 18-inch alloy wheels.

We like: Cabin space, family friendly features, split tailgate.

We don’t like: Indecisive gearbox, incoherent ergonomics.

How it rates: 7/10

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW? Peugeot’s 3008 has had a very minor facelift: so minor you might not even notice unless you see new and old cars side by side. So for the record, the 3008 has a new nose, with reshaped bumpers and a grille more in keeping with the French maker’s latest styling template.

There are also some minor switchgear and trim changes inside. But the 3008 remains the idiosyncratic-looking centerpiece of a Peugeot crossover range that also includes the smaller 2008, the 4008 (based on the Mitsubishi ASX) and the larger 508 RXH.

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE? The 3008 was the original Peugeot crossover, launched in Europe way back in 2008. As the French maker’s pseudo-SUV range has expanded in New Zealand, the 3008 range has been rationalised somewhat. There are now just three models: two, including our Allure test car, are powered by a 1.6-litre THP (Turbo High Pressure) petrol engine, while the sole diesel is the complex Hybrid4.

The petrol-turbo engine can perform with urgency when required, although it’s hampered by the sometimes-clumsy six-speed automatic transmission. The gearbox occasionally clunks between ratios and has a tendency to hold onto gears too long if you’re even mildly enthusiastic with the throttle. Annoying but familiar stuff from French cars with two-pedal transmissions.

The chassis is also typically French – but in a good way. The suspension feels initially quite soft and there’s a lot of body roll, but once it gets into a cornering rhythm the 3008 flows nicely over demanding roads. It might be a family vehicle, but it’s quite adept at speed.

Despite its crossover status within the Peugeot family, the 3008 is of course front-drive only. Always was. The only all-wheel drive variant is the Hybrid4, which makes use of an electric motor at the rear to drive the back wheels as well.

The Allure has a number of driver-assistance features over and above the entry-level Active: a two-colour head-up display (it’s projected on a piece of Perspex that pops out of the dashboard) with speed and following-distance alert, satellite navigation (on another pop-up screen), reversing camera and larger 18-inch wheels.

IS IT EASY TO LIVE WITH? For some reason – it might be a long history is making people-movers – the French are simply brilliant at interior packaging and creating passenger-friendly features.

A high seating position is a big plus for the 3008, but there’s plenty more to please family buyers. The glass areas are huge and the rear occupants get novel underfloor storage bins to tidy small items away. Sliding sunblinds for the rear-side windows are also standard on the Allure.

The boot features a Range Rover-style split tailgate, with a lower section that can hold 200kg in case you and friend want to use it as a seat during picnics or sports events.

The boot itself is a split-level affair, with a removable floor that can be repositioned as a shelf. As we said, plenty to please.

Compared with the entry-level Active, the Allure gains 18-inch wheels, heated/folding mirrors, panoramic glass roof, those sliding sunblinds and part-leather upholstery.

So much to love in such a practical vehicle, which is why the fact that the driving environment is an ergonomic disaster area isn’t a deal-breaker. But the 3008’s dashboard is riddled with confusing controls and weirdly placed buttons.

If want to adjust the head-up display, for example, the rocker switch to do that is way over on the centre console (nowhere near the actual display). There’s a single circular control on the audio system, which you might assume is the volume; but no, it’s to navigate the display menus. The volume control is a nondescript pushbutton elsewhere on the unit. And so on.

SHOULD I BUY ONE? Even after seven years, the 3008 looks remarkably fresh and interesting. That’s either a tribute to its timeless design or proof-positive that weirdness doesn’t really date.

In some respects the 3008’s time has come, with the explosion in popularity of crossover-type vehicles and especially those that embrace the ethos of having front-drive only.

It’s still deeply flawed in some respects, such as the crude powertrain and messy cabin controls. But the sheer space, practicality and attention-to-detail inside the 3008 can still show much newer crossover models a things or two.

EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST

  • Air conditioning: Dual climate
  • Audio: CD, iPod compatible
  • Automatic lights/wipers: Yes/yes
  • Blind spot warning: No
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Cruise control: Yes
  • Driver footrest: Yes
  • Head-up display: Yes
  • Heated/ventilated seats: No
  • Keyless entry/start: No
  • Lane guidance: No
  • Leather upholstery: Part
  • Parking radar: Yes with camera
  • Power boot or tailgate: No
  • Power seat adjustment/memory: No
  • Remote audio controls: Yes
  • Satellite navigation: Yes
  • Seat height adjustment: Yes
  • Self-parking technology: No
  • Split/folding rear seats: 60/40
  • Steering reach adjustment: Yes
  • Stop-start: Yes
  • Trip computer: Yes

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