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Peugeot 3008


Could the new Peugeot 3008 be one of the best set of family wheels going?

In terms of exciting new product, Peugeot is having a good 2010. Chasing up the dollied up Mitsubishi-based 4007, arrives the RCZ which was launched recently, and this: The 3008.

The 3008 doesn’t replace the 308 SW, one of my favourite family cars, but initial impressions would suggests it presents mum, dad and the kids with a worthwhile upgrade.

It’s too tall for a station wagon, but isn’t intentionally butch like your average crossover. Dare I say there’s a little people mover DNA evident. Whatever you want to call it (Peugeot choose the crossover terminology) it's a smart look and less girly than your average Pug.

It's fresh, sharing a similar egg-crate style grill to the 4007, but it’s all wrapped up with more swishy body lines, panda eye’s headlamps and tri-angular tail lights. It’s a win-win for the style conscious homebodies so far.

Inside, the cockpit envelops the driver with stylish, if a little busy, controls which take care of all the usual stuff, but also brings a ‘heads up’ display (HUD) to the party. This one’s a little odd - rather than simply projecting essential info like speed, and even radar-guided cruise control following distances, onto the windscreen like most HUDs, here a transparent screen raises from behind the instrument binnacle like a set piece from a sci-fi flick. Label me a luddite, but I still can’t get used to using these displays and this one seems even more of a distraction than most. The traditional instruments still work just fine for me.

Typical for Pug wagons, the 3008 is part car, part observertory, thanks to a cool panoramic glass roof which adds $1500 on the base model (Active) and comes standard on the higher grade Sport and Luxury versions. That’s my kind of heads up display.

It’s all very impressive. So impressive in fact, just a few days into my test of the luxury spec 120kW / 340Nm diesel ($53,990), I’m fairly well convinced this is one of the best set of family wheels going. OK, there’s only just enough rear legroom for adults, the driving position is bit high from the floor, and not everyone can stretch to that price. But good news, you get all the G-rated practicality in the $41,990 entry Active petrol.

That means cool storage solutions (the centre console will swallow tall drink bottles), there’s nifty hidden compartments in the rear foot wells, and the boot has a multi-level divider that can separate the deep space with a 25/75 or 45/55 percent split to suitably accomodate strollers and shopping and such.

I’ve driven the petrol model too, and while the diesel is the most rewarding, the petite 1.6 litre turbo surprisingly capable of powering a vehicle this size. There’s 115kW and 240Nm on tap here and you can feel the torque at work from the International Engine of the Year award winner with every squirt of throttle. Naturally, it’s efficient too, averaging 7.8 l/100km. Load the car up for the family getaway though and I suspect the smaller capacity mill will struggle. The diesel may be worth the $4k premium for those regularly travelling with all seats filled.

There’s plenty of attractive, family-friendly kit offered for your coin with standard equipment including rear park assist, dual zone climate control, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, auto headlights, ISOFIX child restraints, six airbags and five-star safety.

It’s rare I find a base model that offers all I feel I’d need, but this genuinely hits the mark. Everything the upper spec models bring to the table are nice, but at the end of the day, non-essential items.

The Sport ups wheel size from 17” to 18” and adds a rough and tumble alloy-look body kit, the HUD and glass roof, some chrome switches, ambient interior lighting, Bluetooth and a USB audio input. The Luxury gets the lot as well as leather and heated seats.

Good car this one. You can’t really go wrong with any of the range. If your kids are still vomiting on the seats, the leather interior might be worth the investment come resale time, otherwise the smartest buying is probably the Sport versions.

See a Peugeot dealer near you to check out the 3008.

Auto Trader New Zealand