A Fellow Overachiever
A few months ago, I was able to review the Peugeot 5008 1.6 eHDI 7-seater MPV. For those who were able to read it, I was indeed left very impressed, instantly turning me into a huge fan of the Peugeot brand. Despite being a 7-seater MPV, it drives like a sporty sedan, yet has the ride comfort 7-seater MPVs are known for. The fun-to-drive factor alone is already a huge plus, since MPVs are never normally fun-to-drive on a twisty road. Now that the Peugeot 5008 has left me a good impression of the Peugeot brand, my expectations are set really high on this Peugeot 3008 1.6 eHDI Active. Have my expectations been met? It’s time to find out.
The exterior looks dynamic and exciting, especially the rear. Body cladding and silver skid plate trim on key areas gives purpose and beauty to the 3008’s looks. It may look like a crossover SUV, but it is actually an MPV, with the added benefit of being able to do a little bit of mild off-roading. That said, the front design has been met with mixed receptions. I’m more on the negative side, since I find the grille too awkwardly shaped. A facelifted model is already released in other markets, and the facelift substantially improves the overall look of the 3008, receiving the new corporate face of the Peugeot brand that started with the 508 executive sedan. In the meantime, my opinion on the Peugeot 3008’s looks, more-or-less, is on the positive side.
The interior is very similar to the Peugeot 5008’s, except for a few bits like the switches for the hazards, central locking, and the heads-up display, having a toggle-like design instead of buttons found on the Peugeot 5008. The interior is full of high quality materials, with padded soft touch materials covering the dashboard. It also feels robust and well screwed together, feeling more expensive than what the SRP suggests. The seats are done in fabric on this Active model, but they are far from feeling cheap, giving off a sporty and high quality vibe.
Space and Practicality
The Peugeot 3008 has a generously sized boot, with 512 liters of space with the rear seats up. A handy divider and false floor further add versatility, giving you a place to store items that may potentially attract thieves. A split tailgate design ensures that loading items won’t be a hassle, eliminating any lip that may intrude when sliding things into the boot. According to Peugeot, the flip down portion of the tailgate has a load capacity of up to 200 kg, essentially giving you a bench to sit in when going outdoors. There is even a flashlight in the trunk, should you ever go to the wilderness with your Peugeot 3008.
Cubby spaces are strategically placed in the cabin. The glove box is on the small side, but like the 5008, there are a few tricks up its sleeve. There is a small storage bin under the steering column, and the center console bin is one of the deepest I’ve encountered in any vehicle. While it may look a bit like a crossover outside, on the inside, it has the generous cubby spaces of an MPV.
Even if this is the base Active model, there is no shortage in equipment. Just like the Peugeot 5008, a panoramic glass roof is equipped as standard. A heads-up display ensures your eyes are always on the road by projecting information onto the driver’s line of sight. Other features include automatic headlights with daytime running lights, 6 airbags, ABS, DSC, ASR, Central Locking, Rain Sensing Wipers, Power Windows with all windows having one-touch up & down, and Keyless Entry.
The similarities between the 3008 and 5008 continue here with what’s underneath their hoods. The Peugeot 3008 is powered by a 1.6 liter turbocharged diesel engine with eHDI Micro-Hybrid technology, which is mated to a 6-Speed Automated Manual Transmission. It produces 112 hp and while low on horsepower, it makes up on a lot of torque, producing a whopping 285 Nm of it from an early 1700 rpm. It is a Euro V compliant diesel, however, Peugeot states that there wouldn’t be any problems if we were to fuel it with Euro II diesel fuels. Further aiding the Peugeot 3008’s environmental friendliness is its FAP diesel particulate filter, which eliminates the harmful particles left by unclean diesel fuels, resulting in very clean emissions.
It is also equipped with eHDI Micro-Hybrid start/stop technology, shutting off the engine (with the electronics still being able to run) at situations like when there is a stoplight, and then you hold on the brake while in D. The engine will simply restart by simply releasing your foot from the brakes.
How It Drives
Have my high expectations set by the Peugeot 5008 been met? The answer is a definite yes. Underneath what is essentially an MPV in a crossover body, the Peugeot 3008 surprises drivers with excellent steering feel with plenty of feedback and is very responsive to driver inputs. Despite being a tall vehicle, body roll is very well controlled, without the compromise in ride comfort, feeling more like a sports sedan than an MPV in the corners. Helping the Peugeot 3008’s outstanding handling is a suspension set-up that has a good balance between ride comfort and handling. Stepping up to the Allure variants, and you get Dynamic Roll Control, further eliminating the car’s body lean when being pushed hard on the corners.
As a long distance cruiser, the Peugeot 3008 also impresses. The cabin is well insulated from outside noise, even when traversing some of the Philippines’ roughest tarmac. This should mean that kids will easily fall to sleep on long journeys. Like all diesel engines from a European manufacturer, the engine is refined, and has a good torque band. When in manual mode, the Peugeot 3008 will simply leap ahead, even when launching it from 3rd gear.
Fuel economy, like all other Peugeots, is very impressive. Peugeot advertises that on the highway, the Peugeot 3008 with the 1.6 eHDI diesel engine will easily reach 28 km/l. It may sound too good to be true, but having said that this is a diesel, this is almost certainly not the case. With this drive around the city block, the computers told me that my fuel consumption was *12.1 km/l. Very fuel efficient figures indeed for a vehicle of this size and weight. Helping me achieve this fuel economy figure is the eHDI Micro-Hybrid start/stop system.
On The Downside
This time around, I was very acquainted with the Automated Manual transmission of the Peugeot 3008. Like what I said before when I reviewed the Peugeot 5008, it does take a bit of getting used to, because whenever the transmission changes gears, it doesn’t jerk, but rather, a feeling of loss of power or lag is felt. When I asked a few friends who went with me to drive the Peugeot 3008, they hardly felt it when I asked them if they feel the loss of power whenever the transmission shifts, so that should at least give a perspective on how the transmission feels.
Being an Automated Manual transmission, and not entirely an Automatic transmission (also known as the typical Torque Converter automatic), it lacks the crawl feature. Therefore a little bit more effort in pressing the gas pedal is needed to get this car moving. The same can be said when starting to move from an incline. It is sometimes reluctant to downshift in automatic mode, sending vibrations through the cabin. Again, it does take a bit of getting used to, but after driving the Peugeot 5008, I have certainly gotten used to driving this vehicle, enjoying it even in the process. I still wonder how the Peugeot 3008 will be if it had the same 6-Speed Automatic from the 2.0 HDI Allure model.
The last downside I’ll be discussing is only unique to the Peugeot 3008. While headroom is generous, legroom isn’t. I do fit in the back seats, but an extra couple of inches of space would be nice in order to really stretch out. It feels tight, especially for a vehicle of this size.
The Peugeot 3008 shares many similar traits with its bigger brother, the 5008. Both vehicles are plenty fun to drive, yet is comfortable on long journeys. Given that the Peugeot 3008 1.6 eHDI Active has a price tag of P1,495,000, this gives buyers a glimpse of what the 5008 is like to live with. The Peugeot 5008 offers the flexibility of 7-seats and a longer body over the 3008, for someone who only needs 5-seats, then the Peugeot 3008 is one of those rare MPVs with plenty of hidden talents. Since this review ended very similarly from the Peugeot 5008 review, the Peugeot 3008, just like its bigger brother, is another overachiever.
Exterior Design: ★★★☆☆
Interior Design: ★★★★☆
Interior Quality: ★★★★☆
Fuel Efficiency: ★★★★★
Value For Money: ★★★★☆
OVERALL: 4 out of 5
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2013 Mitsubishi Montero Sport GLS-V 4×2 AT
2013 Chevrolet Trailblazer LTZ 4×4 AT
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*Fuel consumption results may vary depending on conditions and the driver itself.