Text and photos by Aida Sevilla-Mendoza
You can count on Peugeot, the second-biggest (in sales) auto manufacturer in Europe, to come up with something totally unique.
In 2008, Peugeot introduced the 3008, a vehicle that looks like something between a crossover and a minivan.
Eurobrands Distributor Inc., the Philippine importer and distributor of Peugeot cars, is now offering the 2015-2016 model/second generation of the 3008.
The new 3008 Allure, like any other new car, has its advantages and disadvantages. The question is whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages and justify its P1.999-million price tag.
Let’s start with the exterior design. The Peugeot 3008 won’t win any contest for trendy style compared with more attractive rivals in the P2-million price range.
The 3008’s mix of a raised side height, gaping grille and bulging bodywork looks awkward from any angle.
However, the aesthetics disadvantage is counterbalanced by the build quality plus the safety advantage offered by the 3008’s reinforced structure that has triple impact resistance in front and impact absorbers.
The body of the 3008 was designed to be eco-efficient, optimizing the air penetration index. The 3008 achieved a Cx of 0.296, which influences reduction in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.
Just by looking at the minivan contours of the 3008, you wouldn’t know that its acoustic laminated side window glass provides increased resistance to protect the cabin and occupants from break-ins.
What’s more, the side windows stop up to 99 percent of ultraviolet rays and enhance acoustic comfort by filtering certain frequencies emitted from outside the vehicle.
Because of the shape of the 3008, practicality is a strong point. The long wheelbase and high roofline translate into a headroom that is more than adequate so that three tall passengers can sit comfortably in the back.
The roomy, high-quality interior is another advantage. Piano black and plenty of chrome finish set the tone in the cockpit, where a pop-up screen directly in front of the driver provides vital driving information.
A comfortable ride over the long haul is guaranteed by full, well-cushioned leather seats, with the driver’s seat offering power-adjustable height and lumbar support and heating (not an advantage in our tropical weather), while the heated front passenger seat is manually adjustable.
The elevated driver’s seat not only offers a commanding view of the road, the large windshield and small A-pillars give all occupants good forward visibility. However, the fat C-pillars limit the rearward view.
You would never feel claustrophobic in the 3008 as the cabin is extra spacious and the panoramic sunroof with tinted glass bestows remarkable visibility and natural light.
Air-conditioning is automatic dual zone with rear air vents. The infotainment system with 7-inch multimedia screen has a six-speaker audio with jack, USB and Bluetooth plus three 12-volt plugs.
Privacy and protection from the sun are provided by rear window sunshades. There are storage compartments galore, including a large ventilated area under the center armrest, huge door pockets and other cubbies that in total offer 50 liters of storage space.
When the 60:40 split rear seat is flipped flat forward using levers in the rear, cargo space is maximized from 435 to 1,604 liters. The front passenger seat can also be folded flat to open a 2.5-meter-long loading area.
Despite its size and even when fully loaded with five passengers and their stuff, this French family bus gets along well enough due to the 340 Newton-meters max torque of the 2-liter HDi (high-pressure diesel injection) engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The assisted electrohydraulic steering and cruise control help to make the 3008 easy to drive, together with the excellent all-around vision and reasonable turning circle.
In fact, on the expressway, the 163-horsepower diesel engine accelerated admirably, although when it came to rounding corners, the 3008’s height and weight (1,600 kilograms) are handicaps.
The high-riding 3008 is not notably agile, but it’s excellent for a family cruise in the countryside.
After all, Peugeot never touted the 3008 as sporty, high-performance wheels, but as a practical, fuel-efficient family carrier with plenty of space, flexible seating and cabin comforts.
Plus substantial active and passive safety features: Electronic Stability Program, six airbags, antilock braking system, ventilated disc brakes on all four 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, LED daytime running lights, and rain-sensing wipers.
The 3008’s ride quality is compliant over uneven secondary roads and smooth surfaces alike, thanks to the MacPherson-type front suspension with droplink roll bar and multi-arm rear arrangement connected by a cross member and antiroll bar.
Summing up, the Peugeot 3008 is fine as a practical and relaxing long distance family cruiser, geared as it is to provide a supple, comfortable ride in a spacious, well-kitted cabin.
Whether those qualities overcome its almost P2-million retail price, its quirky style, lack of fun-to-drive vitality, and aging aura is up to the consumer to decide.