Like a crossbreed puppy, the Peugeot 3008 has the looks of a sports utility vehicle, the practicality of a family-sized multi-purpose vehicle, and the dynamism of a sporty hatchback. Its presence is hard to miss with its jumbo headlights, chubby wheel-arches and a chrome mesh grille.
The first thing that came to my mind as I opened the driver’s door, was that the 3008 reminded me of a greenhouse. Or a fish tank. It has this huge panoramic glass roof that gives an all-round helicopter-like view from inside the car. So on a hot day when sunlight streams in, the cabin feels like a greenhouse and I find myself using the retractable blind to cover up part of the glass screen. Conversely on a rainy day, where the raindrops pitter-patter all around you, I can’t help but feel like a goldfish in its bowl.
Driving the Bubble
Big cars may be quite difficult to drive in a city like ours because car park spaces are getting tighter and roads are getting narrower to accommodate land constraints. Seated high in a crossover like the 3008 is an advantage over other big cars like the luxury sedans. The seat can be adjusted in four directions horizontally and vertically to find the right position for the driver.
There is also a Heads Up Display in the line of the driver’s vision ahead to show driving information on a retractable anti-reflective panel. This is an ideal position as the driver need not take his eyes off the road momentarily just to glance at the instrument panel to check his speed.
However, the control switches for the Heads Up Display are above the centre console, along with the air-conditioning and audio dials. It is within hand’s reach no doubt, but the driver still has to reach out to the left and briefly glance away from the road. Maybe in future the controls for the Heads Up Display can be on the dashboard just in front of the driver.
The 3008 has strong SUV-inspired elements in its design and structure, but nope the model is not four-wheel drive. The front-wheel drive 3008 available in Singapore is powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine.
You might think the engine capacity is too small for a huge car like that, but the six-speed “Tiptronic System Porsche” automatic transmission with manual override gives the turbocharged engine sufficient gear ratios to shift up to when needed.
Maxing out at 156bhp at 6,000rpm and 240Nm at 1,600rpm, the 3008 takes 9.5 seconds to get from rest to 100km/h. Despite being tall and high, the 3008 has minimal body roll for its size thanks to its Dynamic Roll Control system. As a result, ride comfort is impressive along with its smooth handling.
Convenient driver features include cruise control, automatic light sensors, rain wiper sensors and the Automatic Electric Parking Brake which releases the handbrake automatically as soon as you press on the accelerator pedal and automatically activates it when the engine is turned off.
Inside the Bubble
Controlling the 3008 cabin atmosphere is an intelligent air-conditioning system that has a dual-zone climate and an air quality sensor. For the dual-zone climate, there are four air-con vents in the front and two adjustable vents in the rear so the air-conditioning can be varied according to the passengers’ preference. The air quality sensor works by automatically closing the air recirculation flap if it detects a high level of pollution outside, hence keeping the air within the car healthy.
There is also a 13.5-litre air-conditioned storage box in the front centre armrest so you can enjoy a chilled can of Coca-Cola, especially on a hot ‘greenhouse’ day. An aux-in there means being able to listen to your own tunes too.
Space is a definite plus point for such cars, and the 3008 has multiple options for varying space requirements depending on your activities. The rear can take three adults comfortable and the boot has a triple-height floor as well as a split tailgate.
The triple-height boot floor is actually a three-way height adjustment where the floor can be placed at the base of the boot or removed from the car if you want maximum storage space. Otherwise, you can place the boot floor in such a way that you can partition the boot into a shelf-like area where you can separate your items or compartmentalise them. For a flat load area, fold the split-folding rear seats down to get 1,604 litres of space. Note that the rear seats can’t be removed nor slid back and forth though.
The split tailgate can support a weight of up to 200kg spread evenly across its surface, which helps when you load heavy objects. It can also function as a seat if you would like to change your shoes or put on your inline skates. In fact, I thought of having a picnic in the back of the 3008. I’d create “shelves” with the boot floor and place the food and drinks separately, then sit on the split tailgate with a girlfriend as we gossip the day away over sparkling grape juice!
Feel safe in the 3008 with its five-star Euro NCAP rating and its six airbags all around, front seatbelts with force-limiting pre-tensioners, three-front impact absorption structures and reinforcement bars and impact absorbers in the front doors. There are also electronic driver aids for safety, like the Emergency Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Electronic Stability Programme.
Bubble or no Bubble?
The Peugeot 3008 that I test drove is the Adventure model which comes with the panoramic glass roof, Heads Up Display and folding front passenger seat. Price tag? $121,900 with COE.
If you just want the basic model – meaning no helicopter bubble feeling and no electronic digits as you drive – the 3008 is available at $116,900. What would I choose? It doesn’t matter as long as I get my picnic in the back!
Peugeot 3008 1.6A AdventureEngine: 1,598cc DOHC 16v inline-4 turbocharged
Transmission: 6-speed “Tiptronic System Porsche” automatic with manual override
Max Power: 156bhp at 6,000rpm
Max Torque: 240Nm at 1,600rpm
Top Speed: 202km/h
0-100km/h: 9.5 secs
Price: $121,900 with COE