New head-turning SUV hits the road

This new family SUV oozes European charm and flair but customers keen to get into one might be in for a shock.

Peugeot is making a push to go more upmarket, but does its mid-size 3008 GT Sport have what it takes to battle the Germans? We find out.

VALUE

Peugeot is trying to position itself as a premium brand in Australia and has priced its vehicles accordingly.

The mid-sized 3008 SUV starts at about $49,000 drive-away in Allure trim. We are testing the top-of-the-range GT Sport, which costs about $60,000 drive-away.

That is a big ask for a brand that isn’t generally thought of as a competitor to the luxury German marques.

To justify the extra spend over the cheaper models, the GT Sport scores a punchier turbocharged petrol engine, black 19-inch alloy wheels and black exterior accents.

Inside, there is a large 12.3-inch digital display in front of the driver in lieu of the traditional dials and needles. The display can be configured to suit the driver’s tastes, from information-heavy to minimalist.

In the centre of the dash, there is a 10-inch touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A wireless charge pad sits underneath, alongside a couple of USB points.

The nine-speaker Focal stereo with subwoofer puts out an impressive sound.

The French maker guarantees its vehicles for five years and unlimited kilometres. Servicing is expensive at more than $2600 over five years, but intervals are above average at 20,000km and 12 months.

COMFORT

The 3008’s cabin has a luxurious, hi-tech feel. Dash and door surfaces are soft to the touch and front-seat passengers are treated to plush Nappa leather trimmed heated and eight-way electronically adjustable seats. The back seat is roomy and passengers are taken care of by two rear air vents and a pair of USB charging points.

The 591-litre boot is on the large side and a power tailgate operated by a wave of your foot under a sensor is welcome for shoppers without a hand to spare.

SAFETY

Peugeot has all the necessary bases covered. The 3008 will auto brake for cars, pedestrians and cyclists if it detects an imminent collision.

Driver aids will check your blind spot, keep you in your lane and let you know if your driving is becoming erratic. Rear cross-traffic alert is the only key item missing.

DRIVING

Power comes from a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol unit making 133kW and 250Nm matched to an eight-speed auto driving the front wheels.

This is a bit underpowered for the price. The top-shelf Volkswagen Tiguan has 162kW and 350Nm and comes with all-wheel drive.

Acceleration isn’t brisk, but it feels zippy enough around town and tackling hills.

The stop-start function is a bit clunky, though, making for frustrating delays in traffic.

Well-sorted suspension soaks up bumps and corrugations of all sizes, while delivering decent control at speed and sound cornering ability for an SUV. Road noise is kept to a minimum.

The 3008 feels smaller than it is, thanks to a small bonnet and great vision, which makes traversing urban environments and tight car parks a breeze.

VERDICT 3/5

Good looks and a top-notch cabin will gain some fans, but it’s too expensive compared with established favourites in the family SUV market.

PEUGEOT 3008 GT SPORT VITALS

Price: About $60,000 drive-away

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cyl turbo petrol, 133kW/250Nm

Warranty/servicing:Five years, unl’td km, $2639 over five years

Safety:6 airbags, auto emergency braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection, blind-spot detection, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, radar cruise, 360-degree camera

Thirst: 5.6L/100km

Cargo: 591L

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