Cars

Why the Peugeot 3008 Is the 'Crème de la Crossovers'

This subcompact crossover is more powerful than you think.
IMAGE Eric Tipan
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A price tag of P2.890 million may make your eyes water and your mouth drop, but believe, there’s more to a Peugeot than how much it’s worth. Even if you aren’t in the market, it behooves you to expand your automotive palate so you’ll at least know there’s something like this out there. 

Just in its 2nd generation, the 3008 2.0 BlueHDi GT Line seems like a totally new car compared to its predecessor. The grille is petite compared to what’s out there, but it’s that illusion of small floating chrome dashes that makes it worth staring at.

Photo by Eric Tipan.

You can’t help it when DRLs (with matching design) guide your gaze to it. For the observant few, try and find a couple of subtle lion-inspired details.

In front are two lower ‘fangs’ that stick up from the bumper and right in between the bulbs of the headlights. Go around back and you’ll notice the taillights are designed to appear like the claw marks of a lion.

To up the level of sophistication, chrome accents were used liberally. You’ll see it on the frame of the grille and fog lamps, the trim tracing the sides of the hood, the A-pillar and the roofline, plus on the base of the windows and the lower door molding.

Photo by Eric Tipan.

Delightful interiors 

The car uses a smart key. Just reach for the door to open and press on the Start/Stop button to engage the engine.

The interior is a delight. A cool combo of tech and texture on surfaces and displays that it’s a lot for the eyes to take in for the first time. Peugeot calls where the driver sits the i-Cockpit and I consider the compact flat-top-and-bottom steering wheel with chrome trim and the GT badge to be the centerpiece. The instrumentation panel comes in a very close second.

The steering wheel is small and the leather gives it a good grip. Audio and display controls can be found of the left and right respectively, with the paddle shifters right behind it.

There’s a good amount of flat surfaces here and you can’t miss them because they’re covered in a denim-like fabric Peugeot calls Bolero Mistral Satin coated textile. The seats use a mix of both called Mistral TEP Leather with Fabric Trim.

Photo by Eric Tipan.

The driver’s seat feels small but once you figure out the manual seat cushion adjustment (its right under your legs), you’ll be fine. All other adjustments can be done electronically, including my favorite, the massage function.

Right below the eight-inch touchscreen is a unique set of toggle switches, à la Porsche, and a very ergonomic gear shifter that can also sub as a handrest.

But the best display is the instrument panel. Scroll the wheel on the left stalk to shift between three modes (Dials, Minimum and Personal) and marvel at how the iPad-like display is animated before transforming into the desired gauge.

Mood lighting is optional but it turns on automatically when the engine is switched off. It illuminates parts of the cabin so you can see stuff that need to be picked up before you leave.

Photo by Eric Tipan.

Under the hood

Peugeot uses their state-of-the-art BlueHDi tech on its 2.0 diesel engine—that’s three stages of cleansing to remove pollutants, hydrocarbons and CO2, and reduction of nitrogen oxides in order by Euro 6 compliant.

The default driving mode is relatively plain and you’ll need a good amount of throttle pressure to even get a hint of its 150 HP and 370 Nm of torque. It takes a few seconds to speed up but the power is noticeably there; just constrained for the purposes of fuel efficiency.

Once it picks up momentum, it feels both agile and nimble despite the size. Imagine a subcompact but with a lot more power.

Seating position is low and even with 219 millimeters of ground clearance, it corners and counters rollover force very well. Maybe the best yet out of all crossovers in the market.

Steering wheel calibration in relation to vehicle size is so good that even the smallest input yields immediate feedback. And as a grand touring trim, the suspension has been made just a tad stiffer than normal for sharper response without compromising ride comfort.

Levels of noise, vibration and harshness are so low that even with just four speakers (and two tweeters), music sounds like it came from a full six-speaker setup.

Photo by Eric Tipan.

Rarely to never are the times you’ll use Sport mode in the city because it’s just too much: heightened response, more power because shift points are raised, etc. Stuff you won’t need when the speed limit on EDSA is 60 kilometers per hour and good luck even getting close to that during drivetime.

There’s also a manual mode engaged via a button on the gear shifter. This allows you to manually shift through Peugeot’s six-speed Efficient Automatic Transmission.

Fuel consumption is a solid 13.1 kilometers per liter on close to 160 kilometers of mixed driving.

In my years of reviewing vehicles, never have I been in such a sensual compact crossover that has a massage function on the driver’s seat, a fragrance diffuser with a choice of three scents, and a luxury-vehicle-level cabin layout/design. 

Sprinkle in superb comfort plus outstanding driving dynamics and you get the reason why the Peugeot 3008 2.0 BlueHDi GT Line is the crème de la crossovers.

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Eric Tipan
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