Peugeot 3008 and 5008: Double scoop for families
Unlike 007 of British Intelligence, the 008 is a family man (and French), but not without his share of fun in life. Peugeot plays it out in dual role, with the 3008 and 5008. While the latter with its seven seats merely targets accolades from a family audience, the former attempts to enact several roles at once – of a grown up hatch, an MPV and a crossover among them – while managing to keep the bond (fun intended) with change-loving youngish individuals. Here, DriveME brings the 5-seater and the 7-seater to you, back to back.
Peugeot 3008 ReviewThe car set on cruise mode that winter morning, I felt relaxed as the clear sky streamed through the panoramic glass sunroof extending all the way to the rear. The 3008 looked like a glass case, giving a sense of freedom, and the feeling of being in an oddly shaped convertible, sans the breeze!
The 3008 is a bundle of surprises, a lot of which is bound to impress. The panoramic sunroof that opens out into the wide sky without a barrier in between is a surprise for everyone in the car. The head up display panel that peeps out from the front of the dash is one just for the driver. If the 1.6 L tag on the engine is a turn off at the start, prepare for another surprise as you accelerate. With its turbo-charged power made available remarkably early in the rpm cycle, the 3008 responds to your foot with unexpected agility.
3008 comes with all the good things of a compact SUV, like the vantage driving position, the space, the feeling of being in command and for the passengers, the surround view from a glass house. But in crossing over to the SUV or MPV, it doesn’t leave the sedan ride quality far behind. The steering has the European stiffness, which only adds to the satisfaction of staying in control. While changing lanes and taking on regular curves, the car feels solid and steady. It’s one of the best drives in its category (whatever that may be) in a straight line.
While the 3008 drives surprisingly smoother and with more road grip than most compact SUVs or MPVs, quit fooling around with it like a sedan when you negotiate tricky turns and curves. [On the other hand, the 5008 turned out to be a surprise performer when pushed at defiant curves.] The extra height and swelled-up design make for an explicit under-steer and an explicit body roll in the 3008, with speed only adding to it. Perhaps explains the presence of a console grip next to the front passenger seat – akin to a hardcore SUV – even when you wouldn’t dream of taking this one off-road. Frankly, the front-wheel drive 3008 doesn’t make any such claims either.
Sized somewhere between a hatchback and an SUV, the 3008 is built on the same platform as the 308. Designed from front backwards like any other new-age Peugeot, it is stylish, glossy and furnished with French elegance. Those large headlamps and the three rows of teeth in the grille with a blunt drop of the hood is distinctively Peugeot, if only a little more aggressive than the norm. Some take up an instant dislike for it. The rear lamps bear the marque’s identity just as well, with its honeycombed red light that is sort of jazzy in its own way.
Family Drive: Safety
From the optical parking sensor to the seatbelt warning map with dots lighting up for unbuckled passengers or the warning beep that refuses to give up till you buckle up are signs of the 3008’s safety paradigm, which has an excellent Euro N-Cap rating. The solid cage as well as the firm drive quality add to the feeling of security in a 3008.
Family Drive: Cabin and controls
When it comes to storage, let’s say the 3008 has deep pockets. From the door stacks or the bottomless pit beneath the armrest (your entire CD collection may fit in there!) to the twin-compartment boot, they prepare you to convert the car into a touring home. Legroom doesn’t leave any space for complaint either even as the car looks rather compact for a crossover.
When let to explore the front deck, kids might want to call it ‘the cockpit’ with its row of classic rocker switches instead of buttons. The touch-button parking brake and sunroof switch are also mounted on the tunnel console. The steering is kept free of controls but the entire load of the functions is mounted on to the back of the steering that seems to be sprouting stalks all over! Even auto designers should learn the benefits of sharing a burden.
The music system is pretty decent and enjoyable. But the real pleasure of the cabin is in its being one with the surroundings on a scenic ride – openness being the virtue in a 3008 rather than privacy with the expanse of glass on all sides and even on top!
It isn’t that I try to be fussy or difficult, but I hate even little things spoiling the fun of my drive. Like this little ticking sound from the console that kept bugging me in the first hour of my drive. Until I found out that it was just friction between two layers of plastic on the console!
That apart, after driving both the 008 candidates, one can’t exit without commending the production house on one aspect. Peugeot simply doesn’t compromise in its French quality parameters – there is nothing that ever comes across as a cheap fitting!
UPSIDE: Early spurt of turbo power, Enjoyable drive quality, Head-up display, Exceptionally airy feel thanks to the panoramic glass roof, Abundant storage
FLIPSIDE: Power tapers out at higher rpm, crowded behind-the-wheel controls, Bends on an incline can be discomfiting
Drive Courtesy: Swaidan Trading
Pictures: Sudeep Koshy