2021 Peugeot 3008 GT review (video)

Welcome to what is arguably one of the most stylish SUVs of its segment. The 2021 Peugeot 3008. Just check out the attention to detail. Very distinctive, too. Unlike some mid-size SUVs out at the moment, this does not look the same as the common mould.

Here we’re checking out the GT variant, with the 121kW 1.6 turbo-petrol engine – a 131kW/400Nm 2.0 turbo-diesel is also available. You can go a step higher with the latest model too, with the new GT Sport variant which brings in a 133kW version of the 1.6 turbo engine and an eight-speed auto, over this six-speed auto.

All examples in Australia are front-wheel drive at the moment, but a 221kW plug-in hybrid version is on the way, bringing all-wheel drive. It’s set to be joined by the hot new 308 SW wagon next year, which features a 165kW hybrid option.

Prices for this GT petrol kick off from $47,990, while the diesel version starts from $50,990.  You can also drop down to the entry Allure (same petrol engine as this GT) from $44,990, or step up to the GT Sport from $54,990 (all excluding on-road costs).

2021 Peugeot 3008 GT – THE SPECS

Engine: 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder
Output: 121kW@6000rpm / 240Nm@1400rpm
Transmission:
 Six-speed auto
Drive type: Front-wheel drive
Wheels: F: 18×7.5, 225/55
ANCAP: Five stars
Tare weight: 1390kg
Power-to-weight: 11.48:1 (kg:kW)
Official fuel economy: 7.0L/100km
Economy during test: 8.4L/100km
Fuel capacity/Type: 53L/95 RON

Power efficiency: 17.28kW:L/100km
0-60km/h: 4.20 seconds*
0-100km/h: 9.15 seconds*
60-110km/h: 6.61 seconds*
1/4 mile: 16.59 seconds at 138.7km/h*
Max acceleration: 0.657g
100-0km/h braking: 2.90 seconds at 36.93 metres*
Max deceleration: -1.401g
Decibel at idle: 39*
Peak decibel at 60-100km/h: 80*
Priced from: $47,990

* Figures as tested by PerformanceDrive on the day. Factory claims may be different

2021 Peugeot 3008 GT – THE PACKAGE

While the exterior is no doubt stunning for its class, get a load of this interior. It looks like a proper premium class vehicle in here. The brushed metal highlights and wood trimmings, and just the way it is all pulled together and presented is nothing short of breathtaking for this class.

It all feels really solid, too, with what appears to be excellent build quality in most areas. The dash and door fixtures and centre console feel robust, with no squeaks or rattles. Yes, the starting price is almost 50 grand, but the interior definitely goes some way to justifying that price, especially compared with some rivals.

Peugeot’s latest touch-screen, measuring 10 inches, looks nice, but the menu flow can be tiresome, requiring many selections to undertake simple tasks. For example, when diving into the media options or changing radio stations. The graphics are pleasant though and it is mostly intuitive to navigate your way around. It packages in Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, digital radio, sat-nav, and an oddly lagging surround-view parking monitor.

In front of the driver is a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, standard across the range. It, too, presents nice graphics but some of the display options aren’t as easy to come by as we’d prefer. This is due to the somewhat confusing – and limited – buttons on the steering wheel. We’re not a fan of the tiny steering wheel and the high-mount cluster either. It feels like it’s just being different for the sake of being different. For our seating position, the steering wheel completely conceals the speed readout, which can cause unneeded concern.

Passenger space is good, and there’s a natural driving position, aside from the small wheel. There is a rather high and thick sill to step over to get in, but the door openings and the roof height are practically-designed. Rear passenger space is pretty good as well, although the centre seat can get a bit squashy due to the protruding console. There are climate vents and charging ports available.

On paper, the boot size stacks up really well against the main rivals, with 591 litres and 1670L with the rear seats folded. But in person it doesn’t seem as big as the numbers suggest. It’s still very practical though, and there’s a 12-volt socket and seat-fold tabs on the walls. There’s also some handy carry hooks, and underneath the floor you’ll find a space-saver spare wheel.

2021 Peugeot 3008 GT – THE DRIVE

One of the main standouts of the drive character is the ride comfort. French cars always seem to get this element right. It feels like there is plenty of suspension travel, so it can absorb all sizes of bumps and undulations with ease, and road connections and other surface changes are conquered with quietness and control.

All variants share the same suspension setup, with no special sports setting for the GT or GT Sport. But despite the high level of absorbency and comfort, body control is well managed. It can dart into corners with the eagerness of a sedan or even sporty hatch. Perhaps that tiny steering wheel helps here as it makes the 3008 feel sharp and responsive. Even on poor country roads, it offers a level of enjoyment and enthusiasm not common in this class.

The standard Michelin tyres, measuring 225/55, mounted on the GT’s 18-inch alloy wheels, provide heaps of grip, including in the wet. Braking performance is exceptional, too. Our tests recorded 100-0km/h in just 36.93 metres. Again, this level of detail is what we’d usually see from the premium marques.

As for the engine, the power and torque levels are not all that impressive for this class. Looking at the most popular model in this segment, the Toyota RAV4, its base 2.0L petrol offers 127kW. So for a near-$50k vehicle and one that wears a ‘GT’ badge, we’d expect better. But we do like the fact this engine is turbocharged, so you get decent low-down surge, not felt in naturally aspirated engines such as the RAV4 2.0L.

This means it can charge up long, steep hills and not feel over-worked or strained. It also helps when you’re simply scooting through town or in the city by providing effortless momentum, allowing you to keep up with traffic flow with ease. The engine sounds alright for what it is, too, and performance is respectable. We clocked 0-100km/h in 9.15 seconds, undercutting Peugeot’s official claim of 9.9 seconds.

2021 Peugeot 3008 GT – THE VIDEO

2021 Peugeot 3008 GT – THE VERDICT

Since this is not officially classed as a premium vehicle, and this GT is technically a mid-spec variant, the price is undoubtedly a jagged little pill to swallow. It’s not particularly powerful for its class and it doesn’t even come with all-wheel drive. However, the attention to detail in the design and execution, inside and out, definitely pushes it ever-closer to the premium classes. The level of standard features and practical-minded conveniences also help.

Forgetting the price for a moment, we think the 3008 GT is worth considering if you’re tired of seeing and looking into the same common SUVs in this space at the moment. Most of which follow a very similar set of principals and meet similar design conventions. This is different, yet still very smart, safe, and economical. And it adds a level of quality and luxury aspiration that’s not at all common in this class.

PROS:
– Suave, Euro design
– Decent fuel economy for a petrol
– Quality look and feel interior
– Big boot measurements for its class
– Ride strikes a nice balance between sportiness and comfort

CONS:
– Tiny steering wheel is overly sporty for an SUV, can obstruct speedo view
– Low power and torque levels for it class
– Pricey for its class

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