Quirky is the most overused word when it comes to French cars.
So perhaps the highest compliment I can pay the Peugeot 3008 Active is how conventional it is.
Mid-size SUVs have become the new family cars, combining space, practicality, style and a commanding view of the road into one package. The likes of the Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan X-Trail comfortably outsell the traditional sedan.
Which is why the 3008 is such an important model for Peugeot as it tries to rebuild its image and sales in Australia. Being too quirky simply wouldn’t work in appealing to the broad audience of SUV buyers.
Is it right for me?
Having said all that, the 3008 does have some unique charms that make it stand out in the SUV crowd. For starters the design is a little bolder than others, with a clear focus on looking more at home in the city than the country with a smoother, more elegant shape rather pretending to be an off-roader with a boxy, go-anywhere appearance.
Inside though it’s a practical five-seat SUV that does much the same job as a CX-5 or RAV4, in terms of moving up to five-people in comfort.
Can I afford it ?
Peugeot Australia deliberately skipped the circa-$30k entry-level model in an acknowledgment that it simply can’t compete on value with the Japanese and Koreans.
We’re testing the most affordable model in the range, the 3008 Active, which is priced from $37,490 plus on-road costs. That’s a $500 increase since it first went on sale in 2017, but it has added autonomous emergency braking to its standard equipment list.
However, until December 21 Peugeot is offering the Active for $37,990 drive-away which shifts the value equation and makes it more appealing.
What do you get for your money?
It may be the first model in the 3008 range but the Active isn’t a stripped-out base-level offering. Standard gear includes 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights and taillights and auto wipers. Inside there’s a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, navigation, digital radio, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, wireless smartphone charging and dual-zone climate control.
Safety is good too, for the price, with the aforementioned AEB supported by forward collision alert, driver attention alert, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.
How much does it cost to maintain?
Peugeot offers a five-year capped price servicing scheme. Over the first three-years/60,000km it adds up to more than $1500 to maintain it, which is relatively pricey in comparison to some of its direct competition but not out of the ball park.
Is it well built?
While French cars don’t enjoy the same reputation of those from neighbouring Germany, the 3008 feels solid and bolted together well. Peugeot Australia has acknowledged this perception and introduced a five-year warranty for all new models for added peace-of-mind. But with so many brand’s moving to that period it doesn’t have the same impact it would have 18 months ago.