Peugeot 3008: Lion Or Wombat?


2009 peugeot 3008 official photos 001

2009 peugeot 3008 official photos 001

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The Peugeot 3008 won at least two major British motoring awards in 2009, including What Car?’s Car of the Year 2010 (I know, in 2009). This is despite French cars having one of the most patchy records for reliability.

The magazine rated the Peugeot 3008 as follows:

Quality And Reliability
“Peugeot hasn’t got a great reputation for reliability, but we’ll give the 3008 the benefit of the doubt for now: it looks well-finished from quality materials, right down to the switchgear, carpets and hidden plastic bits. Mechanically, most parts are already tried and tested elsewhere in the Peugeot range,” said What Car?’s testers.

Let me quote that classic opening line again: “Peugeot hasn’t got a great reputation for reliability, but we’ll give the 3008 the benefit of the doubt for now”. Some would say at this point: “My case rests, your honor”. Peugeot has indeed ranked consistently near the bottom of lists like the J.D. Power surveys which test customer satisfaction. Even on Peugeot forums, you will find plenty of honest souls who will say that they like the cars even though they know they are  less reliable than many other makes.

Of course, Car of the Year awards are handed out in the knowledge that long-term reliability is not one of their judging criteria. Or even short-term reliability. In Australia, for example, the Leyland P76 was awarded Wheels’ Car of the Year Award in 1973. I always liked the car, and it might have become a good car in different circumstances, but those who bought it--and there weren’t many--often regretted it. Despite what its small band of loyal fans will tell you, quality control was a disaster for the P76, and contributed to its early demise. Similarly, Land Rovers win all sorts of accolades in the UK, despite being notoriously unreliable vehicles. No, unreliability will not lose you a car of the year award. So, what does the Peugeot 3008 offer which won over the judges?

Beauty
Compare the Peugeot 3008 with a wombat, an Australian bush animal noted for its generally slothful lifestyle and the dent it would make in your car if you hit one. The similarity in shape is coincidental, or at least we hope it is.

The Pug has received much criticism for its front, especially the chip-cutter grille. What do you think? Would you rather look at the Peugeot or a wombat?

Size
This is where the Peugeot comes into its own--probably because of the French distaste for making SUVs, it is not an SUV. It has a high-riding position like one, and a slightly more aggressive nose than an MPV like a Scenic or a Zafira for instance, but it does not have the clearance of a real SUV. It’s really an MPV with a slightly tougher appearance and a sort-of all-wheel drive capacity. That means it can contain more space than an SUV and be more like an MPV, because the floor is lower to the ground. And it’s not really a four-wheel drive: it has an electronic system that works like four-wheel drive (now with Peugeot’s reputation for electronics, wouldn’t you love to try that system out in some remote part of your country?). To compare it with the Nissan Qashqai, it’s slightly longer, quite a bit wider and a little higher. The Peugeot 3008 is probably closest to in size is the Kia Sportage.

Let’s examine the 3008’s cargo space.  Look at the huge boot below. This is a bit misleading, because of the lack of a spare wheel, but you still get the idea. This is a deep boot--18.1 cubic-feet is a lot of boot space in a car.


 
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