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?

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?

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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Comments (3)
  1. i'm from malaysia, and the malaysian version of 3008 does have a full size spare.

  2. These anectodes of Pug's not being reliable are now getting irritatingly boring and stale. Look around for Pugs that have been junked-None. All over the world are Pug's of all ages and sizes busy on the highways, and as a matter of fact, their sales volumes are on the rise. I have driven all Peugeots from the 404, 504, 505, 405, and currently own a Partner, all rock solid reliable cars. My analysis of most of the complainants are those who take their cars to incompetent garages, drive carelessly and use cheap fake parts. These do not consist of a demographic that can contribute fairly to a survey. Enough said. Readers-Don't be swayed by reviews.

  3. Hey civvic, and to all others that are interested in hearing a first hand story. I bought a new 3008 two years ago as an Xmas present for my wife. Nice huh? I won't be buying another Peugeot any time soon. Here is why. In that two year period the car has had the timing chain assembly replaced, noisy electric window winder, electric fold out rear view mirrors have stopped folding out, replaced the tires 6 months ago at $500 each, new brakes, automatic head lights stopped, steerling wheel pealing, dash board buckling and both front door hinges have come loose 3 times and make a horrible clicking noise when opening and closing the door. Her last 2 cars were a new Honda crv of 5 years and a new Hyundai excell for 6. Not one issue on either!....

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