Peugeot 3008 1.6 VTi Active
The Peugeot 3008 1.6 VTi Active costs £18,950 - that's £6,355 more than the Suzuki SX4 1.6 SZ3 2WD, but you get a much more modern car for the money.
The 3008 is part hatchback, part estate, part MPV, and part SUV, with quirky dimensions. Peugeot is basically offering a taste of SUV without the extra weight or cost to motorists, and the 3008 sits midway in size and price between the 308 hatchback and 308 SW estate. The first of its kind, the 3008 is a new project for Peugeot which they hope will help them compete against the excellent Nissan Qashqai.
First things first, the 3008 is a Marmite car. While it has the stance of an SUV and the size of en estate, the fake front and rear skid plates and other flared out panels detract from what should be a good looking family car. It's much, much bigger than the Suzuki SX4 1.6 SZ3 2WD, and if pressed to choose between the two as far as styling is concerned, I'd have to go for the little Suzuki.
It's not that the Peugeot 3008 is a bad looking car, though, it's just I don't think it quite knows what it wants to be.
Of course looks are not everything. Where the Suzuki seriously falls short is on standard technology and equipment but this isn't a problem with the 3008. Active spec is second from bottom in the range, but as standard comes with cruise control, power folding mirrors, air conditioning, heated mirrors, electric windows all round, and Bluetooth. This decent level of equipment makes the 3008 a nice to be, and the aircraft cockpit-like centre dashboard is very interesting; it sits high, and makes you feel as though you are driving a much bigger car than you really are.
Both crossovers are powered by 1.6-litre non-turbo petrol engines. The Peugeot's produces 118 bhp and 118 lb /ft, the Suzuki's 118 bhp and 115 lb /ft. But the Suzuki is smaller and lighter, which helps it sprint ahead of the 3008 as far as performance is concerned. The extra weight of the 3008 has also affected economy, with a CO2 output of 155 g/km, which is not a respectable figure in this day and age.
The 3008 feels more secure and nicer to drive though. The interior for example benefits from higher quality plastics than in the Suzuki and the extra space in the cabin is evident. The rear seats in the 3008 can also slide, recline, or be removed, and the 432-litre boot is very competitive - this can be extended to 1,604-litres by folding the rear seats down, which a huge amount of space.
The Peugeot 3008 1.6 VTi Active is a well equipped and spacious family car that's let down by poor running costs. Can the Suzuki SX4 offer motorists something better?