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Peugeot 3008 1.6 VTi Active vs. Suzuki SX4 1.6 SZ3 2WD

Peugeot 3008 1.6 VTi Active

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.

Overall

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?

Suzuki SX4 1.6 SZ3 2WD

Suzuki SX4 1.6 SZ3 2WD

With an on-the-road price of just £12,595, the Suzuki SX4 1.6 SZ3 2WD could be classed as a motoring bargain of the century.  It's proof that carmakers are not running out of niches to fill and with the popularity of crossovers on the rise, this car which is a combination of supermini and SUV comes at a price which is certain to get many motorists interested.

But should they be?

At first glance, the Suzuki SX4 is a charming little crossover. The overall shape can be described as chunky, funky, and bold, and because there's only two models to choose from - SZ3 or SZ5 - making a decision about what model you want will come down to whether you want 4WD or not. The SZ3 we are comparing to the Peugeot 3008 today is 2WD, however the SZ5 4WD costs £15,899 if you're interested.

There's no getting around the fact that the SX4 is an ageing car, though. It saw a minor facelift in 2012 and hasn't been updated since, and it therefore lacks any LED lights or other features which most modern crossovers come with. All SX4's come with plastic wheel arches which add the ruggedness and suggestion of off-road appeal, while all models come with alloy wheels, air conditioning, electric mirrors, and split/fold rear seats. On this SZ3 model, there's no DAB or Bluetooth in sight.

So the SX4 is behind the 3008 where technology and equipment is concerned. So what about engines?

The SX4 is available with but one engine, a 1.6-litre non-turbo petrol engine.  It produces 118 bhp and 115 lb /ft of torque, whilst returning 45.6 miles per gallon with a CO2 output of 141 g/km. This is better than what the 3008 can manage, which will return 41.1 miles per gallon with a CO2 output of 155 g/km.

The engine in the Suzuki is surprisingly capable. It pulls well at higher speeds and benefits from a sharp throttle response for town driving. It feels nippier than the 3008 because it is - the SX4 will get from 0 - 62 mph in 10.7 seconds versus 11.8 seconds for the 3008.

An area where the Suzuki is sorely outclassed is practicability. The 3008 is a much bigger crossover, and therefore has a much bigger boot. The Suzuki can only offer up a 270-litre boot, which is over 100-litres less than the Peugeot. This lack of space is evident elsewhere, with the Peugeot offering better rear leg room and head room.

Overall

Although both of these cars are crossovers, both are very different. The Suzuki is a good little car for the money, but it's not a match for the 3008, which for more money gets you more space and much more up to date technology and styling.

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