A preach­ing from the con­verted

The pro-suv crowd wel­comes an­other mem­ber to the move­ment

Wheels (Australia) - - Showroom - RYAN LEWIS

WITH EV­ERY passing day of 3008 own­er­ship the closer I creep to­ward SUV ad­vo­cacy. I never thought I’d say it, but maybe the Aus­tralian buy­ing pub­lic is onto some­thing.

My sec­ond love af­ter cars is cy­cling, and though it’s not of­ten I need to move one of my bikes in a ve­hi­cle, this month I did. This can be a colos­sal nui­sance depend­ing on what’s avail­able to drive, but here’s how it went down with the Peu­geot.

Step one, wheel bike to back of car. Step two, hope no­body is watching and wave leg un­der rear bumper, then wait for mo­torised hatch to open. Step three, flip seat­backs down us­ing re­mote levers. Step four, in­sert bike. Pro­vided there’s noth­ing in the way, the boot floor will be flat, and there’s enough length in a 3008 that even a large bike will fit as-is, both wheels at­tached. That’s all there is to it.

It’s this kind of ease of use that would make me buy a new SUV. Sure, you can achieve a sim­i­lar thing with some wag­ons (the kind of car I al­ways thought would be my fam­ily’s first) but my wife sim­ply will not go back to that com­bi­na­tion of low hip point and short roofline for as long as we have to lift a baby into and out of a car seat. The 3008 won a sup­porter there long ago.

I also need to eat hum­ble pie, be­cause I judged too hastily. In ear­lier nit-pick­ing I crit­i­cised the 3008’s thirst for fuel, but with more mileage on the dial and less time spent in peak hour traf­fic, its ef­fi­ciency has im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly to a whisker less than 9.0L/100km, down from the 11.0L/100km at the time I cried foul. With an of­fi­cial claim of 7.3L/100km I’ll be sure to men­tion it if the trend con­tin­ues.

Oth­er­wise, the past month of driv­ing has been largely un­re­mark­able, and I say that in a good way. The 3008 hasn’t left me want­ing. The only an­noy­ing thing has been the dis­cov­ery that if I were to re­ceive this car now, it would have a panoramic sun­roof.

Since tak­ing de­liv­ery of my 3008 ear­lier in the year, Peu­geot’s lo­cal dis­trib­u­tor has ra­tio­nalised its list of op­tional ex­tras and bun­dled the leather trim with an open­ing glass lid for the same $4000 that the seats alone used to cost. Good for you, bum­mer for me. If you’re read­ing that and scoff­ing (as I know some of you will), know that the black on black on black in­te­rior, from car­pet to roof-liner, can feel a lit­tle gloomy. A bit of sun­light wouldn’t hurt.

A more pos­i­tive dis­cov­ery was the un­earthing of a work­around for the 3008’s lack of a one-touch wiper func­tion. A sin­gle dip of the wiper stalk only ac­ti­vates or de­ac­ti­vates the auto mode, but a quick enough squeeze of the lever will trig­ger the washer func­tion and do the job with a sin­gle flip of the blades, sans suds. Now, if any­body knows how to make the gear se­lec­tor quicker to re­spond...

The Pug’s odome­ter is now ap­proach­ing the 4000km mark, which means we’ve passed the point where a typ­i­cal 3008 owner would have been back to the ser­vice cen­tre for an early (and free) progress check. So, next month I’m ven­tur­ing to the deal­er­ship to see what I’ve missed out on.

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