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Haval H9


Peugeot 3008

Summary

Haval H9

From almost the moment carmakers began popping up in China, we've talked of the soon-to-arrive boom in Chinese new-car sales in Australia.

They're coming, we said. And no, they're not much chop right now, but they'll get better and better and better, until they're one day giving the best from Japan and Korea a run for their money.

That was years ago now, and the truth is, they never really got good enough to seriously rattle any cages here in Oz. They inched closer, sure, but there was still a heap of daylight between them and the competition.

But we've just spent a week piloting the updated Haval H9 large SUV, and we can report that the gap hasn't just shrunk, it's near-enough vanished, the daylight reduced to a sliver in lots of important areas.

So is this the beginning of the Chinese revolution?

Safety rating
Engine Type2.0L turbo
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency12.1L/100km
Seating7 seats

Peugeot 3008

I’ve always thought the Peugeot 3008 deserves to be seen in more Aussie driveways than it is. More than just a striking looking mid-size SUV, the French high-riding model has always been practical, comfortable and an intriguing alternative to the mainstream brands.

And for the 2021 Peugeot 3008 - which has been updated with new, even more arresting styling - the brand has also improved the specs and safety features to make this also-ran arguably even more appealing.

But will a high price and questionable ownership costs count against it? Or is this semi-premium brand offering a product that’s premium enough to justify its high cost over mainstream branded rivals like the Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5 and Subaru Forester?

Safety rating
Engine Type1.6L turbo
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency7L/100km
Seating5 seats

Verdict

Haval H97.1/10

The Haval H9 Ultra is proof that Chinese cars are at last living up to the hype. The value proposition is unbelievable, and a five-year warranty helps calm any ownership concerns. Is it bang-on against the competition? Not quite. Not yet. But you can be sure that other vehicles in the segment can feel the H9's hot breath on the back of their necks.

Would you consider a Haval, or do you still doubt the Chinese? Tell us in the comments below.


Peugeot 30087.8/10

The Peugeot 3008 2021 model range offers some alternatives to the mainstream SUV crowd, even if the pricing is edging more towards the luxury SUV realm.

At odds with the brand’s approach is that our pick of the range is actually the base model Allure, which is the most affordable (though still hardly cheap) but has a lot of the equipment we think you’ll appreciate and a drive experience that is on par with the more expensive GT petrol.

Design

Haval H97/10

It's a big and slab-sided beast, the H9, and it's unlikely to win too many beauty contests. But then, few in this category do, or attempt to, and it looks tough and purposeful, which is probably more important.

Front on, it looks positively massive, with its giant and silver-slatted grille, huge headlights and a jumbo foglight perched like alien eyes in the furthest corners of the front end.

From the side, lashings of  silver (a touch too blingy for our tastes) break up an otherwise fairly bland profile, with the rubber-gripped sidesteps a nice touch. From the back, a large and largely unremarkable rear end is home to a massive, side-hinged boot opening, with the pull handle mounted to the far left.

It's not perfect in places, though, with some panels that don't quite match up, and more gaps between others than we'd like, but you have to look closely to notice.

Inside, the fit and finish is pretty good, with a giant faux-wood centre console home to a one-touch gear lever, an electric handbrake (a luxury still missing in some Japanese models) and most of the four-wheel-drive functions. The "eco" leather on the seats and the soft-touch dash are both nice under the touch, as is the steering wheel, and the second and third rows are pleasantly furnished, too.


Peugeot 30089/10

It’s close to a 10/10 for design. This is not just beautiful to look at, it’s smartly packaged and thoughtfully configured. And according to me and everyone I spoke to, it doesn’t look like a mid-size SUV. It’s almost petite.

That’s even considering it’s 4447mm long (on a 2675mm wheelbase), 1871mm wide and 1624mm tall. Meaning, it’s shorter than a VW Tiguan, Mazda CX-5 and even a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, and it really does manage to fit a mid-size SUV level of space into a more compact SUV’s dimensions.

More on the interior practicality soon, but let’s just bask in the beauty of that revised front end. The old model was already attractive, but this faceilfted version ups the ante. 

It has a new front end design that makes it look as though the car is moving, even when it’s parked. The way the grille shreds away, with the lines getting wider towards the outer edges - it’s reminiscent of what you see in an outer space movie, when the captain hits warp speed.

Those little lines may be hard to clean over a bugsplattered summer drive. But the redesigned headlights with huge, sharp DRLs help the front end stand out even more. 

In side profile, there are 18- or 19-inch wheels, and depending on the model, you’ll see chrome around the bottom edges or the GT Sport’s heavily blackened look. The side design hasn’t changed all that much, which is no bad thing. I just wish the wheels were a bit more interesting.

The rear sees a new tail-light design with LED lighting and a smoked finish, and the back bumper is revised. All grades get an electric tailgate with kick-to-open functionality, and it actually worked on test.

The 3008’s interior design is another talking point - and it could be for all the wrong reasons. The recent raft of models from the brand have adopted what the brand calls the i-Cockpit, where the steering wheel (which is tiny) sits low and you look over the top of it to a digital driver info screen (which isn’t tiny). 

I love it. I can easily find a position that is appropriate for me, and I like the novelty of it. But there are plenty of people that struggle to get comfortable with the idea of having the steering wheel set low - they want it high, as that’s what they’re used to - and that means they mightn’t be able to see the instrument display.

Have a look at the interior images and tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Practicality

Haval H98/10

Very practical, thanks for asking. It's a behemoth (4856m long, 1926mm wide and 1900mm high), so space is really no problem in the cabin.

Up front, there are the prerequisite brace of cupholders, mounted in a centre console so wide you could play football on it, and the seats are big and comfortable (and they'll give you a massage to boot). There is room in the front doors for bottles, and the infotainment, while a little slow and clunky, is easy to understand and operate.

Climb into the second row and there's heaps of space (both leg and headroom) for passengers, and you can, without doubt, fit three kids across the back. There is a storage net on the rear of each of the front seats, room for bottles in the doors and two more cupholders in the pulldown divider.

There's no shortage of niceties for backseat riders, too, with air vents and temperature controls and heated rear seats. And there are two ISOFIX points, one in each window seat.

Things aren't so luxurious for third-row passengers, with thin-and-hard seats mounted in cramped surrounds. But there are third-row vents and a cupholder for seats six and seven.

The side-hinged boot opens to reveal a laughably small storage space with the third row in place, but things improve considerably when you flatten (electronically, no less) the rear seats, with a gigantic storage area that will have your phone ringing hot every time one of your friends is moving house.


Peugeot 30088/10

It’s a special feeling place, the interior of the 3008.

I’ve already mentioned above that it mightn’t be to all tastes in terms of the seating arrangement, but the comfort and convenience is excellent. Yes, excellent convenience and a surprising amount of thoughtfulness has gone into the interior here.

And it’s gloriously finished, with a very high standard of perceived quality - the materials all look and feel plush, including trim on the doors and dashboard which is soft and attractive. There’s a little bit of hard plastic below the dashboard beltline, but it’s a better quality than some competitors. 

Let’s talk cup and bottle storage. Lots of French cars have poor storage available for drinks, but the 3008 has good sized cup holders between the front seats, big bottle holders in all four doors, and a flip-down centre armrest with cup storage in the rear, too.

Plus there is a huge centre console bin between the front seats, with is much deeper than it looks. There’s also a usable glovebox, big trenches in the doors, and a storage section in front of the gear selector that doubles as a wireless phone charging bay, too.

The front also scores a new larger 10.0-inch touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, and there’s built-in sat nav as well. The usability of the media screen isn’t as simply as it could be, though.

The ventilation controls are all done through the screen, and while the phone mirroring part takes up the middle section of the monitor, and the temp controls are shown either side, it still means you have to go away from whatever you’re doing on the smartphone mirroring, jump to the HVAC menu, make whatever changes you want there, and then go back to the smartphone screen. It’s just a bit too finicky.

At the very least there is a volume knob and a set of hot keys below the screen so you can jump between menus, and the processor used seems to be a bit more powerful in the last 3008 I drove, because the screen’s a bit quicker.

But one thing that’s not improved is the reversing camera display, which is still very low res, and also requires you to fill in the blanks using the 360-degree camera. It comes up with grey boxes either side of the car, and when you reverse, it records the image it collects rather than just actually showing you what's outside the car, as you would see in most cars with surround view camera systems. It’s really not all that helpful, and I found myself just wanting a better resolution rear camera because there are parking sensors around the car.

The rear seat has reasonable space for someone my size - I’m 182cm or 6’0” and I could fit behind my own driving position with just enough space to be comfortable. Knee room is the main limitation, while headroom is good, and so is toe room. The flat floor in the back makes it a bit more amenable to have three across, though the centre console eats into middle seat kneeroom, and it’s not the widest cabin in the business.

There are rear directional air vents, two USB ports for charging, and a pair of map pockets as well. And if you have younger children there are dual ISOFIX and three top-tether child seat attachment points fitted.

Boot space is exceptional in the 3008. Peugeot claims that somehow this rather compact mid-size SUV can take 591 litres (VDA) of cargo in the back, and that’s the measurement to the window line, not the roof.

In practice - with the boot floor set to the lowest of its two positions over the space saver spare wheel - there was easily enough space for the CarsGuide luggage set (134L, 95L and 36L hard case), with room for another set on top. It’s a huge boot, and a good shape, too. 

Price and features

Haval H99/10

Let's be honest, Haval hasn't been around anywhere near long enough in Australia to sell on anything even resembling badge loyalty. So if it is any hope of increasing its 50-odd sales a month (March 2018), it knows it has to sweeten the pot on price.

And it doesn't get much sweeter than the $44,990 sticker glued to the H9 Ultra. That's about $10k cheaper than the cheapest Prado (and a staggering $40k cheaper than the most-expensive version), and the Ultra is absolutely swimming with kit for the money.

Outside, the alloy wheels are 18 inches, there are LED daytime running lights, front and rear fog lamps, dusk-sensing headlights with a follow-me-home function and standard roof rails.

Inside, the faux-leather seats are heated in the first two rows (and ventilated in the front), and there's even a massage function for the driver and passenger. The windows are powered, as is the fold-flat function for the third row, and there's a sunroof, leather-wrapped steering wheel and aluminium pedals, too.

On the tech front, an 8.0-inch touchscreen (but no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto) is paired with a 10-speaker stereo, and there is standard navigation, keyless entry and push-button start.

Finally, there's a heap of safety and off-roading kit, but we'll come back to that under our other sub-headings.


Peugeot 30086/10

The Peugeot 3008 range is expensive. There. I’ve said it.

Okay, now let’s consider Peugeot as a brand. Is it a premium player, to be considered against Audi, Volvo and co? According to the brand it is. But it is playing a weird game, because it’s not quite premium-priced to the point that it is going to be cross-shopped against those makes.

Think of it like this: the Peugeot 3008 - while being close in size to a Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5 or Volkswagen Tiguan - is priced like a small luxury SUV; like an Audi Q2 or Volvo XC40.

As such, it’s way over the money to compete against mainstream makers, with an MSRP/MLP kick-off point of $44,990 (before on-road costs) for the base model Allure. The range also has the GT petrol model at $47,990, the GT diesel at $50,990 and the flagship GT Sport comes in at $54,990.

All models are front-wheel drive, and none are hybrid yet. For context, the class-leading Toyota RAV4 ranges from $32,695 to $46,415, and there are all-wheel drive and hybrid models to choose from. 

So does the equipment fitted help justify the cost? Here’s a spec breakdown of all four grades.

The 3008 Allure ($44,990) comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and daytime running lights with integrated LED fog lights, LED rear lights, roof rails, body colour rear spoiler, auto lights and wipers, cloth interior trim with fake leather accents, manual seat adjustment, a 12.3-inch digital driver info display, a 10.0-inch touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite navigation, DAB digital radio and Bluetooth, ambient lighting, wireless phone charger, leather steering wheel and gearknob, electric park brake, push-button start and keyless entry, and a space saver spare wheel.

Step up to the GT petrol ($47,990) or diesel ($50,990) and you gain a few different items to justify the extra expense. The 18-inch wheels are a different design, the LED headlights are adaptive (meaning they turn corners with the car), the rearview mirror is a frameless design, the steering wheel is perforated leather, the roof lining is black (not grey), and you get black roof and mirror caps on the outside as well.

Plus the interior sees Alcantara door and dashboard trim, sports pedals and there is vegan leather seat trim with Alcantara elements and “copper” stitching.

Then the GT Sport ($54,990) model essentially adds an exterior black pack with 19-inch black alloys, dak finishes on the grille, badges, bumper trim strips, side door and front wing trims and window surrounds. And it also includes the interior leather package, which is optional on the other grades, as well as a Focal 10-speaker sound system and laminated front door glass. This grade also has Lime Wood interior trim.

The GT grade models can be had with a sunroof for $1990. The 3008 GT petrol and GT diesel variants can be optioned with leather seat trim fitted standard to the GT Sport, which comprises Nappa leather, heated front seats, electric driver’s seat adjustment and massage - that pack costs $3590.

Picky about colours? The only no-cost option is Celebes Blue, while the metallic options ($690) consist of Artense Grey, Platinum Grey and Perla Nera Black, and there are also premium paint choice ($1050), being Pearl White, Ultimate Red and Vertigo Blue. There is no orange, yellow, brown or green paint option available. 

I’ll reiterate - for a non-luxury brand selling a front-wheel drive SUV, no matter how nice it is or well appointed it may be, the 3008 is too expensive.

Engine & trans

Haval H96/10

It's like a diesel in disguise, this 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, making 180kW at 5500rpm and 350Nm at 1800rpm. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and drives all four wheels. That means a sprint to 100km/h of "just over 10 seconds” - about two seconds faster than the car it replaces.

Haval's All-Terrain Control System is also standard, meaning you can choose between six drive settings, including Sport, Mud or 4WD Low.


Peugeot 30087/10

The Peugeot 3008 range has a complex engine line-up. Many brands are going with a “one engine will do” approach for their standard model range, and that’s likely to only increase as the world moves towards electrification.

But that said, the 2021 version of the 3008 has three engines available at launch, and there’s more coming!

The Allure and GT petrol models run a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine (known as Puretech 165), producing 121kW at 6000rpm and 240Nm at 1400rpm. It is available only with a six-speed automatic and it is front-wheel drive, like all 3008s. The claimed 0-100km/h time is 9.9 seconds.

Next up the engine specs list is the petrol-powered GT Sport, which also has a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo, but with a bit more grunt - as the Puretech 180 name might suggest. There’s 133kW of power at 5500rpm, and 250Nm of torque (at 1650rpm). This engine uses an eight-speed automatic, is FWD/2WD, and has engine start-stop tech. It can do 0-100km/h in a claimed 8.8sec.

Then there’s the diesel model - the GT diesel’s Blue HDi 180 - which is a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder unit producing 131kW of power (at 3750rpm) and a huge 400Nm of torque (at 2000rpm). Again, there’s an eight-speed auto and FWD, and it seemingly struggles to put that grunt to the road, with a 0-100 speed of 9.0sec.

The 3008 range will be bolstered by plug-in hybrid versions in the latter part of 2021. 

It is expected there will be the Hybrid 225 model, using 2WD with a 1.6-litre petrol engine teamed to an electric motor and a 13.2kWh battery pack, with a resulting 56km range.

The Hybrid4 300 model packs a bit more power and torque, as well as the inclusion of all-wheel drive by way of a rear-mounted electric motor in addition to a front-mounted electric motor and a 13.2kWh battery pack, said to be good for 59km of electric range.

We look forward to sampling the PHEV versions later in 2021. Stay tuned for coverage.

Fuel consumption

Haval H96/10

Haval reckons you'll get 10.9 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle, with emissions a claimed 254g/km. The H9's 80-litre tank will only accept premium 95RON fuel, which is a shame.


Peugeot 30088/10

Official combined cycle fuel consumption figures vary across the engine range. In fact, it even varies across the variants!

For instance, the 1.6L Puretech 165 four-cylinder in the Allure and GT petrol models is not identical. The official figure is 7.3 litres per 100 kilometres for the Allure, while the GT petrol is said to use 7.0L/100km, which could be down to tyres and some aero differences.

Then there’s the GT Sport, the most powerful petrol (Puretech 180), which has an official consumption of 5.6L/100km. It’s so much lower because it has engine start-stop technology, where the other 1.6L doesn’t.

The Blue HDi 180 engine has the lowest official fuel use figure of 5.0L/100km. It has start-stop tech, too, but no AdBlue after treatment.

I filled up after a few hundred kilometres of testing and had a real-world at the pump return of 8.5L/100km in the GT petrol. 

The petrol models both require 95RON premium unleaded fuel. 

Fuel tank capacity for all models is 53L, so theoretical driving range is very good for the diesel.

Driving

Haval H97/10

We did a lot of kilometres in the Haval (perhaps subconsciously we were waiting for it to fall over), and over all sorts of road conditions, and it never skipped a beat.

The obvious standout is the ride, which is now very good, and disposes of CBD bumps and corrugations without fuss. At no stage does it feel dynamic or overly connected to the road, but it creates a comfortable disconnect that makes you feel you're floating above the ground. Not good for a performance car, sure, but it suits the character of the big Haval just fine.

The steering has a wafty vagueness, though, and it doesn't inspire confidence on anything twisty, with plenty of corrections when you're tackling something challenging.

The rolling delivery of power is surprisingly strong and smooth when you plant your foot. But there are downsides to a small turbocharged engine shoving the size of a block of flats around. For one, the engine has this staggering delay when you first plant your foot from a standstill - as though you're playing chess with the engine and it is figuring out its next move - before finally surging into life. It makes overtaking moves a heart-stopping challenge at times.

The petrol engine (which does a remarkable job of masquerading as a diesel) can feel a little rough and rugged when you really plant your foot, too, and you'll find all the useable power lurking at the low-end of the rev range. It is bloody comfortable, though. The vision is very good out of all windows, including the rear windscreen. And the gearbox is terrific, seamlessly and smoothly swapping cogs.

But... there were some electrical gremlins. For one, the proximity unlocking is the weirdest we've encountered - sometimes it works, other times its more complicated, and you need a textbook to figure out how it talks to the boot. The alarm went off twice despite me unlocking the doors, too. It might be some user error that I don't understand, but worth mentioning either way.


Peugeot 30088/10

The Peugeot 3008 GT petrol I drove was a nice, comfortable drive. Not amazing in any particular way, but a really good balance of things you might want in your mid-size SUV.

The ride is particularly well sorted, with a nice level of control and composure over most bumps at most speeds. There can be a bit of side-to-side body wobble at times, but it’s never too flimsy feeling

The steering is quick, and the small steering wheel exacerbates that. You don’t need to make much movement with your hands to affect a prompt response, though there’s not a whole lot of feel going on, so it’s not super fun in the traditional sense despite being easy to steer.

You might look at the engine specs and think, “a 1.6-litre isn’t enough engine for a family SUV like that!”. But you’d be wrong, because it turns out this engine is a zesty little offering.

It pulls hard from a standstill, and offers good power progression up the rev range, too. The engine is urgent enough in its response in roll-on acceleration as well, but the transmission has a real appetite for eating away at the fun you’re trying to have by constantly upshifting in an attempt to save fuel. 

There are paddle-shifters if you want to put it in manual mode, and there’s a sport drive mode as well - but really, that’s not the kind of SUV this is. It’s a really competent and comfortable family option, one that is very easy to drive and would certainly be easy to live with.

Another really nice thing about the 3008 is that it’s pretty quiet. There’s not much in the way of road noise or wind rustle to contend with, and I experienced almost no tyre roar from the Michelin rubber of my test car.

My biggest gripe was actually the engine start button. It seemingly requires a lot of pedal pressure on the brake and a fairly good press of the button to ignite the engine, and I also found the shifter could be a touch frustrating when shifting between drive and reverse, too.

Those are hardly dealbreakers, though. This is a very likeable car.

Safety

Haval H97/10

The safety story starts with dual front and front-side airbags, as well as curtain bags that stretch across all three rows. You'll also find a revising camera, as well as front and rear parking sensors.

Happily, Haval has also embraced the newer technologies, so you'll get lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring.  Off-road, hill descent control is standard, and Haval claims a safe fording depth of 700mm.

The H9 received a four-star ANCAP crash rating when the outgoing model was tested in 2015.


Peugeot 30089/10

The Peugeot 3008 range was awarded a five-star ANCAP crash test safety rating back in 2016, and while that was half a decade ago (can you believe it?!), the updated model is even better equipped with safety technology and features.

All models come with auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection including low-light scenarios, plus all grades come with lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and intervention, a surround view 360-degree camera, front and rear parking sensors, semi-autonomous self parking tech, auto high-beam lights, and adaptive cruise control with a speed limiter.

The GT grade models all have added lane keeping assistance technology to help steer you in your lane at speed, too. Where the Allure has Peugeot’s Advanced Grip Control system, adding off highway driving modes with Mud, Sand and Snow modes - remember, though, it’s a front-wheel drive SUV.

The 3008 is fitted with six airbags (dual front, front side, full-length curtain) and there are dual ISOFIX and three top-tether points for baby seats.

Ownership

Haval H97/10

Expect a five-year/100,000km warranty, with service intervals pegged at six months and 10,000km. Service costs are available at Haval dealerships, so be sure to check them out before you sign on the dotted line.


Peugeot 30087/10

The Peugeot 3008 range is offered with a class-competitive five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty plan, which includes five years’ roadside assistance at no extra cost.

There is a five-year capped-price servicing plan, too. Maintenance intervals are every 12 months/20,000km, which is generous.

But the service costs are high. Worked out over the five year plan, the annual average price per servicing for the Allure and GT petrol models is $553.60; for the GT diesel it’s $568.20; and for the GT Sport it’s $527.80.

Worried about Peugeot 3008 issues, reliability, concerns or recalls? Check out our Peugeot 3008 problems page.