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Holden Equinox


Peugeot 3008

Summary

Holden Equinox

It has been a long time coming, but this is it - the replacement for the Holden Captiva.. sort of. It’s the 2018 Holden Equinox, a new mid-sized model that will take the fight to some of the most established and successful SUVs on the Australian market.

The competitive set is daunting for a newcomer - we’re talking the Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4, Nissan X-Trail, Volkswagen Tiguan, Mitsubishi Outlander, Honda CR-V… Some big selling models from some big name brands.

It’s not as though Holden hasn’t had a presence in this market in the past, though. The company has had the Captiva in the medium segment in the past, and there’s still going to be the seven-seat Captiva, which will soldier on as the brand’s offering in that space until the all-new Acadia arrives later in 2018.

As such the Equinox is purely a five-seat offering, and a roomy one at that - plus, there are five different versions for customers to choose from: the base model LS, the safety-focused LS+, the mid-spec LT, well-equipped LTZ and flagship LTZ-V. 

So, how does it stack up? Read on to find out.

Safety rating
Engine Type1.5L turbo
Fuel TypeRegular Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency6.9L/100km
Seating5 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

Holden Equinox7.4/10

The Holden Equinox 2018 range has a lot of choice for buyers, and that will be enhanced even further when the diesel models arrive later in 2018. As it stands, there is no denying the Holden magic touch has been applied to the Equinox, and it drives confidently and comfortably in almost every situation.

It is let down by a bland interior with some questionable finishes, and an exterior design that looks a little dated for a brand new model in one of the most important segments in the market. 

It isn’t a class leader, then - but it is among the better options in the class. This writer’s pick would be the LS+, which has the best comfort, peace of mind and a more-than-adequate drivetrain for most people’s needs.

Would you go for the 1.5-litre model? Or do you subscribe to the notion that there's no replacement for displacement? Let us know in the comments section 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

Holden Equinox6/10

I guess you could say that it is interestingly styled, in that it doesn’t really look very much like anything else in the Holden stable. 

I mean, if you squint you can see a bit of Astra sedan (Chevrolet Cruze) about it, and maybe some Trax, too. Some makers are nailing the whole 'brand identity' thing, but that’s not so easy for Holden, which has sourced from the European market and the North American market. The Equinox, for instance, is built in Mexico, primarily for the US, where it sells in big numbers.

That aside, there’s something about the look of it that has a familiarity to it. I personally think it would have been right at home in a 2005 model range line-up, because there are a lot of deep character lines and swooshes, stuff that has seemingly gone a bit out of fashion in recent years as companies push for 'European styling'. And in the same breath, I’d say that the D-pillar is more than a bit reminiscent of a Mercedes-Benz GLE

The entry-level models have 17-inch wheels with big chubby tyres that look a little naff, but 18s and 19s on the higher-spec versions, not to mention the LED headlights on the flagship LTZ and LTZ-V (models below have LED daytime running lights).

The interior falls short of the styling highs we’ve seen in competitor cars, too. It isn’t as high-tech or sexy as, say, a CX-5, Tucson or Sportage. But it does have the practicality side of things sorted.


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

Holden Equinox8/10

The Equinox is undoubtedly one of the more practical and spacious models in the segment - up there alongside the brilliantly practical Honda HR-V and Volkswagen Tiguan - and a lot of that comes down to the fact that there aren’t seven seats squeezed in, and it’s on the bigger side of things for the class.

With dimensions of 4652mm long, a wheelbase of 2725mm and a width of 1843mm, it certainly has the supersized American market in mind. For context: Toyota RAV4 is 4605mm long (2660mm wheelbase) and 1845mm wide; Hyundai Tucson is 4475mm long (2670mm wheelbase) and 1850mm wide; Mazda CX-5 is 4540mm long (2700mm wheelbase) and 1840mm wide.

The result of the Equinox's extra footprint is a roomy cabin, easily large enough for a family of five. There are three top-tether anchor points and dual outboard ISOFIX attachments, and Holden claims a massive, class-leading boot capacity of 846 litres with the back seats in place, and 1798L with them folded down in a 60/40 fashion.

The higher-spec models have remote release levers in the boot area to drop the seats, too, and the LTZ and LTZ-V versions have a hands-free tailgate, which is handy if your digits are otherwise occupied.

There are cupholders up front and in the back, and the door pockets are a good size, too, with space for a bottle or (fold-up) umbrella. A central storage bin in front of the gear selector allows enough space for wallets and phones, while the console between the front seats is massive.

High-spec models (again, LTZ and LTZ-V) have four USB ports to keep the kids’ devices charged on road trips, plus there’s a 230-volt powerpoint in the back seat. The rest of the range makes do with a single USB port, and a couple of 12-volt plugs. 

The media system you get depends on the model you choose. LS and LS+ models have a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone mirroring tech and Bluetooth, while the LT, LTZ and LTZ-V have a slightly more attractive (but no more intuitive) 8.0-inch touchscreen with the same tech, plus sat nav (including live traffic updates).

The interior presentation is a little bland and dated, and there’s an array of hard plastics throughout that don’t imbue the cabin with a sense of luxury - while competitor SUVs like the Volkswagen Tiguan can feel like expensive cars that have been de-specified, the air the Equinox gives off is one of a more affordable car that has been tarted up.

That’s not to say it’s unpleasant - I liked the leather on the seats in the up-spec models (and the seat cooling on the humid day of my test drive), but I reckon the fabric trim in the lower-spec models has a bit more character and charm to it.


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

Holden Equinox8/10

The new Holden Equinox 2018 model range isn't the outright most affordable mid-size SUV on the market, nor is it pushing the limits in terms of pricing. It's a middle-ground player. 

The entry-level Holden Equinox LS is the only model available with a manual transmission, and it starts things off at $27,990. The automatic version adds two grand ($29,990). It's powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, and is only available in front-wheel drive (FWD).

The LS has 17-inch alloy wheels, a 7.0-inch touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, automatic headlights with LED daytime running lights, dual ISOFIX child-seat anchor points, and the automatic has what Holden calls 'Active Noise Cancellation'.

Next up in the range is the LS+ at $32,990, which runs the same 1.5L auto drivetrain as the LS. The LS+ adds a leather steering wheel and power folding side mirrors.

It also adds a heap of safety equipment - some of it, arguably, that should be included in the low-spec car.

The list is topped by auto emergency braking (AEB), but packaged alongside that tech is a range of other potentially life-saving stuff: lane-keeping assist, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning.

Additionally, there’s blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and auto high-beam assist, and Holden’s 'Safety Alert' driver’s seat, which will vibrate to warn the driver of potential hazards.

Next up the list is the LT, at $36,990, which gets a bigger engine than the two lower-spec models - a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit with plenty of extra poke: 188kW and 353Nm, or about 48 per cent more power and 28 per cent more torque than the entry-level cars. Gone, too, is the six-speed automatic, with a new nine-speed auto transmission taking its place. A diesel will be available later in 2018.

The LT builds on the LS+ model, upgrading to 18-inch alloy wheels, a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, sat nav with live traffic updates, four USB points (two front, two rear) a 230-volt powerpoint in the second row, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, HID headlights and provision for roof-rack mounting.

The LTZ uses the same 2.0L drivetrain, and is available in FWD at $39,990 or all-wheel drive (AWD) at $44,290. A diesel will come for it, too. 

It upsizes to 19-inch alloy wheels, while also adding a hands-free power tailgate, semi-automated parking (parallel and perpendicular), rain-sensing wipers, leather-appointed seats, wireless phone charging, heated front and rear seats, power adjustable driver’s seat, roof rails, DAB+ digital radio, LED headlights and tail-lights, and a Bose premium sound system.

The flagship LTZ-V comes solely in AWD and costs $46,290 - which effectively makes it a $2000 jump over the LTZ AWD, running the same 2.0L/nine-speed auto. A diesel will be offered later.

The LTZ-V adds a dual-panel panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, power adjustable passenger seat, and ventilated (cooling) front seats.

So, there’s something for everyone, really. I just reckon maybe the LS and LS+ should have been merged into one model with the safety kit…


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

Holden Equinox8/10

The entry-level engine offering is a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 127kW of power and 275Nm of torque. It comes with a six-speed manual (LS only) or six-speed automatic, and is FWD only. 

The other drivetrain on offer is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo with a class-leading 188kW of power and 353Nm of torque. It is solely mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, but can be had with either front- or all-wheel drive (the LT is FWD only, the LTZ is FWD with the option of AWD, and the LTZ-V is AWD only).

The AWD model employs a clever system that can allow the driver to effectively disconnect the rear drive axle, in order to help save fuel - it is controlled by a button near the gear selector. If the car is in AWD mode it will generally default to front-drive, but can split torque up to 50:50 front to rear if slip is detected. The AWD model also has revised suspension and a higher ride height.

A diesel model will be added to the range later in 2018, with that drivetrain being a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit producing 100kW/320Nm. It will come exclusively with a six-speed automatic transmission, but will be offered in FWD or AWD.

Towing capacity is 750kg for an unbraked trailer on all models, while the 1.5-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel have towing capacity of 1500kg for a braked trailer, and the 2.0-litre petrol has a 2000kg braked towing capacity. That’s good, but not a benchmark for the segment (Volkswagen Tiguan 162TSI:  2500kg).


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

Holden Equinox7/10

Claimed fuel consumption for the 1.5-litre drivetrain is 6.9L/100km for the manual and automatic variants. Our launch drive saw a much higher return, due to some pretty spirited driving: 10.4L/100km.

The 2.0-litre version is a bit thirstier, thanks to its extra grunt. It is claimed to use 8.2L/100km for the FWD model and 8.4L/100km for the AWD. On our launch drive, we saw 9.7L/100km

The diesel, when it comes, will be the most frugal in the Equinox line-up - exact figures haven’t been revealed at this stage, however.


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

Holden Equinox8/10

It’s as though Holden’s engineers have waved a magic wand and made the Equinox - a big-for-its-class SUV - drive much smaller, and with much more confidence than you might expect.

The steering is the highlight - Holden has nailed the electric power steering system for feel and weighting, with excellent response whether you’re simply twirling the wheel at low speeds to park, or pushing it through a series of corners. There’s bugger-all in the way of torque-steer, too (that’s where the steering wheel will tug to the side when you accelerate).

The suspension, too, is a compliant and comfortable balance of control and plushness. Only in the models with the 18- or 19-inch wheels do you start to notice some terseness, and that comes down to both the extra weight of those variants and the lower profile tyres.

The LS and LS+, then, are the models that are the peachiest of the five variants. With 17-inch wheels and chubby 65 profile Continental rubber, the pliancy was excellent, as was the grip. 

That said, the turning circle in the LTZ-V, in particular, is poor - 12.7m, which is worse than a lot of much bigger dual-cab utes.

The drivetrain in the LS+, too, was a fuss-free affair: it never felt underdone with two burly adults and some luggage on board, easily dealing with pushing away from intersections and rapid-fire overtaking moves without hassle.

The 2.0-litre is undeniably faster, and it’s also pleasantly refined. There’s a level of effortless to the way it pulls away, but it never really feels quite as potent as, say, the Volkswagen Tiguan 162TSI (with 162kW/350Nm) - and that is, in part, down to the weight of the Equinox. It’s a bit of a tubby thing, tipping the scales at 1778kg (kerb weight) in the top-spec LTZ-V. For comparison’s sake, the aforementioned top-spec Tiguan is 1637kg…

The moral here is, then, that less can be more. Make sure you drive the 1.5-litre…


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

Holden Equinox7/10

At the time of writing there hadn’t been an ANCAP crash test performed on the new Holden Equinox, but the brand made specific reference to an expectation of a five-star score during a presentation to media at the launch.

Still, there’s an elephant in the room - the LS. If it were 2014 we would have applauded Holden for offering a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, ESP and ABS, and six airbags in a family SUV. But it’s not 2014, and times have changed.

That’s what makes the LS’s lack of standard safety equipment disappointing, because the brand had the chance to take it to its mainstream rivals with a strong safety package across its entire model line-up. Yet here we are, and those on a tight budget will miss out on the latest tech - maybe those buyers will head to a Toyota dealer, as the RAV4 now has a pre-collision warning with auto emergency braking (AEB), lane-departure alert, active cruise control and automatic high beam.

You can’t get active cruise control on any Equinox, but every model from the LS+ up has safety kit coming out the wazoo. Those models have the 'Holden Eye' camera safety system with AEB, lane-keeping assist, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning. Additionally, there’s blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and auto high-beam assist, and Holden’s Safety Alert driver’s seat, which will vibrate to warn the driver of potential hazards.


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

Holden Equinox7/10

If you buy a Holden Equinox (or any other Holden) before January 1, 2018 you will get the brand’s limited offer seven-year/175,000km warranty. If you buy one after that, you’ll get the bog-stock three-year/100,000km plan - another peculiar move from Holden, especially for a brand that needs a good news story at the end of a treacherous year for the company.

The service intervals for the Equinox will be 12 months/12,000km, which is better than some of the other models in the company’s showroom that require maintenance every nine months.

As with all Holden products, the company will back the Equinox with a capped-price service campaign for the life of the car. The first seven services, no matter the engine, average out at $310 per go.


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.