Renault Koleos VS Peugeot 3008
- Huge interior
- Good safety package
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Life's foot-operated park brake
- Top model's a bit pricey
- Great ride comfort
- Beautiful exterior styling
- Clever interior packaging
- Driving position won’t be to all tastes
- Expensive compared to mainstream rivals
- Pricey ownership plan
Renault's Koleos doesn't quite know what it is. This second-generation SUV from the French giant is also the second one built largely around the Nissan X-Trail, taking much of its mechanicals. The French flair, a key purchasing decision for many Renault owners, must come from the design, ride and handling, right?
In a market swamped with cars of this type, using a donor car is an economically sensible way to get things done. The risk is turning out a car with the badge of one manufacturer on the front but the character of another behind it.
|Fuel Type||Premium Unleaded Petrol|
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?
|Engine Type||1.6L turbo|
|Fuel Type||Premium Unleaded Petrol|
The Koleos is a sort of left-field choice, really, and that's probably not very fair. It's a proper mainstream car from a manufacturer that has been around longer than most, built on a proven platform.
It is, however, different enough for you to take notice. It looks good, has a bit of presence when viewed from either end and you can say you've got a Renault. It's only problem is it seems to be having and identity crisis.
Are you tempted by a proven SUV package with a Gallic point of difference? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
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.
Like Batman, the Koleos is a product of its origin story. That's not to say it's a weird orphan billionaire with a rubber fetish (although it has tyres, I guess) but that it was always going to turn out this way.
At first glance, it looks like a Renault, especially from the front, with the big C-shaped daytime running lights. Once in profile, though, it could be pretty much anything but it becomes more Renault at the rear again. So it stands out front and back but not so much from the side, which is unusual for a Renault. But then, it's a Nissan-based car built in South Korea, so it was always going to be a compromise.
Interior images show a mainstream design with a decent-sized screen but little in the way of French detailing. I'm a fan of Renault interiors generally even if they're not ergonomic masterpieces. This interior is certainly not as brave as its compatriot, the recently-arrived Peugeot 5008.
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.
For a Renault, the Koleos has a fairly conventional interior partly because it's based on another car. That means it has proper cupholders (the French are really bad at those), two up front and two in the back. Each door has a bottleholder, for a total of four.
Front seat passengers do very nicely indeed, with some models adding things like armrests for extra lounge chair comfort. The rear seat is spacious, with good leg and headroom, with room for three kids.
Boot space is generous - the Koleos is a big car. The luggage capacity starts at 458 litres, rising to 1690 litres with the rear seats down. The load area is a good size and shape, the packaging maximising the impressive interior dimensions. The glove box is large enough to hold the huge owners manual.
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
As always with our comparison articles, every price you see is straight from the manufacturer's price list and are RRP. Of course, how much you actually pay is between you and your dealer.
There are three models in the Koleos range - Life, Zen and Intens.
Pricing kicks off at $30,990 for the Life. For that you score 17-inch alloys, an eight-speaker stereo, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, remote central locking, reversing camera, rear parking sensors, auto headlights and wipers, cornering lamps, cloth trim, power windows, heated and powered rear vision mirrors and a space-saver spare.
The multimedia system features the usual AM/FM radio, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Life doesn't have a navigation system, so your phone's GPS sat nav will have to do, which is fine if you've got data.
Next up is the Zen starting at $35,490 for the front-wheel drive (FWD) and $37,990 for the all-wheel drive (AWD). To the Life's spec list you can add 18-inch alloys, keyless entry and start (via Renault's smart key card), front parking sensors, heated and cooled front cupholders, electric driver's seat, sat nav, heated front seats, fake leather seats, sunroof, electric parking brake and roof rails.
The Intens is available in petrol ($44,990) and diesel ($47,490). On top the Zen spec you can expect a 12-speaker stereo, side parking sensors, heated and ventilated electric front seats, auto LED headlights, partial leather seats, power tailgate and auto parking.
Accessories include floor mats, at an eyebrow-raising $118.72, coloured key shells, boot liners, a towbar for over a grand, cargo barrier, bicycle carriers and the evergreen mudflap.
Not available are a bull bar or nudge bar or a body kit - unless you count the side steps.
There are eight colours - 'Mineral Beige', 'Metallic Black', 'Meissen Blue', 'Metallic Grey', 'Marron Red', 'Ultra Silver' and 'Universal White' all cost $880 extra. Only 'Solid White' is a freebie. McLaren Renault fans will be disappointed there's no 'Papaya Orange' option.
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.
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.
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
There are two engines available in the Koleos range. The Life, Intens, Zen and S Edition (a limited run version of approximately 360 units, based on the Intens) are all available with Renault-Nissan's 2.5-litre petrol automatic.
The Life is 4x2 only while the Zen and Intens are 4x4 only. The diesel is only available in the Intens.
The 2.5-litre produces 126kW/226Nm, propelling the non-AWD cars from 0-100km/h in 9.5 seconds, which is reasonable acceleration performance for a car of this size and weight (1552kg). The 56kg heavier AWD petrols will reach the ton in 9.8 seconds.
The turbo-diesel is a 2.0-litre motor and despite the smaller engine size than the petrol, puts out more power at 130kW and a substantially more torque at 380Nm. Zero to 100km/h is dispatched in 9.5 seconds.
Whether front or AWD, petrol or diesel, the Koleos comes not with an automatic transmission but Nissan's favoured continuously variable transmission (CVT). There is no manual gearbox or LPG option.
According to Renault's specifications, the braked towing capacity is rated at 2000kg for the petrol and, curiously, 1650kg for the diesel. That does seem strange given the extra horsepower and torque, but there you are.
As to whether the engines feature a timing belt or chain, both are lower maintenance chain-driven engines. As yet, there is not a battery powered or hybrid version.
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.
As usual, the official fuel consumption figures are off by around 30 percent, which is about right. On the upside, the Koleos drinks only standard 91 RON for the petrol.
The two-wheel drive petrols will return 8.1L/100km while the AWD petrols a little more at 8.3L/100km. Diesel mileage is about 25 percent better at 6.1L/100km.
Given those figures, fuel economy is hardly going to decide whether you go for the 4x4 versions. A quick review of previous Koleos stories yields figures of 10.9L/100km for the heaviest petrol, the Intens. I recently drove the 4x2 Life and got just over 11.0L/100km.
Fuel tank capacity is the same petrol vs diesel at 60 litres.
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.
The Koleos, as I've already established, is built on the X Trail's guts and really feels very similar. That means if you're buying the Koleos hoping it feels like a Renault, you're out of luck. And that's not because it can't be done, it just didn't make much sense to do so. It's different to the X-Trail, but not massively so. It doesn't feel French.
Part of that is the CVT. While not the worst of its type fitted to a car in recent times, it makes the Koleos feel slow and a bit dim-witted. In normal driving it's perfectly fine and the noise suppression keeps the lawn mower effect to reasonable levels, but ask a little more of the transmission and it's not really ready for it.
And that's a great pity. While it's no ball of fire, it handles tidily, isn't actually as slow as it feels and is otherwise a pleasant car to be in.
Another complaint are the Life's tyres - they're not very good and could do with a bit more grip in damp conditions. Felt very odd to be losing traction accelerating gently out of corners.
The Koleos' off road ability isn't on trial here, but it's more than competent in the rough and slippy stuff when fitted with the AWD system. It certainly has the suspension travel, 21cm ground clearance and cosseting ride in all specs that you might expect from an off-roader.
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.
The Koleos leaves South Korea with six airbags, ABS, stability (ESP) and traction controls, brake force distribution, forward AEB, reverse camera, forward collision warning and lane departure warning. There are two ISOFIX points and three top-tether restraints.
The Zen and Intens also feature blind spot warning and side parking sensors.
Since its 2016 introduction, ANCAP has not got around to crash testing the Renault for a safety rating. EuroNCAP has and awarded a five star rating in September 2017 with a safety spec identical to the Intens.
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.
To cover off any problems or issues, Renault offers a five year/unlimited kilometre warranty and up to four years' roadside assist. Service costs are capped for the first three years and on both petrol and diesel, service intervals are an impressive 12 months/30,000km.
Pricing for the first three services is capped at $349 for the petrol and $369 for the diesel. That's a genuine bargain, with extra costs like filters laid out on the website.
As with its X Trail sister car, reliability appears to be excellent with few common faults. A run around the usual internet forums didn't uncover any common engine problems.
Resale value is slightly below that of its Japanese donor car, but depreciation doesn't seem as steep as some other Renaults.
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.