Familiar quirks

Applying an Aussie mindset to the French way of thinking

RYAN LEWIS

PEUGEOT 3008 GT-LINE

Date acquired: April 2018

Price as tested: $49,680

This month: 487km @ 11.0L/100km

Overall: 1029km @ 10.2L/100km

Mood manual

Next to the seven main switches on the centre console is an eighth, smaller button with a vague icon denoting its function. Press the little glowing figure and a menu for the carí configurable ambience function, called i-Cockpit Amplify, gives a choice between two moods that alter cabin lighting and the driverí seat massage function. tend to forget these systems exist, but will make a point of exploring this oneí worth next month.

SITREP from inside the Lewis household: life is good. French-Australian relations are in rude health with our Magnetic Blue companion slipping effortlessly into the daily routine.

After a month and a bit together the 3008 and I are at a comfortable spot. We understand each other. Iíve now sampled the function of every button, cycled through all available menu options Ė of which there are many millions Ė and found a Goldilocks set-up that fits me just right.

ITíS ALL ARABIC TO ME

Language lessons needed to dechiper this particular 3008ís user manual

My favourite configuration keeps the customisable digital dashboard showing speed and trip data, and a neatly stylised road map in the centre to make finding side streets a cinch. That leaves the central screen free to display radio station and track name data most of the time, with climate control settings and connectivity options at the ready if need be.

Switching between pages on the centre display is done using seven Ďfingerí buttons mounted across the dash below. Theyíre one of my favourite design features inside the 3008, but it can be hard to quickly locate the one you need when on the move as theyíre all the same shape and size and have only a small icon with no text to identify them. Iíve learned that a threefinger prod of the touchscreen brings up the same options as selectable soft buttons, which is a handy trick to know.

You might assume I stumbled upon this nifty shortcut while curiously flipping through the user handbook, but that would be far too obvious. In fact, the hard-copy manual delivered in my 3008ís glovebox is entirely and inexplicably printed in ArabicÖ

I had to laugh. My contact at Peugeot saw the amusing side too, then set about sourcing a local version for me. Iíll be sure to share any other pro-tips once it arrives.

Iíve also come around to the Pugís relatively modest level of performance. Iíll admit to feeling a little underwhelmed by its 240Nm of twist the first time I put my foot down, but Iíve since changed my mind. Itís perfectly adequate for the job this car sets out to do. What has been a little disappointing up until now is its fuel economy. The last tank of PULP (it wonít accept less than 95RON) disappeared at a rate of 11.0L/100km, which is higher than hoped even if it was achieved in mostly peak-hour commuting.

But the outlook is still rosy. I donít mind its slightly busy ride or the somewhat noisy mud and snow tyres, about which Iíll go into more detail later. Weíve moved past the early awkwardness and hit our stride. Thereís a satisfying user friendliness about this car once its quirks have been discovered and adapted to, and thereís something loveably human about that.

RYAN LEWIS