Gender selection

Wife easier on the Pug than COTY panel: perhaps women really are the fairer sex

RYAN LEWIS

MY WIFE, bless her heart, doesnít care much for cars. She owns one, but like any other appliance it plays only a bit part in her world. What it can do is largely inconsequential as long as itís working. She thinks 911s are pretty, and loves it when I bring home something with heated seats, but thatís about all that blows her frock up.

PEUGEOT GT-LINE

Date acquired: July 2018

Price as

Tested: $120,000

This month: 1994km @ 11.9L/100km

Overall: 3215km @ 11.6L/100km

Zoot scoot

One accessory to make the 3008 more liveable has just rolled up at Wheels HQ: an electric scooter. Last-mile transport has been in-and-out of vogue for decades (Honda Motocompo, anyone?) but electric mobility is breathing new life into boot-sized wheels. For about $1600 the Micro e-kick comes with a cargo bay charging station, has a 12km range, and a 25km/h top speed. Slashing the commute from parking space to desk will be a blast.

This makes her opinion a fascinating litmus test, because it is completely and utterly ignorant to both badge stigma and a carís on-paper spec.

Our Magnetic Blue 3008 has been in the family for about five months, but it wasnít until last week that my wife had cause to drive it. Iíll admit I was nervous on the Peugeotís behalf about handing over the key; nothing to do with her driving, and all to do with what I thought might be a steep learning curve, given the 3008ís somewhat unconventional ergonomics.

The lady of our house very rarely drives cars that are not her own, and the experience of acclimatising to something new is more complicated in certain vehicles. Peugeotís second handover scheme mentioned last month exists for this very reason. But I neednít have worried; her first observation and overarching appraisal was that the 3008 is ďvery easy to driveĒ. She liked it a lot.

Whatís interesting about that is people who move from car to car often (i.e. journos in this office) have found the weirdness of Peugeotís head-up instrument display a little difficult to adjust to. For those unfamiliar with it, the main instrument cluster sits above a low-set steering wheel, so the driver must look over the top of it rather than through it to see data on the screen. It split opinion during Car of the Year testing and was described as controversial in the wrap-up, but it didnít even rate a mention from the hugs and kisses.

It was a light-switch moment when I pointed it out, which was met with more approval. The only thing she didnít like was the ride, describing its firmness as ďa bit bumpyĒ. Sheís right about that too, but itís the Ďeasy to driveí comment that stuck with me. If I were a car company, thatís the sort of feedback Iíd be happy with from somebody like her. She is not a car enthusiast, but sheís in the target market, and sheís exactly right. There is an ease of use about this car that makes it an enjoyable everyday accomplice.

French cars have come a long way, to the point that even this 3008 with all its interior intrigue and singular style still nails most of the basics. Showroom flair may sizzle at the dealership, but the most design-driven mid-size SUV still needs user-friendliness to win buyers, and if my wife gives the 3008 her approval, thatís mission accomplished.

RYAN LEWIS