The great SUV punch-up has been going on for years now, as each manufacturer grapples to become the most popular in one of the fastest growing segments. King of the hill for a long time has been the Nissan Qashqai, but many of you have been crying out for a comparison with the all-new Peugeot 3008 SUV to see how this well received family car squares up to the benchmark.
Kicking off with the visuals, the Qashqai has flowing lines that run from nose to tail. The curved silhouette plays host to that signature chromed V arrangement and a set of distinctive headlights. Top specification models look particularly smart with intricate alloy wheel designs and roof rails. However, it is undeniable that the 3008 is the more eye-catching of the two. Its feline characteristics are garnished with premium design work and then teamed with a bold stance. Factor in that optional diamond black roof and there is some real French fashion in this SUV.
Remembering that the Qashqai has been on the market longer than the 3008, the interior offers plenty of space for the family, but not necessarily the most inspiring design. Material qualities are good and the cabin feels durable, something very important when small children are involved, and rear leg room for the middle occupant is better than the 3008. Rear visibility goes to the Nissan too. However, the Peugeot does have a larger boot at 591 litres vs 430 litres of the Qashqai. The ace up the 3008’s sleeve is i-cockpit. The extremely premium driver-focused environment is reminiscent of much more costly German alternatives. Everything from the cascading dashboard, piano key shortcut buttons, ambient lighting, beautifully animated digital instruments and touchscreen, is executed with a sense of class. The touchscreen and aforementioned 12.3 inch digital drivers display come as standard across the range too.
Both cars are offered with a range of engines, but the most popular choice will be the diesels. More specifically the 108bhp 1.5 litre diesel in the Qashqai, and the 118bhp 1.6 BlueHDi for the 3008. Both are fine engines with good levels of torque for motorway trawling, but the Peugeot has a greater sense of refinement, especially at higher speeds. The Nissan claws back some ground in terms of dynamic handling as it is the most nimble. 3008 is reassuring through a series of tight bends, but the Qashqai is more eager to turn-in.
Now for the boring emissions and economy bit. Based upon those two engines with the cars in their most economical guises; the Peugeot claims 70.6 MPG and 104g/km CO2, whilst the Nissan is rated at 74 MPG and 99g/km CO2.
Pricing is crucial for family cars and as you might expect the cheapest Nissan Qashqai at £18,795 undercuts the pricier Peugeot 3008 SUV at £21,795. A clear win in this round for the Japanese car then, or is it? Whilst those on a budget will clearly see the great value in the Qashqai, when you factor in the wealth of standard equipment on the 3008, it is actually better value than an equivalent Qashqai.
The Nissan Qashqai is still a fantastic choice for a family workhorse and has deservedly been the class leader since its inception, but Peugeot have really pulled it out of the bag with the new 3008 SUV. From ugly duckling to masterful swan, the 3008 is the car we would recommend.