They have done just that with the new 3008, a car that has already won the European Car of The Year title. So what is this new SUV like? I spent the day with it both on-and-off road to ?nd out.
As always, I arrived at the launch a lot earlier than everyone else. This gave me some time to get a closer look at the 3008 without any interruptions. Two things stood out; the design of both its interior and exterior.
This time around, it’s clear to see that Peugeot wanted to make sure that this car is 100% SUV. The front end features a distinctive nose which Peugeot says has been designed to resemble that of a pouncing lion.
Despite the marketing lingo, I like it, particularly the big grille with its chrome design elements. I also like the way that the bumper cuts into the head- lights for a unique effect. Another nice touch is the clamshell bonnet as seen on Land Rover products. Along the side, I noticed a distinct character line which accentuates the wheel arches for a sportier look. At the back, the C-pillars have been blacked out as is the case with many new SUVs these days. The rear itself also looks pretty good thanks to new taillights, which feature a three claw-like design. There are also neat gloss black elements below the rear window, which gives the illusion of size and adds to the overall styling
I was completely blown away when I got into the car. I think it’s fair to say that the interior of the new 3008 blows the competition out of the water . From the driver’s seat, I noticed that the cockpit wraps around the driver, the steering wheel is small for better control and the sweeping dashboard and doors feature inserts made from a denim-like material instead of plastic.
There is an eight-inch top mounted touchscreen display as well as a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster known as Peugeot i-Cockpit. It’s very futuristic and offers a host of various display con?gurations. It is however the switches for the climate control and infotainment that I found to be a highlight due to their toggle switch design.
The 3008 is a C-segment SUV and therefore needs to be spacious and practical, which it is. Luggage space is rated at around 520-litres and 1 670-litres with the rear seats folded down. Interior space has also been improved with an additional 24mm of legroom, four millimetres of elbow room and 36mm of headroom for rear occupants. Despite the increased passenger and luggage capacity, the new model is, on average, 100kg lighter than the previous 3008.
At the launch, I got to drive the fuel efficient 121kW 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, connected to a smooth shifting six-speed automatic gearbox. Push the Sport button and not only does the car liven up somewhat, it also gives a throatier sound, which is actually just a sound enhancer playing through the speakers. The steering also becomes more weighted for a sportier feel.
There is a diesel derivative arriving early next year which I reckon will be ideal. Our drive took us on the back roads around the Hartbeespoort Dam area. I found the ride to be slightly on the ?rm side, however, on gravel the car seemed to remain composed, even at speed.
Safety features such as Active Safety Brake, Distance Alert and an Active Involuntary Crossing Line Warning system have also been added to sweeten the deal.
After a few hours with the new Peugeot 3008, I can say that I was really impressed with the overall product. Sure the ride might not be as compliant as it should be, but that does not detract from the overall package.
It features the latest must-haves in terms of technology as well as inoffensive styling. What is also impressive is that the entry level model has been ?tted with an array of standard features, which gives it an advantage over its competitors.
3008 1.6 THP Active R399 900
3008 1.6 THP Allure AT R444 900
3008 1.6 THP Allure+ R464 900
3008 1.6 THP GT Line AT R499 900
3008 1.6 THP GT Line+ AT R569 900