New Peugeot 3008 First Drive
The French. Sophisticated, smelly, and brilliant and doing things differently. The Italians have long been praised for making the most desirable looking vehicles and while I wholly share this sentiment with the rest of the world, I do have more of a penchant for French things. The classic example is the Citroen DS with its then revolutionary design and “boite de vitesses hydraulique” or hydraulic gearbox.
As a result of Citroen’s engineering prowess In the 50’s and 60’s, however, it would seem as though Peugeot receives the short end of the stick whenever a bit of a history lesson is given in Frenchness, despite PSA having been in existence since 1991. I’m sure we can all recall Top Gear’s episode long ode to Peugeot, during which we were reminded of the Peugeot family’s many business ventures, including coffee, bicycles, explosives and sewing machines.
Moving along swiftly, the brand spanking new Peugeot 3008 is not nearly a bicycle, nor is it a sewing machine. A handsome thing with a striking grille, the 3008 is unmistakably Peugeot, but its styling is somehow reserved…in a very unreserved way. Certain elements, such as the floating roof, are accentuated by the obligatory bright work and blacked out C-pillar.
Jump inside and shock horror, yet another premium interior. Literally, premium premium, not pseudo premium. Handsome lashings of leather, or a denim-like fabric called, depending on spec level, are interspersed with metal bits and soft-ish to the touch plastics. Not a single part of the interior feels cheap, even in the lowest spec models, which Peugeot SA specifically specced higher than the competition. *cracks whip*
Big news in the Peugeot 3008 is the standard i-Cockpit which is a 12.3-inch TFT display in the instrument binnacle with very futuristic and clean graphics, if you’d like them, or a handsome set of brown, and you all know how much I love brown, dials. Other equipment includes Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay and AndrodAuto all as standard features for enabled markets.
In terms of propulsion, there’s nothing revolutionary but the 1.6-litre THP petrol motor does a good job with 121 kW/240 N.m paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission. There will also be a 2.0-litre diesel and 1.2-litre petrol models joining the rest of the range in due course.
Allure and GT Line Models were available at launch with both making use of the aforementioned 1.6-litre motor. While the ride felt a little firm at times, it was at no point uncomfortable and the very well put together cabin exhibited no rattles, although the cars had barely just been run in. The only major gripe I had would have to be with the side mirrors – why go to such length to create a quiet and refined cabin, only to ruin it with large side mirrors that pick up the wind and make a monstrous racket, even just at highway speeds.
A notable feature was the ‘sport’ button which remaps the throttle and lessens the steering assistance, all while piping noise through the otherwise impressive standard 6-speaker audio system – just like you’ll find in an i8… Under heavy acceleration, I decided to engage sport mode and as the piping was activated at about 3000 rpm, a yelp, somewhat akin to that of a frightened Scooby-Doo, came from the speakers. Yes, I did have a chuckle when that happened…
After a bit of a reshuffle, Citroen’s departure from South Africa and Peugeot’s acquisition of the Opel brand from General Motors, we were glad to hear that dealership standards have been put in place across the board so as to ensure service levels match the products on offer – excellent. There is no doubt in my mind that the 3008 is a solid product that Peugeot can be very proud of. The question is, however, will South African buyers share my sentiments and put their faith, and money, into the Peugeot brand? Only time will tell, but let’s cross fingers so that we get to see more cars like the 3008!
Peugeot 3008 Pricing, Warranties and Service Plan in South Africa
Active 1.6 THP Auto – R399 900
Allure 1.6 THP Auto – R444 900
Allure+ 1.6 THP Auto – R464 900
GT Line 1.6 THP Auto – R499 900
GT Line+ 1.6 THP Auto – R569 900