The little jeans
For many years I’ve been warning people about buying Peugeots because of their mediocre quality, inferior dealer count and frightening aftersales stories; like that poor chap who had to wait eight weeks for a new 207 GTi clutch from Paris. Now though, I’m about to change my tune because of this second-generation 3008.
Please don’t tell my brother though, he still foams at the mouth and steams from both ears when anyone utters the word Peugeot. It’s probably frenetic haters like him who the French brand desperately wants to appease (or win back) with exceptionally-styled and gadget-laden vehicles like this little crossover.
Besides our test car’s freaky chocolate metallic paint, it’s peppered with interesting details and quirky shapes. Multi-level light clusters with opaque strips live next to chunky chrome bars, stylized exhaust tips and a pincushion-like radiator grill. My OCD looked for similarities but there aren’t any.
And the madness continues inside…
The 3008 dashboard is a bizarre mix of concave shapes and weird angles; some with fat protruding chrome elements and others with what looks like jeans fabric. There’s also a row of stylish silver toggle switches, a sticky-outy touch-screen and a tiny hexagonal steering wheel which won’t obscure the raised i-Cockpit instrument cluster.
This display of adaptive dials houses multiple layouts (including a user-defined option) and will put on intricate choreographies to switch modes or show warning messages. The comprehensive infotainment system offers multiple media, ventilation, user, navigation, lighting, vehicle, mood and fragrance settings.
Other stuff that also made me go wide-eyed were the honeycomb patterns made by contrast stitching in all leather seats, a bizarrely-shaped gear lever and fixed shift paddles behind that PlayStation wheel. Back on stubborn French form were the obscured stalks, a ridiculously recessed USB port and strange button layout on said steering device.
The Sport, Engine Start and tailgate buttons need lengthy or repeated pressing before anything happens while Sport mode pipes a rather zeff noise through the speakers. On the upside, this 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four cylinder engine felt stronger than its quoted 121kW (165hp) or 240Nm; especially since it arrived with only 2,000km showing.
Some of that may be down to the reasonably quick and very smooth six-speed automatic gearbox which sends power to the front wheels. The 3008 range doesn’t offer AWD or 4×4 versions but buyers can also choose 1.2 turbo-petrol or 2.0 turbo-diesel models with various specification levels.
Despite riding on (obviously stylish) 19-inch wheels, this Peugeot retains the French hallmark of a well-balanced ride. Initial, low-speed damping can be choppy but everything else feels refined and comfy. Body lean is acceptable for a small SUV and a single bout of intentional under-steer provoked minimum ESP effort due to excellent Michelin grip.
Flat out? Peugeot alleges a top whack of 201km/h and 0-100 in 8.9 seconds. Our best time of 9.03 was followed by a pair of 9.1’s; both in Sport mode. Oh the irony. Slamming on the brakes at 100km/h brought the car to a controllable ABS stop in just 2.64 seconds and 37.18 meters. These are excellent values.
More in the line of excellence was the 3008’s sound system, boot space (590 to 1,670L), 219mm ground clearance and trick adaptive LED headlights. Other niceties on board are auto this and powered that, voice commands, wireless phone charging, multiple 12V sockets, six airbags and loads of driver aids including adaptive cruise control and two parking cameras.
Base price for this Peugeot 3008 1.6T GT-Line is R520,000 with a three-year/100,000km warranty, four-year/60,000km service plan and hardly any options. You can save 50 to 100k by going for a lesser model and/or turbo-diesel while the cheapest (1.2T) is a whopping R150,000 cheaper; so certainly worth a look.
Does that mean I advocate Peugeots again? If they look like this and drive this well, I most certainly do. I’m unsure how they’ll fare out of motor-plan or in remote areas of the country but city slickers looking for a new crossover SUV should at least test-drive the 3008. The Europeans even voted it as their Car of the Year 2017.
1.6L Turbo-petrol, 121kW, 240Nm.
Fastest of four acceleration runs, including Sport mode (which was slower…)
0-10km/h: 0,40 seconds
0-20km/h: 0,96 seconds
0-30km/h: 1,58 seconds
0-40km/h: 2,29 seconds
0-50km/h: 3,09 seconds
0-60km/h: 4,14 seconds
0-70km/h: 5,16 seconds
0-80km/h: 6,27 seconds
0-90km/h: 7,45 seconds
0-100km/h: 9,03 seconds
0-110km/h: 10,65 seconds
0-120km/h: 12,44 seconds
0-130km/h: 14,41 seconds
0-140km/h: 16,54 seconds
0-150km/h: 19,73 seconds
0-160km/h: 23,33 seconds
0-100m: 7,05 seconds @ 86,70km/h
0-200m: 10,69 seconds @ 110,22km/h
0-300m: 13,72 seconds @ 126,59km/h
0-400m: 16,43 seconds @ 139,46km/h
100-0km/h: 2,64 seconds @ 37,18 metres (once-off)
Maximum deceleration G-force: 1,16G
0-10mph: 0,75 seconds
0-20mph: 1,74 seconds
0-30mph: 2,94 seconds
0-40mph: 4,57 seconds
0-50mph: 6,33 seconds
0-60mph: 8,49 seconds
0-70mph: 11,10 seconds
0-80mph: 14,15 seconds
0-90mph: 18,09 seconds
0-100mph: 23,67 seconds
1/4 mile: 16,49 seconds @ 86,86 mph
Maximum acceleration G-force: 0,55G
All data captured by Racelogic® Performance Box