Change begins from within. Indeed. But until it shows, it won’t be recognized by the world. And when a brand wishes to convey how exciting and transformed it has become, they had better look at the skeleton and skin, and throw the ones in the cupboard out. Peugeot has big plans for the decade and its first ever SUV, 3008 is a manifesto.
THE SPECS: 1.6 L Turbo, 165 hp @6000 rpm, 240 Nm @1400 rpm onwards, 6-speed automatic gearbox,
THE DIMENSIONS: 4447 x 1841 x 1624 mm (length x width x height), Wheelbase: 2675 mm Ground clearance: 220 mm, Boot space: 520 L – 1580 L when folded flat, Wheels: 17” and 18” alloys
STANDARD SPECS: Daytime Running lights, Fog lamps, I Cockpit 12.3” screen, Passive entry, Push button start, Rear parking sensors, Electronic parking brake, 4 airbags, Driver attention alert
AVAILABLE: Panoramic sunroof, Sequential indicators, Power tailgate with hands free function, 6 airbags, Blind spot warning, Lane departure warning, Active steering assist, parking assist
THE PRICE: AED 89,900 – 115,000
UPSIDE: Unique and impressive design, Premium specs as standard, High value for money, Enjoyable handling
FLIPSIDE: Power delivery to be more refined, AC could be loud in summer
The Design Difference
Peugeot 3008 should be the most visibly transformed vehicle ever since Peugeot transformed itself from a maker of cycles to that of cars. You could call the earlier 3008 an MPV – but that would too unromantic for the slight intrigue it did have. Anyway, the MPV has transformed into an SUV – which is the most sensible thing Peugeot has done in a long time – but remarkably, that doesn’t sum up the change. Even the title ‘World Car of the Year’ only begins to.
I have seldom seen a more ingenious use of fabric in an automotive cabin, save the Ermenegildo Zegna edition of the Modena marque – which is a car many notches above. [Now, that is one definite thing about the new 3008 – it feels way above its segment.] Peugeot hasn’t resorted to the elegant-yet-easy way out of using a quilted leather spread. Instead, a suit-like textile, superior plastics and aniline have been blended with such elegance to create a cabin that underlines why Paris still remains the Paris of Monet, Hugo and the Louvre.
Yet, the matted modernity of design and texture isn’t as unique as the steering, which has the most revolutionary shape since Galileo testified that the earth is round and not flat. There were hints of it in the 208 and it is half-the-all in the all-new Peugeot 3008. The sides of the new 3008 steering is shaped like brackets between a flattop and a flat-bottom – a perfect prop for a space that Peugeot calls the i-cockpit.
The array of seven rocker switches in their gleaming platinum finish are arranged below the 8” navigation screen and the exceptionally narrow and sleek air-condition vents. The cabin functions selected by the rockers are completed on the touch screen. Below the rocker switches, on the console, is a sport button, an electronic parking brake, the start button, a drive selector dial and err… a contraption that I bet you haven’t wrapped your hand around, except in extreme environments like an imaginatively real gaming console, or if you have flown an F-35 – and all it does is shift gears!
The impression about the 3008 continues to grow inside the cabin and by the time you hold its unique steering, you are already in a generous mood. But thankfully, there isn’t much to forgive in there. The ride feels a bit stiff on tarmac, which actually helps in corners, but thankfully the Peugeot 3008 absorbs bumps and dips with kind suspensions. The 3008 might not be a stickler, but there is obvious agility, plenty of grip and the steering adds to it, with a feeling that the world is within your hands.
My personal choice is the D or the manual mode. The Sport mode does serve its purpose with a perceptible increase in power, revolutions and sound, but 3008 isn’t really one to deliver transformation with a touch of the sport button. Overriding the automatic gear with the manual mode eliminates the occasional shunting in power.
When Peugeot designed its new SUV to indicate its future line-up, they have populated the cabin with all the gadgetry available now. If you appear less attentive with the steering, it will alert you to take a break; and if you stray across lanes, the active steering assistance can even bring you back. The driver information panel too is innovatively flexible. On the 12.3-inch screen, I could programme what I wanted to see – navigation, multiple dials, trip feedback or simply the speed, and the sci-fi graphics are a treat to watch.
Is the new Peugeot 3008 a real SUV? Can it be taken off-roading? The average crossover buyer muses, to which I respond: What is the farthest and most challenging off-roading task you have ever performed? If the answer is “parking in the ‘kutcha’ strip nearby or raising dust next to the Al Qudra lakes, well I would say, 3008 is no stranger to your off-roading plans. It has 200 mm clearance and while there is no all-wheel drive, I should point out that the Peugeot 3008 DKR that can tackle ‘anything’ (Watch me ride in it alongside Sheikh Khalid, the rally driver!) is a front wheel drive! While there is a turn dial that helps you adapt the grip for mud ruts, sand and snow, that isn’t an invitation to push over your crossover. It is a reassurance that, sensibly used, Peugeot 3008 can take you where all urban crossovers go, and where some cannot.
Peugeot 3008 is a compact SUV with a balanced view of life. While the aeronautically styled gear lever, the blue-chip graphics and race-styled steering are bound to impress the macho side, the sheer elegance and novelty in the interior décor can floor the urban connoisseur. Compared with the earlier 3008, the length has increased by 6.2 cm (almost two and a half inches), rear legroom by 2.4 cm and headroom by 3.6 cm. That might not still be plenty but it provides for a very useful boot. Features like an excellent rear view camera and 4 airbags are standard while the top end comes with 6, and conveniences like a hands-free tailgate opening. Well, the narrow styling of the vents has its occasional disadvantage when the AC blowout gets a bit noisy on a 50-degree day, in an otherwise pleasantly quiet cabin.
How does it compare with the rest?
The all-new Peugeot 3008 is four cm shorter than the Honda CR-V, another value for money rival in the segment, but it has more a more spacious boot than the Volkswagen Tiguan. The ground clearance of Peugeot 3008 is one of the best in the segment, but some popular options have more power on tap and offer AWD. Within what is the most impressive cabin in its segment, the 12.3-inch driver info screen and the ‘i-cockpit’ are standard in the Peugeot 3008, which is not the case with the base models of premium German brands! While eager beavers like Kia and Hyundai also provide driver assistance tech in their cabins, what is amazing about the 3008 is that the top variant comes at a price that won’t bite!
The essential all-new Peugeot 3008
The Peugeot 3008 is designed to shock the urban driver with a sensory overload of cabin ambience and hi-tech to extend their vision beyond engine sizes or depreciation. To help with it, the new Peugeot 3008 beats almost all rivals in terms of sheer presence and what is perhaps the most important as a package – premium value for what you pay. Watch the Video Review of the Peugeot 3008.