Peugeot’s attack runs out of road
Off-roader plans have to wait, writes KEVIN HEPWORTH
AFRENCH assault on the lucrative compact off-roader segment has stalled. Peugeot’s plan to land its compact off-roader here has been delayed for at least two years because an all-wheel-drive version of the 3008 won’t arrive in Europe until 2011.
‘‘The plan is to have the 3008 on sale in the first quarter of next year . . . but it will be available as a twowheel-drive model only,’’ Peugeot Australia spokesman Mark McCartney says.
‘‘We are not calling that car an SUV but rather a crossover that gives choices to people who may want more than what a medium hatch offers, but don’t want an SUV.
‘‘The 3008 is in a class of its own — it’s not a soft-roader, an SUV, a people mover or hatchback. It borrows elements from all of those to create a somewhat unique type of vehicle.’’
The 3008 sits on the smaller 308 hatch platform but with higher, wider and longer bodywork and extra ground clearance that gives the car the look of a partially-inflated balloon, but does benefit interior space.
It has a range of clever storage solutions and acres of glass that give it an open, airy feel.
Luggage space is 1604 litres with the rear seats folded— useful, but less than in the wagon version of the 308.
Peugeot Australia has yet to decide whether the 3008 will be available here with the adjustable ‘‘grip control’’ that can increase or decrease traction and wheelspin control levels to each wheel.
McCartney says Peugeot still wants an AWD in its local line-up but will have to wait until the diesel hybrid 3008 arrives in two years.
Peugeot Australia is expected to pitch the 3008 as a highly specified model rather than push it as a price leader in the segment.
In Britain the 3008 costs the equivalent of $29,500, undercutting most of its rivals.
‘‘At this stage it isn’t possible to say where the car will sit in the market or exactly what you would consider its competitor. It is such a different type of car. It answers a lot of questions for different buyers who could be looking at several segments,’’ McCartney says.
In Europe the 3008 goes head to head with the Nissan Qashqai (Dualis in Australia), Renault’s Koleos, VW Tiguan and Ford Kuga.
Engine choices will probably be the same as for the 308: a 1.6-litre turbo petrol, naturally-aspirated 1.6 petrol, 1.6-litre diesel or 2.0-litre diesel, all mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox.
The 3008 has a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP.