3008 leaps to­ward the fu­ture

Peu­geot’s lat­est soft­roader ups its qual­ity game and gains some tech

The Star Early Edition - - NEW MODELS - JA­SON WOOSEY

PEU­GEOT’S pre­vi­ous 3008 wasn’t re­ally sure whether it wanted to be an MPV or an SUV, but the brand new one you see here has its sights set firmly on the mod­ern ‘soft­roader’ genre where the Rav4 and Tuc­son reign supreme.

And yet its styling hardly fits into the generic mod­ern cross­over mould. In­stead Peu­geot has gone for bold with a quirky and dis­tinc­tive de­sign that pic­tures cer­tainly don’t do jus­tice to.

Fit­tingly, Peu­geot’s new­comer is a lot more tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced than its pre­de­ces­sor. Not only does it have a gizmo-packed cabin that was seem­ingly styled for Star Wars fans, and which we’ll get to a lit­tle later, but the new 3008 is also up to 100kg lighter than its pre­de­ces­sor.

It has only grown marginally in size, yet bet­ter in­te­rior pack­ag­ing has sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased the amount of space avail­able, with legroom grow­ing by a claimed 24mm, while the boot can al­legedly swal­low 520 litres be­low the lug­gage cover.

The new 3008 is avail­able lo­cally in five de­riv­a­tives, priced between R399 900 and R569 900, and all are pow­ered by Peu­geot’s 1.6-litre THP tur­bopetrol en­gine, rated at 121kW and 240Nm. All 1.6 THP mod­els drive the front wheels through a six-speed au­to­matic gear­box.

Next year Peu­geot will ex­pand the range with 1.2-litre tur­bopetrol and 2-litre tur­bod­iesel de­riv­a­tives and the for­mer should re­duce the en­try price of the range.

All-wheel drive is not avail­able on any of them, but Peu­geot does offer its fa­mil­iar Grip Con­trol trac­tion con­trol sys­tem, which is fur­ther beefed up in ‘+’ de­riv­a­tives, with five se­lectable terrain modes as well as Hill As­sist and De­scent Con­trol.

We spent some time with the 3008 in ru­ral Gaut­eng on Tues­day and were im­pressed by the rel­a­tively gutsy per­for­mance on offer.

But the real high­light was the cockpit. This ve­hi­cle’s in­te­rior de­sign hasn’t just kept with the times, it’s ac­tu­ally taken a bold leap into the fu­ture with the lat­est ver­sion of what Peu­geot calls its i-Cockpit de­sign. It’s ac­tu­ally quite stun­ning.

The swoopy de­sign wraps around the driver like a true cockpit and there are stylish lit­tle touches all over, such as the pi­ano-like tog­gle switches. The ma­te­ri­als are all of a re­ally high qual­ity, with abun­dant soft-touch sur­faces, satin-chrome in­lays and even some tweed-like fabric on the doors and dash.

The in­stru­ments and in­fo­tain­ment are all dig­i­tal, across the board, in­clud­ing a 20cm touch­screen pro­trud­ing from the cen­tral dash top. Fac­ing the driver, above the char­ac­ter­is­tic tiny steer­ing wheel that most Peu­geots come with th­ese days, is a 31.2cm dig­i­tal in­stru­ment clus­ter. Here driv­ers can tog­gle between dif­fer­ent views at the flick of a thumb­wheel on the steer­ing wheel.

An­other in­ter­est­ing lit­tle fea­ture, lo­cated next to the afore­men­tioned tog­gle switches, is Peu­geot’s ‘in­ten­sity’ but­ton that opens up var­i­ous menus on the main touch-screen to al­low oc­cu­pants to in­ten­sify the am­bi­ent light­ing, au­dio set­tings, en­gine sound am­pli­fi­ca­tion and even the mul­ti­point seat mas­sage pro­grammes.

It’s no won­der that Peu­geot calls this the most ad­vanced ve­hi­cle it has ever cre­ated.

Of course, the level of fea­ture in­dul­gence de­pends on which de­riv­a­tive you choose, but even the base Ac­tive model is rather well stocked, with au­to­matic cli­mate con­trol, cruise con­trol, multi-func­tion steer­ing wheel, auto lights and wipers, six airbags and, speak­ing of safety, a whole ar­ray of driver as­sis­tance giz­mos, such as rear park as­sist, road sign de­tec­tion and lane de­par­ture warn­ing.

Next up, Al­lure mod­els trade the base ver­sion’s 17” al­loys for 18” wheels, while also adding the ‘am­plify’ but­ton, key­less en­try and go with start but­ton, front park as­sist, Mir­ror Link/CarPlay com­pat­i­bil­ity and a WiFi hotspot.

On top of all that, the Al­lure+ gains a gloss black roof and Peu­geot’s Ad­vanced Grip Con­trol.

The GT-Line loses that up­graded trac­tion sys­tem, but gains 19” al­loys as well as LED head­lights, leather seats, 180-de­gree park­ing cam­era and a sat­nav sys­tem with 3D dis­play.

Right at the top of the pile is the GT-Line+, which re­verts back to the 18” al­loys and Ad­vanced Grip Con­trol, while also adding a hands­free au­to­matic tail­gate, panoramic sun­roof with elec­tric blinder and a radar-based ac­tive cruise con­trol sys­tem that also in­cludes auto emer­gency brak­ing. Phew.

All ver­sions are sold with a fouryear/60 000km ser­vice plan and three-year/100 000km war­ranty. PRICES: 1.6 THP Ac­tive auto R399 900 1.6 THP Al­lure auto R444 900 1.6 THP Al­lure+ auto R464 900 1.6 THP GT Line auto R499 900 1.6 THP GT Line+ auto R569 900

Unique styling doesn’t fit the generic cross­over mould.

New i-Cockpit dig­i­tal in­stru­ment clus­ter and pi­ano-like tog­gles in­side.

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