Peugeot’s 3008 has proven to be one of Peugeot’s more popular products with the option of an Active, Allure and a GT specification level and petrol, petrol or diesel and diesel only, respectively.
You might think then, that there is a 3008 for all comers, but Kiwis being Kiwis, we wanted bits from this and bobs from that so Peugeot NZ went back to the land of Brie and Camembert and said: “build us one of these, to this spec’ and watch. We’ll sell them.” Amazingly, the French marque agreed, delivering the 3008 GT Line – which is what exactly? Certainement, you get style and flair with a black diamond roof supporting the roof bars found on the Allure, glossy black, door mirror shells and a sports-styled front bumper, but it takes a closer look inside this five-seat SUV to find the magic. Peugeot has created a next generation i-cockpit for the 3008 range, designed to immerse the driver into the driving experience. All controls in the i-cockpit angle towards the driver, conveniently showing off the quality and finish of the various tactile surfaces of the cabin, where boring plastic has clearly been banned. The steering wheel has been elegantly ‘"squashed’’ giving it an odd appearance, but an ergonomically delightful different approach to vehicle steering which works very effectively. On the driver’s left is the shifter, though in fact it resembles the cyclic control of a helicopter, complete with cannon button on the side – actually, this just makes shifting easier, though the idea of a cannon is strangely appealing. Above that are aircraft -inspired switches for in-cabin comfort features and off to the far left is the advanced grip control selector dial to take you places you might want to use an SUV to visit. Oh, and just before we move away from this area, there’s an enormous centre console for your flight plans, charts, twolitre bottles of milk et al, which means your traditional glovebox only needs to carry, well, gloves. An eight-inch capacitive (brighter, more sensitive and multi-touch capable) screen provides a multifunctional interface between the driver and features like the satellite navigation (complete with three-dimensional imagery of buildings for major centres), the audio system, climate control and the ability to ‘amplify’ vehicle settings between ‘relax’ and ‘boost’, which is what you want after a hard day, as it intensifies the driver’s seat massage function. Yes, a massage function. The best bit though, is the Steam punkinspired, mind-bending dash display that makes the traditional twin dial instrument cluster look so boring. It’s ruined my impression of clearly displayed information for life. You can change flat-face dials to winding copper bands for your engine rpms and speed for instance. There are other ways which the critical driver information is displayed, but the copper bangles are especially pleasant. The 3008 GT Line is more of a World of Wearable art for the automobile, but in saying that, the basics of what makes a good SUV are still present. It’s roomy, has great cargo space, a good view of the world around you, while acquitting itself well in terms of handling and roadgoing deportment. The 3008 GT Line is clearly a boutique car from Peugeot, but we suspect this specification level – or at least elements of it – will filter through to other vehicles bearing the boxing Lion badge.