Peugeot 3008: French connection
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There’s a good reason the Peugeot 3008 was named European car of the year 2017 — making it the first SUV in the 53-year history of the award to get the title.
There’s also a good reason you may not have realised this award-winning SUV has landed in New Zealand from France.
The 3008 (pronounced three-thousand-and-eight) took the European car of the year title ahead of the status vehicles of Alfa Romeo’s Giulia and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Here, the 3008 will compete against the Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5 and the new-look, more masculine, Volkswagen Tiguan.
In May, long-term operator Sime Darby decided to sell its distribution rights to PSA brands — Peugeot, Citroen and DS — and Rick Armstrong’s company Auto Distributors NZ took over the French brands in June.
Under CEO Chris Brown, the new company is re-introducing the French brands to Kiwis, and the 2018 Peugeot 3008 compact crossover is a great place to start.
Pricing starts at $39,990 for the Active, which is powered by a 1.6-litre, 121kW/240Nm petrol engine. The 1.6-litre petrol Allure is $44,990 or $46,990 for the 1.6-litre, 99kW/240Nm diesel. The top model is the $54,990 GT, which is powered by a 2-litre, 113kW/400Nm diesel.
All models are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and are front-wheel-drive. The 3008 is not only a stunning looking vehicle but has a five-star Ancap safety rating due to lane-departure warning, blind-spot detection, and emergency braking.
Add $1750 and you get the safety package that includes adaptive cruise control, front-collisions warning, advanced emergency braking and 360-degree camera.
Grip control is standard in the Allure models that include traction control in sand, snow and mud plus hill-decent control. If I had the GT, I’d add $500 to my bill for this option as this model would be ideal if you used it for towing.
The 3008 has evolved design-wise from looking like a jacked-up hatchback to a crossover that looks avant garde, and that’s thanks to the waterfall front grille and three-claw red rear daytime running lights.
The protruding bonnet with larger lion badge gives it a strong presence and the aspects of a much larger SUV, and the front daytime running lights resemble eyebrows but also extend the visual length.
It’s 80mm longer than the previous 3008 plus more head- and legroom and a larger boot space of 520 litres or 1580 litres when the seat are folded.
Inside, the 3008 is all class with lots of controls around the driver’s seat plus the inclusion of toggle switches and extensive use of aluminium.
The 3008 gets iCockpit, which includes a 12.3in instrument screen plus 8in infotainment touchscreen. It also has 3D satnav and Apple carplay.
Driven tested the Allure model and we were impressed with the overall package; from inside and outside appearance to performance.
Although the five-seater has the visual appearance of being a larger SUV than it is, due to the bonnet, it has a ride height of 1642mm and is 4447mm long and 1841mm wide. This means it has more stability on the road and corners with confidence.
In the city, the 3008’s turning circle made it easy to slot into car park spaces. On the motorway, the 1.6-litre petrol engine had more than enough torque but I’m also looking forward to testing the GT soon and see what 400Nm of torque can provide.
Unfortunately the new distributor hasn’t had enough time to get the 3008 around NZ Writers’ Guild members for it to be eligible for Car of the Year — it would have been a contender.
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