FIRST DRIVE | New 2021 Peugeot 3008 is stylish and solid
Peugeot is enjoying strong momentum at present. A powerful corporate structure, renewed brand identity and the prospect of fresh product has kept the firm on the radars of shoppers.
Earlier this year it launched the 2008 to great acclaim. And according to the representatives of the brand, they are struggling to keep up with local demand. Not a bad problem to have. And no surprise that buyers are queuing up to commit to the charms of the B-segment crossover.
Its mix of striking aesthetics, plush build quality, generous specification and keen pricing make it a hit from any perspective. Last week the brand released the larger new 3008, an established presence in the crowded C-segment, sport-utility vehicle market. We attended the launch in Cape Town.
This is not a completely revised model, but a comprehensive upgrade of the second-generation version launched on our shores in 2017.
Evocative styling is something you expect from this French brand and the 3008 delivers. A purposeful face is ensured by an aggressive, frameless grille, furrowing headlamps and LED slits that seem as though they were incised by the claw of a massive feline.
In this case, a lion of course: Peugeot always reminds us that it has centred its very persona around the characteristics of the king of the jungle. More cat claw signatures can be found at the rear, where the restyled lamps are illuminated in three very slick bars. On the GT-labelled flagship we tested, the enhancements are garnished by a set of 19-inch aluminium wheels.
The exterior oozes pizazz, but the occupants of the 3008 will find that the interior is really where the magic lies. Peugeot is skilled in the art of crafting cabins with passion and verve, with fit and finish that is right up there with the best of them.
Although one of the things that reveals the status of the 3008 as a facelift and not all-new, is the absence of the three-dimensional instrument cluster we loved so much in the 2008. That said, the 12.3-inch display ahead of the driver is digitised, customisable and relays everything in good clarity – even if the spokes of the steering wheel tended to obscure certain details.
The GT wowed with all the trappings one might expect from a vehicle in a loftier class. With the exception of a panoramic roof, everything is standard, including heated leather seats (with red as a no-cost colour choice); adaptive cruise control with automatic emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, lane-keep assist, 360-degree view camera and, for the driver, a massage function.
That last feature is not new – you could have it on the 308 as far back as 2015. But it still remains downright impressive in the category. Little touches like that set the Peugeot apart.
Where you will find less variety, though, is in the engine and transmission department. The 1.6-litre, turbocharged-petrol with four cylinders is carried over from before, paired with a six-speed automatic gearbox. Drive is sent to the front wheels. This is the case across the three model grades.
The combination was far more agreeable than we recalled, handling the changing elevations and demanding layouts of Western Cape roads with aplomb. Peugeot says the addition of diesel and all-wheel drive flavours would be unfeasible, given low anticipated uptake, even though there are rivals in the arena that do offer such power train choices.
Overall, the updated 3008 is a product that is easy to recommend. Now more than ever, dipping a toe into the Peugeot pool seems especially compelling, thanks to the resolve by its custodians to make the brand work in SA.
3008 Active: R514,900
3008 Allure: R575,900
3008 GT: R644,900