Liberté,
Egalité,
Peugeot

A brand which is famed for its spontaneous creations such as pepper grinders, bikes and even rockets during the war, Peugeot has finally gotten all of its principles to a whole new direction by bringing us the all-new 3008. Yes, it’s a revelation, and this is bound to be the next big thing that the marque is seeking to divulge in.

by KEEGAN DORAI

n order to make a big impact, it has to be made up either one of these three phrases; impressive, bold or groundbreaking. Yes, these three words are things that we the human race are chasing after. Always trying to excel at the best we do, and not forgetting about pleasing every singletons out there with our effort in an increasingly challenging world.

Now, auto manufacturers are doing the same thing as well. The traditional saying of one’s delight is not to all tastes is definitely true, but not hitting the mark today itself is already way off. And this brings us to a planet filled with lots of demanding consumers. You can’t just do things your own direction. It’s all because it won’t work. You’ll lose out and soon go to a corner and cry and dither over spreadsheets that displays poor sales results.

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This is why Peugeot is here to override that once boilerplate past. Creations such as the awful 407 saloon and the dreary 307 hatchback are long gone. It was a phase that the marque is wishing to forget, and I would honestly too in some past years of my life. Now, Peugeot wants to shock us all by unveiling us a line of extremely well-designed and quality products to deviate most of the safe bourgeois away from the usual suspects.

And this, the all-new 3008, is tasked to do so in an increasingly-challenging segment filled with lots of wonderful crossovers and family-oriented SUVs. Firstly, you can forget the oddball predecessor and now jump in joy for welcoming this one — but personally, I do miss some of its old charm such as the three-story splittable storage area in the boot, and that superbly wide windscreen that looks like its borrowed off a RapidKL bus.

But you see, elements such as those won’t work for someone that possesses a fear of having to replace a windscreen that will cost them their next fine-dining experience at Marini’s. And also, for that one person which prefers a straightforward cargo area that has little idea on how to operate a multi-layered storage floorboard. This is where Peugeot has decided to keep things all simple within, and latterly capped all under a swanky-looking bodyshell that will bring out the inner child in you.

It looks absolutely fantastic on the outside. If Peugeot would to pull off a stunt by claiming this is a concept, it will certainly get lots of us buying into that matter. However, it isn’t another functionless motorshow eye-candy, but in fact, a full-production model that is now ready to take on its rivals in the market. Amongst the stately-looking Palladian buildings where it was parked in Bologna, the 3008 is the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. It stood out ultra-modernly proud and crisp at the same time.

Unlike its MPV-esque predecessor, the successor has decided to press on life with a SUV bodyshell. Sporting swathes of nice creases on the side, which is topped-off with a pair of headlamps on the front, it emits a wraparound effect — balancing all proportions and seemingly retaining a coupe-like roofline through its high window channel.

Similarly for the back, Peugeot has slotted in the trademark lion-claw three bar taillights within a long piano-black portion that tapers from one corner to another. It is no Zagato creation, but definitely one handsome looking piece of conception in a field where all else looks almost as exciting as watching paint dry.

It’s the same inside, too. Dubbed as the i-Cockpit, the interior oozes a range of eye-pleasing design touches. It’s like being inside the cabin of Ebon Hawk. The way the dashboard is aligned towards you, that succulent real-oak trim running along the mid section, and those fantastic seats that are wrapped in high-quality white fabric, it’s no surprise that this is Peugeot’s most impressive interior design to date.

Apart from its dual-tone upholstery hue, Peugeot has even thrown in a full digital meter display that is multi adaptable. Name it; Sat-Nav, media control, alerts or even radio frequency, you can literally explore all of its features while you’re stuck bored to death in a traffic snarl. If that’s not enough, then do check out the 8-inch media interface as well. MirrorLink function is included in, and oh, lets not forget that one-touch gearshift lever which looks like it’s sculpted by a perfectionist.

Buyers with a penchant for some funky perfume scent can opt for the i-Cockpit Amplify pack. There are three spices to choose from; starting from Cosmic Curl, in which it will appease the modern bunch, Harmony Wood — a pensioner’s favourite, presumably, and finally Aerodrive — which is delightful for spirited drivers like you and me looking at some added jolt in aura while tackling curvy roads. This will definitely please Chandler Burr.

While driving alongside the scenic Passo Della Futa route, we opted for the Malaysian-bound 1.6-litre THP variant that pokes out 165bhp and 240Nm. Paired to a new six-speed automatic transmission, it felt adequate enough for three blokes aboard while tackling some steep narrow lanes. The gearbox however felt a little too lengthy in ratio, and it could use a shorter drive while picking up pace at lower speeds. Still, it was quick enough to overtake a countrylane hogging Fiat Punto on a steep hill alley.

But the 3008 is no corner-carving sportster. It will excel in a 110km/h highway cruise as it will steer gracefully enough on a village drive. Don’t get me wrong as it is dynamically sufficient. The dampers are responsive, but sadly marred by a slightly deadweight steering wheel. If that doesn’t cut the mustard, then blessed be Peugeot is willing to offer you a more sprightly GT variant that exudes 180bhp with 400Nm from its 2.0-litre turbodiesel motor.

Sadly, that brawny-boy might not be on its way here. Other engine choices include an 1.6-litre turbodiesel, or a slightly detuned version of the former 2.0-litre powerhouse making 150bhp. There’s even a chunky 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol three-potter available, but it could well possibly not be the utmost palette choice for our local prospects at this side of the world.

While everyone drives on the wrong side of the road (being left-hand drive), seat adjustments does play a very pivotal role in order to keep you rolling down a grassy hill slope. Backing that up, it did offer lots of adjustability, and instantly I got my position very well right. The electric-powered driver’s seat do offer ample support on an agonising long drive. Headroom space count for both front and rear occupants are impressive, too.

To aide my carsick compadres while driving, we made full use of the panoramic sunroof that immediately boosted interior ambience. Speaking of nifty touches, Peugeot has even included in a range of LED mood lightings inside to uplift the mood throughout the dark while we made our way back to the amazing Palazzo Varignana, where all of us will be spending the night.


The following day, it was time for us to put the 3008 through a mild off-road test. As the marque boasts its new Hill Assist Descent Control, it did fare pretty well while we left it creeping down a sandy slope. It did felt a bit off and it sounded broken with the grip control constantly kicking in to prevent it sliding down the hill at Mach 1-like speeds, but that’s how it works. Amazingly, this is a great feature to have in a front-wheel drive crossover with some pseudo off-road height.

While scampering over some dusty terrain, the Focal sound system did the job well by masking those pesky rocks and loose gravel hitting the inner wheel arches. Refinement is absolutely class-leading, and with a bootload of luggage, there is still more storage space to be found at the rear 520-litre sphere. The new car also measures in at 2657mm in wheelbase, which is 62mm longer, larger 24mm in rear legroom and 4mm higher in headroom.

While on the drive back to the airport, the 3008 is indeed a package that musters lots of fine touches that will garner a bunch of habitués to the marque. There’s a long list of equipment and toys available as standard, and I can go on till Christmas explaining about it. Be it autonomous braking, airbags, traction control, voice control, auto climate, the list goes on. And in all honesty, this is currently the best product from Peugeot yet — by far — in my experience as a whole. With whole meaning as in a complete package, and not just by judging from its funky good looks and appealing demeanour.

Yes, I can forgive its slightly wafty dynamics in exchange for an accommodating interior, the adequate motor for some motorway pliancy and draggy gearbox for a wonderful stereo system. All in all, those things will never be on the priority list of a buyer in this segment, and therefore it succeeds as a notable piece of motoring delivered from Peugeot to your checklist.

So I am happy myself, knowing that there’s something out there you can rest your laurels on — which it will return you some flair and flavour with heaps of practicality chucked in. Problem is; will you give this new kid on the block a shot? If you don’t, you’re definitely missing out a lot. On a personal note, I do still miss the eccentric former.

Peugeot 3008 1.6 THP 165 Allure

Engine inline-4, 1598cc, turbocharged Power 165bhp at 6000rpm
Torque 240Nm at 1400rpm Transmission 6-speed automatic
Weight 1375kg Power-to-weight N/A
Price TBA

evo rating: ★★★★

The Clean Two-Wheeled
Commute

Apart from reviewing the all-new Peugeot 3008, we've even checked out the brand's impressive electric scooter, the e-Kick. Starting at €1,200, the scooter is designed in collaboration with Micro from Switzerland, a specialist that produces electric scooters. Buyers can either opt it with an in-car adaptor, which adds in another €1,400.

The e-Kick is capable of travelling up to 12km in electric range, and it also comes with regenerative braking to charge up the batteries while you're on the go. It takes one hour for a full charge. Fancy one? Then do tick the option box when you're purchasing a new 3008. Charging can be done from a socket slotted at the boot area while you're driving it.

"The 3008 feels at home here at the countryside of Bologna, and it also excels in highway driving"

Liberté, Egalité,
Peugeot