Most of us can be a little petrified when trying our new and unfamiliar things as jumping into the unknown can be scary for some, while there are the adventurous few who would try deep fried scorpions at first sight. If settling with the status quo weren’t your thing, then Peugeot would be an interesting option if you were being paid really well. Peugeot is on a roll as of late, where almost a decade ago was in a slump; making cars that were subpar in terms of design and reliability.
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the prancing lion is back to where they had left in the late 90’s, making exciting and evocative cars that doesn’t lack in quality and refinement. Clearly, they have groomed their SUV to go up against Japanese and German marques.
Look nice or not?
The all-new 3008 THP has grown up from the old model with a visually fresh and new exterior design that challenges the norms of automotive design. Like Citroen and DS, Peugeot cars today echoes both the sister brands with expressive and out-of-the-norm design characteristics.
Visually, it definitely has lost a lot of its weight, which it now appears stronger, leaner and athletic. Gone is the muffin-top design and in with the angular lines, chrome accents and matter black wheel arches.
In this top of the line Allure spec, the 3008 comes fitted with full LED headlamps with daytime running lights that does double duty as a sequential signal repeater, which is one many novel features that this SUV boasts.
At the rear, the LED treatment doesn’t end there; it comes with LED rear combination lamps which follow the brand’s “claw effect” design, which doesn’t just illuminate at night, but in the day time as well, working like a DRL for the rear of the car, which is unique to the Peugeot brand.
Does it look good? That depends on personal tastes and with the many curious eyes which it attracts is – I think – without a doubt, is one of the nicest looking SUV in this segment.
Inside nice or not?
Inside, the 3008 highlights the attention to detail and finishes that has been done in the design studio; inside you’re welcomed into Peugeot’s i-Cockpit featuring a compact steering wheel, an 8-inch touchscreen, a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster, keyless entry & start.
The touch screen offers fingertip controls to operate most of the vehicles’ function as well like air-conditioning, sound sources, and other vehicle information through a simple and uncomplicated menu system.
Besides having a touchscreen, the 3008 also comes with these cool looking switches that allow the driver quick access to most of its features and functions. This comes useful when being behind the wheel with the need to switch the air-conditioning temperature and changing back into the Media page further minimising distraction.
The other thing you’ll definitely notice is the dashboard design, the i-Cockpit has definitely seen improvements in this new 3008. The usage of soft materials, fabric, plastic and metal in the interior is more haut couture than automotive, which the sense of quality is cleverly conjured providing an almost luxury premium aura.
That said, the choice of materials matches with the 3008’s refinement the panels are well put together which gives you that feeling of being in a living room than in a car. There’s also ambient lighting located around the interior which you can adjust the intensity of light, but there’s no option available to switch colours.
The 8-way electrically adjustable seats with memory function are as comfortable to what I can describe as to like sitting on leather clad lounge seat, and laterally supports the driver adequately. My favourite feature the 3008 have is the extendable thigh support that allows the driver and front passenger to relax their legs allowing additional comfort.
Limitless driving positions are achievable to suit almost anyone who holds a valid drivers’ licence, thanks to its adjustable steering wheel column that can be adjusted height and reach wise. The control buttons and dials located on the steering wheel provide good tactile feedback, making it easy to hunt for your favourite song, setting up the cruise control or answering your phone calls via Bluetooth connectivity.
At the rear, the bench seats are indented to keep passengers supported in comfort. There’s good amount of head and legroom at the second row seats, which passengers will find plenty of room to move about. Like most of its rivals, the 3008 come with second row air vents, but it gets additional brownie points as it also provides two USB ports, which you can charge your smart devices from.
Can I put things everywhere?
When it comes to the practical stuff, the 3008 don’t disappoint; there are plenty of cubbies and storage areas located in the interior. Most of the big cubbies are located at the centre, under the row of hot keys, a tray beside the BMW-like gear selector and under the front centre with butterfly opening, which allows access into its deep 11-litre cold storage.
There are cup holders to be found on the centre console and all four doors that allows passengers to put a 250ml drinks bottle and other things aside. The rear passengers also get a retractable centre armrest with two additional cup holders.
The 3008 boasts a 591-litre boot compartment which you can extended slightly by shifting the boot floor lower, and folding the second row seats flat unleashes its full 1,670-litres. There’s also a load through door if you need to lug long items from IKEA.
Safety is second to none in the 3008; the interior is equipped with six airbags, three rear 3-point seat belts with force limiters, seat belt warning lights and ISOFIX on the left and right seats as standard.
Powerful or not?
Now we must move on to what lies under the bonnet of the 3008 THP; the 1.6L THP engine is a Twin Scroll Turbo High Pressure Direct Injection DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine. The compact yet powerful 1.6L lump makes 240Nm which arrives at an early 1,400rpm, ensuring a highly responsive drive, while the 164hp contributes to its effortless acceleration all the way till the 206km/h mark while sipping a mere 5.2 litres of fuel every 100km within legal highway speeds.
The 6-speed automatic gearbox shifts quick and seamless, uncanny to a double-clutch automatic gearbox, which the gear ratios complements the engine’s torque-centric characteristics. The way it drives on the straights is very much like a diesel engine with plenty of pull from the bottom-end of the rev range. Pulling away from the stoplight is effortless as well without any signs of turbo lag and hesitation from the transmission.
Is it nice to drive?
Road noise is minimal even at high speeds, while the wind noise doesn’t interrupt the silence much, while riding over rough patches and potholes is something the 3008 can do easily, even when hitting a deep pothole without most of the vibrations translating into the body. The suspension damping feels good without any secondary motion, which contributes to carsickness.
Let’s establish one thing, the 3008 isn’t a sports car, but having driven it over the scenic, winding and twisting roads of Federal Route 9, the French SUV held up on its own very well, there’s very little body roll with ride compliance with plenty of lateral grip at the rear. It feels agile and surefooted through corners, which is pretty good for a front-wheel driven SUV, and when it comes to U-turns, the 3008 goes around tight and effortless like a small car, tighter than some SUVs of this class.
The 1.6-litre THP engine has plenty of punch from the bottom to the middle of the rev range and with the 6-Speed auto, there’s no lack of go when the need for speed is there. The way it gains speed is progressive, more like a large capacity engine than a heavily turbocharged which is a good thing as this allows the driver to easily gauge the vehicle speed. It’s comfortably quick to say the least.
Even when the cruise control is on, the 3008 get up to speed gradually without lunging like those of the older systems, and in conjunction with the speed limit recognition system, setting the travelling speed is done by tapping the ‘Memory’ button twice on the cruise control stalk and the 3008 slows down progressively to the set speed. Very clever indeed! Other active driver assistance fitted are the front and rear park assist, hill start assist 180 degree reverse camera and lane departure warning as standard.
When driving normally through the urban landscape, the 3008 do so easily without much effort needed from the driver, it goes around tight corners without a hitch and there’s plenty of visibility outside. The brakes felt good with room for modulation, allowing fine adjustments in brake pressure although a little touchy, but they are strong enough to stop it on a dime when the going gets fast.
The new Peugeot 3008 THP is one of the nicest looking SUVs on sale today both outside and inside without sacrificing practicality. It’s easy to drive around in cities and on the open roads with plenty of comfort and easy-going driving characteristics keeping fatigue at bay. Build quality definitely surpasses the Peugeots of old with refinement, which is on par with some of the more popular premium brands.
Priced at RM158,768.00 OTR price with insurance including GST with 5 years warranty or 120,000km which ever comes first, and owners will get an exclusive access to SkyLounge by Naza at Subang Skypark Airport.
Verdict: Majestic, practical and efficient in a very Gallic fashion.
+ Good design
+ High levels of refinement
+ Frugal and powerful engine
Price: RM158,768.00 (OTR W/O Insurance)
Engine: 1.6-litre, Turbocharged, in-line 4
Top Speed: 206km/h (Tested)
Fuel Economy: 5.2l/100km (Tested)