Why the new Peugeot 3008 deserves your attention! [+Video]

As part of a fortunate few who managed to review this car last year in Bologna, Italy, I’ve been waiting to have a go at the new Peugeot 3008 on home-turf for almost a year!

Not to waste time, right after its local launch, Nasim Sdn Bhd, the official importers and custodians of the Peugeot brand in Malaysia organised a media drive for the new 3008, and folks, what I said almost a year ago still rings true; it’s the SUV you’ve been waiting for…

When it comes to car-buying, a vast majority of Malaysians actually ‘buy-on-sight’, which means to say, if it looks good, chances are it’s going to be hot-ticket item, like for instance, the new Honda Civic.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a damn fine car to drive, but in its segment, there are so many other choices besides the Civic, so why is it doing so phenomenally well? ‘Cos it looks da bomb that’s why.

So when it comes to the new Pug 3008, I reckon it’s going to be the same scenario, because for all intents and purposes, and knowing full-well that looks are subjective, this thing looks amazing. But if you think its external appearance is appealing, wait till you have a gander at its insides…

But first I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention its powertrain. Quite possibly the most amazing thing about this Pug is the fact that it’s powered by a tiny 1.6-litre (1,598cc) engine, but with help of a twin-scroll high-pressure turbo, it’s able to put out 167Ps and a delectable 240Nm of torque, mated to 6-speed quick-shift transmission with steering mounted paddle-shifters.

This allows the 3008 to accelerate from a standstill to 100kmh in a very respectable 8.9sec, and top-out at 206kmh. Notice from the photo above how low the engine sits in the bay for a lower centre of gravity…

Driven normally, it will return a decent combined (highway + urban) fuel-consumption figure of 7L / 100km. But it’s the roll-on acceleration, a key factor in overtaking maneuvers on B-roads like the ones we were traversing on the local drive, that’s going to win it a lot of fans. It is quick! Put your foot down, and just hold on.

80 to 120kmh (commonly the speed before, and during overtaking respectively) roll-on is seen to in a blink, and even faster if the paddle-shifters are used.

There’s a famous saying that Volvo coined decades ago, ‘bums in seats sell Volvos’ and I reckon it’s going to be the same with the 3008; you really need to take it for a spin to feel for yourself just how good it is to drive.

Now…let’s get to the interior. Peugeot calls it the “i-Cockpit”, and knowing that it’s in this area that owners will spend the most time, they’ve really done a remarkable job in this department.

Peugeot designers have taken the rule-book on car-interior design and pretty much burned it at the stake. The first thing you’ll notice is just how small the steering-wheel is, and the fact that it’s closer to an octagon than an actual “wheel”. And pictures don’t do it justice, it’s actually a lot smaller than it looks.

Flat on both the top and the bottom, it allows for more leg-room, as well as a better view of the fully-digital and animated instrumentation cluster, which needs to be seen to be believed, check it out:

How cool is that? I’ve never seen so many media just sitting in the car gawking at this 12.3-inch ‘customizable’ instrumentation cluster like I did with the 3008, I kid you not, it’s a revelation.

And yes, the digital-analogue rev-counter does indeed sweep counter-clockwise. Mad geniuses work at Peugeot Design, I’m sure of it…

Next-up that deserves mention were these, these toggle switches above… I mean, what? Why? There are seven of them that control various car-settings, and while it would have been so easy – not to mention cost-effective – to just have normal buttons, the designers gave us these exquisite ‘piano-keys’ to play with instead.

Here’s a full view of what greets you when you step into the cabin of the new 3008. As can be seen quite obviously, the 3008’s cockpit is very driver-centric, and another little quirk has to be the gear shift lever (below), who ever said that it had to be a ‘T’ shape?

(Photo above is from a LHD model tested in Italy) It’s these little things, these little touches, that are going to really win this car a lot of fans, and even more admirers, like the fabric inserts for example:

Yup, fabric-covered, instead of plastic or vinyl-wrap, just below the ‘mood-lighting’ which surrounds the front of the cabin. And check out the double-stitching.

Now, you might think at this point I’m harping about all these small touches too much, but believe me when I say, it’s these exact “small touches” that make a huge difference in the long run; and by that I mean the ownership experience of course.

On the move, the 3008 exhibits all the positive characteristics of a premium mid-size continental SUV, and despite having only a 2WD option, it’s still equipped with hill-descent control.

Tech-junkies will love the fact that the 3008 is fully-compatible with Android Auto, MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay, and comes standard with Arkamys 3D audio sound-staging in-car entertainment, which is probably better than most after-market sound systems I’ve ever heard.

Safety wise, there’s 6 airbags, ESP, Dynamic stability control, ABD, EBD, Brake assist, Hill-descent control, Hill-start assist, Anti-skid regulation, Lane-departure warning, Driver alert assist, Tyre-pressure sensors, 2 ISOFIX points in the back and Auto-hazard light illumination during emergency braking.

There’s so much more kit actually, but I’m going to stop here before you tune-out, and leave you with just one piece of advice. Don’t listen to your friends.

Seriously. Not many have anything good to say about the Peugeot brand, and oft times their past negativity is justified, however, I will say this; this is not the Peugeot you knew 10 years ago, neither from a vehicle perspective nor an importership perspective.

Peugeot has definitely evolved on just about every level, but none more-so than its vehicles. The new 3008 is strong testament to that, and my only recommendation is to go have a test-drive if you’re in the market for a mid-range SUV priced around RM143k. You’d be doing yourself a grave injustice if you don’t. – Chris Wee.

UPDATE: Nasim has just announced that a new Peugeot showroom & 3S Centre has been opened in Seremban, N9!

Located at No.29, Persiaran Industri Galla 1, Taman Perindustrian Galla, 70200 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, N9 folks, here’s your chance to go view and test drive the new 3008 there.


Peugeot 3008 Photo Gallery…