The transformation of the Peugeot 3008
This is like the story of an ugly duckling that turned into a beautiful swan.
Introduced in 2009, the first generation of the Peugeot 3008 was a roundish, tall multipurpose vehicle (MPV) targeting the family carrier market. But it looked outdated and frumpy.
Even though the 3008 looked more like a minivan than an SUV/crossover, the French carmaker claimed that it was a blend of MPV, hatchback, and urban SUV.
Eight years later, Peugeot finally jumped on the compact SUV/crossover bandwagon by revealing the second generation, all-new 3008 at the September 2016 Paris Motor Show.
The transformation of the 3008 in the metal, from the ground up, was so stunning that it was voted Car of the Year 2017 by a jury of 58 European journalists.
The new 3008 was the first SUV to win the coveted trophy since the creation of the European Car of the Year award 53 years ago in 1964.
The made-over 3008 gained praise for its style, grace and outstanding features such as its solid build quality, innovative i-Cockpit, spacious, practical but premium interior, and cutting-edge infotainment and connectivity kit.
In fact, the restyled 3008 highlights the revitalization program of Peugeot.
No longer looking like an MPV, the new 3008 appears more SUV/crossover-like with the immediate visual impact created by a high chrome checkerboard pattern grille with the iconic lion badge in the center, 219 mm ground clearance, 18-inch diamond alloy rims, high beltline, chrome cladding on the lower fenders and side skirts, blacked out roof pillars, diamond black roof, triple-bar claw-shaped LED taillights, and huge twin tailpipes.
The new 3008 is longer than its predecessor with the wheelbase gaining 3.15 more inches, but it is lighter by 100 kg due to a new platform.
The longer wheelbase translates into more interior space, with rear seat occupants getting additional legroom, elbow room and headroom aside from a flat rear floor.
Cargo space has also improved with 18.3 cubic feet under the removable trunk lid, expanding to 55.8 cubic feet when the 60/40 rear seat backrests are folded completely flat via handy quick release levers.
The adjustable trunk floor can be raised to create a separate space underneath. The removable trunk lid fits in this space.
The avant-grarde i-Cockpit matches the exterior design in upmarket feel, with premium materials, an onyx digital instrument panel, an electronic handbrake usually found only in German luxury cars, Lamborghini-style switchgear, ambient lighting, three kinds of fragrant scents, an 8-inch touchscreen positioned high up on the dash with MP3, Bluetooth, USB and Mirror Link functions, and three 12V outlets.
The seats are leather with fabric trim with the driver’s seat 8-way power adjustable, two memory settings while both the driver’s and front seats power are lumbar support adjustable, seat cushion adjustable with heating and massage systems, thereby ensuring supreme comfort even on long journeys.
The front passenger seat is mechanical-height adjustable and flat folding to accommodate long cargo extending from the trunk.
The double-flat full leather steering wheel with GT Line logo and paddle shifters is reach-and-rake adjustable.
Soft touch surfaces abound, with the hard ones hidden down low.
In terms of practical storage space, the small glovebox is augmented by a vast, illuminated chiller compartment underneath the central armrest, two cupholders in front, a tray in front of the gear lever, big front door bins with bottleholders and inside carpeting to stop loose change from rattling around, smaller rear door bins, and pockets on the backs of the front seats, aside from the vast cargo space in the trunk.
The 3008 GT Line available in the Philippines is powered by a 2.0-liter BlueHDi turbo diesel engine packing 150 hp/4,000 rpm and 370 Nm max torque at 2,000 rpm mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The new 3008 diesel accelerates briskly, and has been reported as hitting 100 kph from zero in a decent 9.9 seconds.
Although this is an SUV/crossover and not a high-performance car, remember that Peugeot has a racing heritage, what with its string of victories in the World Rally Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.
The pseudo MacPherson front axle and rear axle with deformable cross member offer a soft, well-dampened ride quality, while electronic power steering delivers a bit vague, but reasonable steering weight on highway straights.
In spite of the semi-soft suspension, the 3008 is highly competent around corners with limited body roll and engaging driver feedback through the small steering wheel.
In a class above
The new 3008 GT Line diesel is also in a class above the competition when it comes to safety features and driver assistance functions.
Aside from the usual six airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, 3-point x 3 seatbelts with pretensioner and load limiter, and security immobilizer, it is fitted with electronic stability program (ESP), parking sensors front and rear, a 180-degree rear view camera, advanced grip control with five grip modes (standard, all-terrain, sand, snow, and ESP), hill assist descent control, hill start assist, tire pressure loss indicator, programmable speed limiter, cruise control, and Isofix anchor points for child safety seats.
Although the new 3008 is a front-wheel-drive vehicle without AWD, its ESP and 5-mode advanced grip control, hill descent assist and hill start assist programs are enough to keep the driver in control whatever the road and weather conditions.
Speed-sensing door locks, auto-leveling LED headlamps with cornering lights, DRLs, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry, and auto-dimming rear view mirror are standard equipment.
Summing up, the stylish 2018 Peugeot 3008 2.0L BlueHDI GT Line, transformed from a dowdy MPV, has all the right stuff to be in a class above the competition.
It has a premium retail price of P2.79 million, but that is still more than half a million to one million bucks less than its German-badged compact SUV rivals.