Fang-style daytime running lights enhance the 3008’s feline look. Picture: SUPPLIED
Fang-style daytime running lights enhance the 3008’s feline look. Picture: SUPPLIED

The Peugeot 3008 was launched in 2016 and has garnered many international awards, including 2017 European car of the year. Now the C-segment SUV has received a midlife refresher.

It is a segment that accounts for one out of nine new cars sold in SA and includes rivals such as the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5 and VW Tiguan.

A facelift gives the French SUV a fresh look with a frameless grille, more aggressively styled front LED headlamps and fang-style daytime running lights — the latter mimicking Peugeot’s smaller 2008 SUV, which was recently launched in SA.

The feline theme, inspired by the brand’s lion badge, continues in the 3008’s rear with 3D tail lights shaped like three claw marks. The tail lights are now full LEDs and are covered in smoked glass.

The 3008 (pronounced three-thousand-and-eight) also has an updated interior with a larger, 10” high-definition touch screen for the infotainment system in the top of the range GT model — the other two variants have smaller 8” systems. To complement the touch screen, elegant aluminium piano keys allow direct access to the main infotainment functions.

The piano keys help create an interior with Peugeot’s typical upmarket flair, and the facelift comes with new trims that add to the allure. The range-topping 3008 GT model is now available with new red nappa leather upholstery as an option over the standard black nappa.

Seats are optionally available in red nappa leather in the flagship GT model. Picture: SUPPLIED
Seats are optionally available in red nappa leather in the flagship GT model. Picture: SUPPLIED

The GT variant also adopts smart-looking dark lime wood trim adorning the dashboard and doors.

A digital instrument cluster adds to the cabin’s hi-tech appeal, and as per Peugeot’s modern trend the driver peers at this display over a small-diameter steering wheel, instead of through it. The steering mounted lower than usual feels odd at first, like it’s sitting in your lap, but it becomes more natural over time.

The small steering wheel adds a dose of psychological agility to driving Peugeot’s midsized SUV, and the car’s actual nimbleness gets no complaints. The 3008 swept through Cape Town’s coastal curves sure-footedly when I drove it at last week’s launch. It felt more car than SUV-like in its roadholding, and didn’t lean excessively in faster-paced corners.

The ride quality is acceptable though the GT model’s low-profile, 19-inch tyres transferred some harshness into the cabin when cruising over rough roads. The lower-priced 3008s promise better waftability with their higher-profile tyres — 18” versions on the Allure model and 17” tyres on the baseline Active.

Apart from its sportier tyres the range-topping GT offers a number of niceties over the other models including a drive-assist pack with adaptive cruise control, a 515-Watt Focal high-end hi-fi system, wireless smartphone charging, a 360-degree parking camera, matrix LED headlights, and massaging electric driver’s seat.

The spec sheets are well stocked and standard fare across the three-model range includes six airbags, ABS brakes, stability control, dual-zone climate control, rear parking assist, automatic headlights, road sign detection, lane departure warning, and emergency brake assist.

Mechanically the front-wheel-drive 3008 is unchanged with all three models powered by a smooth, perky 1.6l petrol turbo engine with outputs of 121kW and 240Nm, paired with a six-speed automatic.

Pricing:

3008 Active — R514,900

3008 Allure — R574,900

3008 GT — R644,900

Prices include a five-year/100,000km warranty and service plan, including roadside assistance.

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