Peugeot 3008 (2021) Launch Review

Peugeot 3008 FL 29

In its 2nd product launch in as many months, Peugeot SA has rolled out the refreshed 3008. The French family car has received much critical acclaim but has never sold well in the local market. Do the updates to this facelifted model add up to a substantial improvement? We recently drove the newcomer in Cape Town.

What’s new in the 3008?

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The 3008 is one of the most distinctive designs in the family car segment.

When the Peugeot 3008 came to market in 2017, it ushered in a new era for the brand. There were distinct upticks in quality and design that immediately moved the brand into the premium league. The French contender won awards all around the globe and was a finalist in the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards – powered by Wesbank in 2018/2019.

The 2021 update has merely enhanced and updated a few key areas. The new front end lighting signature, characterised by Sabertooth-Tiger fang-inspired LEDs, is easy to spot. The frameless grille with the individual blocks is also new and reminiscent of the previous generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class' "diamond grille".

The rear lights are further inspired by felines; Peugeot claims the design displays a 3D claw when illuminated. The clusters include full LED tech and sequential style indicators add some further pizazz.

Inside, the revisions focus on adding new safety tech and improving the crispness of the instrument cluster. Red Nappa leather and a hi-performance sound system are available on the top-spec GT Line.

Is the 3008 a good family car?

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The red Nappa leather is a nice premium touch, they also come with heating and massage function.

Although the facelifted 3008’s dimensions are unchanged, passenger space has always been a strong point of the 3008. The French family car features one of the biggest centre consoles of any car I have ever seen. What's more, the load bay is claimed to be one of the largest in the segment (591 litres) and, if you opt for the Allure or GT Line derivatives, it opens electrically. 

The red Nappa leather seats on the GT Line are very comfortable and add an element of opulence to the cabin, but unlike most red-leather cabins, it doesn’t overwhelm you after looking at it for a while.

The range's safety equipment is comprehensive; features such as road-sign detection, lane departure warning and driver attention alert are standard, as are ABS, EBD, stability control and 6 airbags.

The GT, additionally feature radar-based forward collision detection, adaptive cruise control and blind-spot detection. Whereas the Active version has rear parking sensors, the Allure gains a 180-degree rear camera and the top-of-the-range GT Line features a 360-degree camera system.

What’s the engine like on the 3008?

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The data suggest that SA buyers want petrol and automatic, Peugeot has done just that.

Peugeot has done its research on the SUV market in SA and noted that 4 out of every 5 cars in this segment is petrol powered and that 90% are automatic, so that’s exactly what the revised range offers.

There is just one engine to choose from, which is carried over unchanged from the 2017 launch line-up. The 1.6-litre turbopetrol has served Peugeot well over the years; it produces perky outputs of 121 kW and 240 Nm of torque. It’s matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission and the French firm claims an average fuel economy figure of 7.0 L/100 km.

The 3008's performance feels perfectly adequate for a family car with enough performance to deal with a fully loaded holiday trip. The gearbox quietly goes about its business and seems well-calibrated with the turbopetrol motor in this application. Automatic gearboxes are mostly excellent nowadays, so there’s almost no obvious reason to choose a manual gearbox in a car like this.

Out on the windy Cape roads, the key takeaway from the drive was that of comfort. The Peugeot’s not a sporty car – by any means – but it’s comfortable and balanced. Once you’ve found a good driving position, which can be an issue by virtue of Peugeot’s small steering wheel, the 3008 makes you feel like you’ve bought something "quite expensive" that's up there with the likes of the Audis of this world.

Does the 3008 have good in-car tech?

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The GT Line model comes with a larger 10-inch infotainment screen and wireless charging bay.

The infotainment system on the 3008 can be a little tricky to get the hang of, but the metallic shortcut buttons on the fascia help you figure out where you want to be. Android Auto/Apple Carplay compatibility is standard and the GT version features a wireless charging pad, as well as an extra 2 USB ports for rear passengers.

The resolution of the reverse-camera feed is the biggest letdown; the Volkswagen Tiguan and Mazda CX-5 both have really crisp camera displays that make it easy to detect obstacles behind the vehicles.

The digital instrument cluster is beautiful and offers better contrast, so that it’s easier to see the detail of the display – even when the sun is glaring down on it.

The heated and massaging seats available on the GT (heated only the Allure) are the real standout features. The new 515W Focal sound system on the flagship really sweetens the purchasing proposition.

Peugeot 3008 pricing in SA

Peugeot 3008 Active    R514 900

Peugeot 3008 Allure     R574 900

Peugeot 3008 GT         R644 900

Summary

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The Peugeot 3008 won't top the sales charts in SA but it definitely deserves to be on your family car shortlist.

There are a lot of brands vying for your money in this segment, with the RAV4 and Tiguan being the most popular over the last few years. Peugeot stands its ground well in the family-car market; the 3008's feels sophisticated to drive and its interior has a distinct air of luxury. The powertrain is easily as good as any other in this segment of the market, while passenger and loading space are near-class-leading.

Locally, Peugeot sales have been steadily growing quarter on quarter with the hopes and the French marque's local subsidiary is hopeful that the 3008 will help continue that trend. While the 3008 isn’t a major update over the initial offering, it’s still a worthy contender in the family-car segment.

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