When it comes to driver comfort, safety and convenience on the long road, the all-new PEUGEOT 3008 Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) is in a class of its own. By Des Langkilde.
Nowadays, most new vehicles come with the latest tech gadgetry as standard, so finding features like touch-screen infotainment, GPS navigation, Bluetooth, WiFi, USB ports, cameras with radar sensors and auto-cruise control in the new PEUGEOT 3008 SUV, came as no surprise.
Until I started using some of these features, that is.
That’s when surprise turned into delight. A 2-hour drive from Cape Town to Aquila Private Game Reserve provided the opportunity to test some of these features on the long road.
Let’s start with the Cruise Control.
The PEUGEOT 3008 SUV uses its built-in radar sensors to calculate the distance to the car ahead and automatically decelerates and applies brake pressure when the safety distance is exceeded, then accelerates when the distance increases. This means that there’s no need to manually disengage cruise control when traffic buildup is encountered or when entering urban speed restricted areas. An icon in the dashboard speedometer also monitors speed signs and warns to reduce speed but you’re left in control – the cruise control won’t override your speed setting.
Then there’s Lane-keeping
PEUGEOT’s Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system takes a bit of getting used to but it works brilliantly. Initially, it was a bit disconcerting to feel the steering wheel vibrate and try to take control, particularly when taking an offramp, but the car quickly realises that that’s where you intend to go and thankfully doesn’t resist.
And there’s Accident Avoidance
At one stage, while cruising along an open stretch of road at 120 km/h, some idiot with no sense of distance decided to suddenly accelerate his bakkie onto the freeway from a side farm road ahead of my rapidly approaching car. Before I could hit the brakes, the PEUGEOT’s ‘Active Assist’ system had taken action to avoid a potential accident. In split seconds, PEUGEOT’s radar sensors detected the obstruction and sent a signal to the cruise control, which auto-applied the Advanced Emergency Brake System (AEBS2). I was so surprised at the speed at which this auto-response happened that my hands jerked the steering wheel, causing the car to veer across the lane-dividing line. This too was detected by PEUGEOT’s LDW technology and I felt the steering wheel vibrate as the car was gently coaxed back into my lane. I also discovered that when emergency braking is applied, the Hazard Lights are automatically activated.
And there’s even Driver Pampering
The driver seat has a multipoint back massage feature, activated from an easily accessible lever on the right-hand side of the seat. When activated, five massage type options appear on the infotainment console with intensity settings ranging from low (mild) to high (intense). I rather liked the ‘cascading’ setting which starts at shoulder blade level and works down your back to the lumbar section – kneading and vibrating all the way. Pure bliss – especially after a near accident experience!
With Comfort and Style
I was particularly impressed with the stylish comfort of the new PEUGEOT 3008 SUV – especially from the drivers perspective. The compact leather-clad steering wheel is set low to reduce arm fatigue – although there are 3 height settings. Aesthetically, artfully hidden LED lighting in the centre console cup holders and side door interior handles provide a unique touch of class. On the lighting side, PEUGEOT has even thought about getting into the car when it’s dark – a circular light is beamed from below the side mirror (passenger and driver doors) to light the way as the door is opened – it even projects a PEUGEOT logo onto the ground, which I thought was a pretty cool way of stepping up brand awareness!
The instrument panel is easy to see as it has been positioned above the steering wheel – closer to the road – reducing the distance your eyes have to travel to view displayed information. The instrument panel can also be set to 3 modes – ‘Personal’, ‘Minimal’, and ’Navigation”.
And Space to Boot
Of course, this wouldn’t be an SUV without adequate space to load all your sports, camping, and braai stuff, so PEUGEOT has provided 1,670 litres of storage space with the rear seats folded flat. And, in case you have your hands full, the electric tailgate opens when moving your foot under the bumper centre to activate it. All this, while the key is still in your pocket, as the new PEUGEOT 3008 SUV incorporates keyless entry and touch-button ignition start.
With Performance Perfection
The new PEUGEOT 3008 SUV GT-LINE 1.6 THP Auto has plenty of oomph, with 121kW of power delivered by 4 cylinders at 6000r/min and a 6-speed auto transmission, you’ll find overtaking traffic as effortless as hill ascending, regardless of the load as the 240Nm torque kicks in at 1400r/min.
On the open road (actually a mix of urban and rural driving), I found the fuel consumption at 6.2 litres/100km to be a pleasant surprise, while CO2 emissions are purportedly a respectable 156g/Km.
And Off-road Efficiency
In case you’re heading off-road, the optional Advanced Grip Control with Hill Assist Descent Control and five driving modes (including mud, sand and snow), provides an alternative to traditional 4×4 systems without the burden of added weight that these features necessitate. A clever feature incorporated into the Hill Assist system is a unique “Clutch Mode’ security function that regulates the speed to 3km/h, thereby allowing the car to creep down very steep slopes in a controlled manner without sliding.
Overall, this is an SUV designed for the long road in all seasons and for all the right reasons. I was rather sad to part with her.