The compact SUV, which made its world premiere at the recent Paris Motor Show, moved into its next phase as it was paraded and test-driven by over 800 motoring journalists from around the world in the northern Italian city of Bologna.
It goes on sale in Europe this month and should arrive in Malaysia by the second quarter of 2017.
The Malaysian delegation of 10 writers from various auto sites, magazines and newspapers arrived at the tail end of the month-long Peugeot media drive campaign to push home the message that the 3008 is a global car designed for the world and not just for Europe. The 5-seater is built to cater to the tastes of Asians as much as it is for the Western world, said Peugeot spokesman Alexis Vannier.
CarSifu was in the entourage from Malaysia to sample the SUV first-hand.
The 3008 is manufactured at Peugeot’s plant in Sochaux, France and also at its joint venture factory in Chengdu, China.
The front-wheel drive SUV is available with a 1.2-litre, 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre turbocharged engines. Transmission is either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed auto. We had the chance to try out all three engine options. The 2.0-litre 3008 was the only diesel SUV we drove, while the other two were running on petrol. Local Peugeot distributor Nasim Sdn Bhd is expected to bring in the 1.6-litre petrol variant.
The second-generation 3008 has turned out to be a stylish product with premium aspirations and truly worthy of being called an SUV unlike the first generation model which looked like an MPV.
Vannier said Peugeot has ditched the idea of making mini and mid-size MPVs as it now believes a people carrier in a SUV bodystyle would be a better sell to customers worldwide in tune with the current SUV fixation globally. The French car maker will, however, continue to offer a large premium Traveller MPV, a joint venture model between Toyota and PSA Peugeot Citroën, announced last December.
Vannier dismissed rumours that a sportier 3008 GTi is in the works. However, he confirmed that a plug-in petrol hybrid 3008 (no more diesel hybrids as Peugeot is going where the money is) will be coming in 2019, which will allow the SUV to behave as an all-wheel drive 3008.
After driving the 3008 over two days outside the city of Bologna, it was easy to see why Peugeot is confident the 3008 would do well across key markets around the world.
We dare say this is a car that would make Peugeot rivals sit up and start worrying, going by its attractive design, cabin refinements and technological innovations. Imagine a digital meter cluster as standard fitment in all variants, and that’s something special that should make the SUV stand out.
In addition, the ride and handling of the 3008 is more than decent. We will delve more into that in an upcoming article.
This is also a car that offers a premium sound system from Focal as an optional factory-fitted equipment. It is available with a Grip Control Pack that includes Hill Assist Descent Control that allows the 3008 to do some basic offroading.
Let’s not forget that the 3008 is also available with the e-Kick foldable electric scooter or e-Bike foldable electric bicycle as an optional mobility solution if urban congestion gets the better of the SUV. Park the car, whip out the lightweight e-Kick/e-Bike from the boot and off you go to get past the jams.
Price-wise, Nasim is working on it but it should not deviate far from the RM154,000 asking price of the previous 3008. Nasim is also keen to load up the new 3008 with the Grip Control Pack as an additional sweetener for prospective buyers.
Suffice to say at this point that the exterior and interior of the 3008 are smartly packaged and gel together. Coupled with a favourable driving impression, Peugeot has solidified its move to go upmarket with the new 3008.