This is the home of automobile road tests in South Africa. We drive South African cars, SUVs and LCVs under South African conditions. It also just happens that most of the vehicles we drive are world cars as well, so what you read here probably applies to the models you can get at home.
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*Please remember too, that prices quoted were those ruling on the days I wrote the stories.
Americans just call vehicles like this “minivans,” so I will too. Peugeot’s 3008 range, released a couple of months ago, consists of seven variants: a plain vanilla 1600 Comfort version, a 1600 Turbo in Premium trim, the same again with Grip control (more later), two 2,0 litre diesels in Premium trim with and without Grip, and 1600 turbo and 2,0 diesel versions in Executive guise.
Just so you don’t confuse the 3008 with a Sport Ute, it’s about 500 mm shorter than your usual SUV and drive is to the front wheels only. The Grip control mentioned above and available at an extra cost of R2 000, consists of a Bosch-patented addition to the ESP that, by means of selective braking and feeding of torque to where it is most needed, stops the slipping wheel from spinning fruitlessly and places the power where it can do most good. Good for poor-weather visits to the farm, then.
A five-position selector, rather like those on Land Rovers, lets you choose between standard mode with ESP on, snow mode, all-terrain mode (mud, dirt, wet grass), sand mode and ESP off. Just in case you forget what has been selected and continue happily on your way after the need for special programming has passed, the computer will restore sanity on your behalf at certain predetermined speeds.
The car we sampled recently was the 2,0 litre HDi Premium with Grip Control that, apart from the electronics mentioned earlier, gets you Michelin Mud and Snow tyres on 16’’ rims rather than the lower-profile street tyres on 17’’ wheels fitted to other versions. Don’t panic, these M&S tyres are perfectly OK for daily street use, with the slightly higher profile adding to ride comfort on dirt roads and the modern minefield of city streets.
The 3008 is a high-riding, spacious and well-equipped corporate transporter, family bus or baby carrier that is not only well built but incorporates a good selection of safety features as well. Think ABS with EBD, BAS, ESP, automatic locking, automatic headlights, electric childproof locks, Isofix anchorages, six airbags, rear parking alarm and follow-me-home lights.
A mixed blessing is the huge front screen that lets you see street signs up above normal eye level, but the long sloping pillars can cause the unwary to bump their heads on getting in. There could also be a problem with heat build up on hot sunny days, but what else is air conditioning for? Outside temperatures reached 33 degrees a couple of times during my time with the 3008, but I experienced no discomfort as a result.
The 110 kW, 340 Nm diesel is reasonably quiet and very flexible, reaching 100 km/h in a claimed 9,7 seconds and going on to a claimed top speed of 195 km/h. Roll on acceleration through the six gears is good and with torque peaking at 2 000 rpm, maintaining momentum up hills is a breeze.
In common with most minivans, head- and legroom is generous and cargo space is quite enough for your average family. The 432 cubic decimetre boot has a horizontal divider that can be set in any of three positions or removed completely to allow a variety of loading combinations. Tipping the backrests of the rear seats increases the load volume to 1 241 cubic decimetres. Just to make things easier, additional release catches are provided in the boot area. The rear hatch opens in two sections to provide a low-level “shopping chute” or an occasional seat for picnicking.
Apart from a whole bunch of interior storage spaces including two under the back carpets, I was rather taken with the extra cubby below the steering column, specially made for the car’s handbooks, documents and a few other small items. The lidded box in the centre console not only houses connections for USB and auxiliary music inputs; it is cooled as well by the feed to two additional vents for rear seat passengers. Cool sounds? Oh shut up, Farnsworth.
While going on about convenience items, let me mention the nicely placed foot rest within centimetres of the clutch pedal, the spare fuses in a compartment under the dash, the hill holder and the electric parking brake that mean you never have to juggle left hand and both feet when taking off on hills again, and the windscreen wipers that sweep from the centre outwards, clearing far more glass than most other methods do.
Small gripes: No lights on the twin makeup mirrors and no satellite controls on the steering wheel. Owners of other makes sometimes complain about the presence of four stalks on the steering column. It is a lot, but at least it reduces the number of functions per stalk. Can’t have everything, can we?
My gut reaction after ten days was: “bloody nice car,” and my spouse, despite an initial head bumping, agreed.
Price: R 304 300
Engine: 1 997 cc 4-cylinder inline, turbodiesel
Power: 110 kW at 3 750 rpm
Torque: 340 Nm at 2 000 rpm
Zero to 100 km/h (claimed): 9,7 seconds
Maximum speed (claimed): 195 km/h
Real life fuel consumption over about 470 km: 7,7 l/100 km
Tank: 60 litres
Warranty: 3 years/100 000 km
Service plan: 5 years/90 000 km
This is a one-man show, which means that road test cars entrusted to me are driven only by me. Some reviewers hand test cars over to their partners to use as day-to-day transport and barely experience them for themselves.
What this means to you is that every car reviewed is given my own personal evaluation and receives my own seat of the pants judgement - no second hand input here.
Every car goes through real world testing; on city streets littered with potholes, speed bumps and rumble strips, on freeways and if its profile demands, dirt roads as well.
I am based in Pietermaritzburg, KZN, South Africa. This is the central hub of the KZN Midlands farming community; the place farmers go to to buy their supplies and equipment, truck their goods to market, send their kids to school and go to kick back and relax.
So occasionally a cow, a goat or a horse may add a little local colour by finding its way into the story or one of the pictures. It's all part of the ambience!
Want to ask a question, comment or just tell me you thoroughly disagree with what I say? That's your privilege, because if everybody agreed on everything, the world would be a boring place. All I ask is that you remain calm, so please blow off a little steam before venting too vigorously. Contact me here
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