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Mud Pug: The Peugeot 3008 small crossover melds SUV, people-mover and crossover wagon styles.

Peugeot’s front-drive-only 3008 crossover arrives to woo compact SUV buyers

25 Jun 2010

PEUGEOT has joined the increasingly-popular compact SUV ranks with its 3008 crossover – just the second SUV from the French firm that is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year.

Joining the larger 4007 as the only other SUV in the Peugeot range, the 308-based, five-seat 3008 is offered only in front-wheel drive, making do with an electronic traction control system called Grip Control – optional on the base XSE model and no cost on the upper XTE – with five settings that include ‘snow’, ‘sand’ and ‘all-terrain’.

Peugeot also throws in snow tyres for 3008s fitted with Grip Control, which uses the vehicle’s ESC and traction control system that Peugeot says optimises grip according to conditions.

All-wheel drive of sorts will become available in 2011 with the introduction of Peugeot’s new Hybrid4 system that employs a conventional 2.0HDi turbo-diesel engine powering the front wheels and a 27kW/200Nm electric motor driving the rear.

Until then, the 3008 further dilutes the growing compact SUV segment by shunning the all-wheel-drive systems that bred the SUV class but which are becoming less popular.

It will compete with two-wheel drive variants of the Nissan Dualis, Hyundai ix35, Toyota RAV4 and the soon to be released Kia Sportage and Mitsubishi ASX. However, most of these also offer all-wheel drive models.

23 center imageTo create its unique place in the category, the 3008 melds SUV with crossover wagon and people-mover to create a stylish vehicle that has been the toast of Europe where it has been winning awards and exceeding sales expectations.

The 3008’s popularity on the Continent forced a three-month delay of its Australian launch date, but it has finally arrived here with a choice of three engines in two specification levels with prices starting at less than $36,000.

The range starts with the $35,990 entry level 3008 XSE with a 1.6-litre turbo-charged petrol engine offering 115kW at 5800rpm and 240Nm at 1400rpm. This petrol engine is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission only, together providing combined fuel consumption of 7.7L/100km on 17-inch wheels and 7.8L/100km on 18s.

The first of the two turbo diesel engines is a 1.6-litre HDi that delivers 80kW at 4000rpm and 240Nm from just 1750rpm.

The 1.6HDi is available with a choice of six-speed manual or semi-automatic gearboxes for $36,490. Its combined fuel consumption is 4.9L/100km on 17-inch tyres and 5.1L/100km on 18s.

The range topper is the 2.0-litre HDi that comes only with a six-speed automatic transmission at $39,490 in XSE specification.

It delivers 120kW at 3750 rpm and 340Nm at 2000rpm. Combined cycle fuel consumption numbers are 6.6L/100km on 17-inch tyres and 6.7L/100km on 18s.

Standard equipment on XSE spec includes auto headlights and wipers, flat folding seats, an automatic electric park brake, hill assist, electronic stability and traction control, Dynamic Roll Control (on models with 1.6 petrol and 2.0HDi engines only), ABS with electronic brake force distribution, dual-zone climate control air-conditioning, three 12-volt power outlets, six airbags and an adjustable three-level boot floor.

The XTE specification adds $3500 to the price of all of the three engine options but gains head-up display for the driver, distance control warning, power folding door mirrors, power sunroof, chrome exterior highlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, front footwell lighting, an extra storage compartment in the rear seat footwells, rear side sunblinds and aircraft-style toggle dash switches.

Directional bi-xenon headlights, leather trim, power driver’s seat and metallic paint are optional.

Peugeot 3008 buyers looking for added traction can opt for the Grip Control for an extra $300 on XSE and no cost on XTE.

Grip Control works with the vehicle’s Bosch electronic traction and stability control systems to tailor front-wheel grip to suit the driving conditions.

Five modes are selectable by the driver including standard, snow, all terrain, sand and ‘ESP off’ settings, each optimised to give the best traction.

Grip Control also includes 16-inch alloy wheels with mud and snow tyres in lieu of the standard 17-inch units fitted on the XSE or 18-inch on XTE, plus a full-size steel spare wheel (18-inch-equipped models have to make do with a tyre-inflation kit).

Peugeot’s Hybrid4 system – its first application of hybrid technology - is due next year, cutting fuel consumption to as low as 4.1 litres/100 km while optimising traction between the front and rear axles.

The 3008 is built on Peugeot’s short-wheelbase ‘Platform 2’ underpinnings, which it shares with the 308 hatchback. It uses a bespoke body with combined styling elements of an SUV, MPV and a hatchback.

The forward windscreen of an MPV allows for a longer cabin and hence plenty of space for five occupants.

Wanting to spare drivers the feeling of being in an MPV, Peugeot has given the 3008 a sporty cockpit-like cabin with a sedan-like driving position to enhance the driving experience.

The tall roof and low window line give the appearance and spacious feel of an SUV while clever interior design gives versatility. Examples of this include the flat folding seats and the adjustable boot floor that can be fitted at three different levels to tailor the load space to your requirements. This works with a horizontally split tailgate allowing for easy loading of heavy objects and double as a seat when folded out. The flat floor afforded by the front-wheel-drive powertrain also gives more interior space.

The 3008 offers a smart European option to the Asian compact SUVs and one that strays from the conventional offerings to create a unique vehicle.

While being more expensive than most of its two-wheel drive competition, it is expected to be lower priced that forthcoming luxury compact SUVs from Range Rover, BMW and Audi while still having a distinctly European feel that could only be found elsewhere in the category in the competitively priced Volkswagen Tiguan.

Peugeot 3008range pricing.
XSE 1.6 HDi EGC $36,490
XSE 1.6 Turbo (a) $35,990
XSE 2.0 HDi (a) $39,490
XTE 1.6 HDi EGC $39,990
XTE 1.6 Turbo (a) $39,490
XTE 2.0 HDi (a) $42,990

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