2014 Peugeot 3008 encourages the High Road to Adventure

With lots of new and improved features, it would be almost improper to term the latest 3008 as a facelift, even though it is technically just that. Regardless of whether to call it a facelift or a complete variant change, the new and improved 3008 FL has been updated enough to carry the flag in the compact SUV segment to entice potential buyers with a strong feature set and competitive pricing strategy. (click, enlarge)

Nasim recently conducted the introduction of its new Peugeot 3008 SUV at the nation’s Pearl of the Orient, Penang. Selling over 500,000 units globally, the original Peugeot 3008 was a measurable success due to its strong character and unique selling propositions. Targeted at customers looking for a change of pace and the norm, this compact Crossover morphs multiple body types to combine the best of an SUV, a Hatchback and an MPV into a unique package. Being multi-talented, the 3008’s abilities are clearly evident to its owner from the first day of ownership, or even during the media test drive. Its highly evolved and stylish interior and cockpit coupled with myriad technological equipment thoroughly engage the driver for a driving experience that is exhilarating without being overly excessive.

Retaining all of its core strengths, the 2014 Peugeot 3008 FL (face-lifed) gets refreshed with an elegant and contemporary style, emphasized with a distinguished new face and slightly restyled rear. The front styling now falls neatly into place in accordance with the latest Peugeot signature look while the rear combination lamps retain its signature sail fin design albeit restyled with new LED light clusters. The new 3008 also gets a bump in equipment and performance; full-color Heads-Up Display (HUD) distinguishes between the different functions for instant notification while a new reverse camera allows for precise parking maneuvers.

One of the biggest updates to the 3008 happens to lie in the engine bay in the form of the more powerful THP165 Prince engine that currently serves in the 408 Turbo. Also new, and a delight to motorists who place a major importance in night driving safety, is the deployment of an Advanced Lighting System incorporating a pair of Bi-Xenon projectors with self-leveling function, complete with a snazzy DRL (daytime running lights) array.

With all these features, it would be almost improper to term the latest 3008 as a facelift, even though it is technically just that. Regardless of whether to call it a facelift or a complete variant change, the new and improved 3008 FL has been updated enough to carry the flag in the compact SUV segment to entice potential buyers with a strong feature set and competitive pricing strategy.

2014 Peugeot 3008 SUV: New Feline Looks

If there ever was a beauty contest between the first generation 3008 and the current 3008 FL, the latter would definitely take the crown. This is not to say that the older SUV wasn’t a looker, but the FL does seem to look more cohesive overall without that love it or hate it oversized front grille of its predecessor. The older family signature of the feline marque might have worked for the 308 and 408, but to have that similarly “wide-opened mouth” signature face on a fairly large SUV might have put off a few potential customers. Even then, with half a million examples sold worldwide, it goes to show that beauty is only skin deep and it’s what the vehicle has to offer that counts. Having said that, motorists in this country are for the most part a superficial lot, but it is hard to put the blame squarely on the consumer. With a restrictive automotive policy, most car buyers need to worry about a couple of important factors, one of which is the cost of taking the road less traveled. In other words, the first generation 3008 might be an appealing proposition due to what it offers on the inside, but it did not have a universal outward appeal, which would be thought as adversely affecting its residual value in the long run. For that matter alone, I dare surmise that if the FL version had come earlier, Nasim Peugeot might have gotten quite a fair bit more 3008s onto our roads.

Gone is that bulbous nose of the old SUV, replaced by an elegant flat nose and lion’s claw headlamp design. The front grille, although seemingly similar in size to its predecessor’s, is now more understated with only two chromed accent lines running across the grille as opposed to a chromed fencing effect of the old one. The fog lamps on the new car is more pronounced than the ones on the previous edition though, and they feature chrome lining, so the overall frontal effect does indeed have roughly the same amount of bling but said bling is distributed more evenly; on the old car, at some angles the only thing you take notice of is that loud front grille. The headlights also rake further back into the front fenders, giving the 3008 FL that keen, forward motion look which is indeed a refreshing change and serves to snatch the limelight away from the lion’s mouth (front grille) towards its eyes.

A keen eye would notice the slightly more pronounced wheel arches fore and aft of the 3008-FL, which sharpens up the side profile of the car compared to the softer and rounder edges of the older model’s. The rest of the side profile is either very similar or the same, right down to the tires which remain as before, 225/50 R17 Michelin Primacy HP rubbers albeit with a new set of “Aregia” alloys. Even the shape of the tail lights remain the same as seen from the side, but they are now of the LED variety, à la mode. The new LED tail lights resemble the claws of a lion, and they do indeed give the rear a more menacing demeanor aside from being more responsive especially in emergency braking situations.

Inside, the cabin retains much of the original flair and ergonomics of the pre-FL 3008; just like the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The original design of the dashboard and accompanying controls remain largely unchanged, save for an updated steering wheel complete with aluminum inserts at the thumb rest areas and bottom spoke. Even the switchboard style layout along the center of the dash remains unchanged. These dials incorporate the controls for the moon roof, HUD and hazard blinkers, among others.

The interior has also taken on a darker colored theme with dark grey leather seats and dark grey door panels; along with a new dash-top mounted power-retractable 7-inch LCD Sat/Nav unit, audio system with connectivity features and an 8-way powered driver seat. The writer opined that the power-retractable color HUD panel is positioned to provide a very futuristic-looking pair of GUI (graphical user interface) features, which would definitely be a conversation point among first time passengers in the car.

Twin blowers for the rear passengers complement the front blowers for a better distribution of cool air in the cabin. The rear seats remain as before, which seemed a little flat for the writer’s liking. Understandably, crossovers usually incorporate such rear seat designs in order for the rear seats to fold as flat as possible for storage duties, but he’d rather forgo that for better rear seat comfort and ergonomics. Perhaps a mechanism could be incorporated so that the seat squabs and upper body supports could fold out of the way when the seats are folded? Aside from that minor niggle, the rear seats provided adequate support with enough thigh support for those long journeys; a definitely plus!

Peugeot 3008 SUV: Technological Improvements

There are three key areas where the new 3008-FL is all-new. First off, let us take a look at the new Dynamic Bi-Xenon Advanced Lighting System. This new system incorporates Bi-Xenon projectors that dynamically follow the direction of your steering wheel a few degrees to the left or right. They are also self-leveling to accommodate various load conditions so that your car doesn’t glare oncoming traffic, and as the name suggests, a small electro-magnetic flap flips up or down within the projector housing for dipped or high beam so none of that “single Xenon dipped beam-Halogen high beam” budget solutions as can be seen on many Japanese cars today. Also present within the headlight housing is a sleek DRL strip that runs along the length of the bottom of the headlight for effect. Compared to this, the pre-FL 3008 comes with halogens and no DRL.

The second major uplift for the 3008 SUV is the THP165 powerplant. This uprated powerplant is the same as the one found in the Peugeot 408 Turbo. In full, the 3008-FL gets the latest Twin Scroll Turbo High Pressure (THP) engine with Direct Petrol Injection that churns out 165ps @ 6,000rpm with a flat torque curve that maxes out at 240Nm between 1,400-4,250rpm mated to the latest generation Aisin-derived 6-sp auto adaptive gearbox with Tiptronic and Sport modes. Achieving such performance without additional turns of the engine can only mean one thing; this baby runs on higher boost pressure. However, said additional power doesn’t really translate to absolute figures, as both the pre-FL and FL versions post identical century sprint and top speed numbers of 9.5s and 202km/h respectively. The writer gave an opinion that the main difference between the two 3008 SUV generations to be in the drivability department, and that the newer SUV was a tad faster in reaching the top speed.

Lastly, the Advanced Peugeot Park Assist with Available Space Measurement (ASM) and Reverse Camera is surely a must-have feature in most premium cars these days. The package is made up of 10 parking sensors fore and aft of the car. This system helps the driver to maneuver into tight parking spots and also tells you how easy or difficult the task would be.

2014 Peugeot 3008 SUV: Drive Impressions and Parting Words

For the most part, the new Peugeot 3008 FL drives pretty much like the variant that it replaces, because aside from the slightly higher output from the engine, the car sits on the same independent MacPherson struts with anti-roll bar in the front and Deformable U-shaped cross member with anti-roll bar at the back, so no surprises here. On straights, you could hardly feel the speed climbing due to a high seating position and excellent chassis rigidity; 120km/h in the 3008 FL felt like 80km/h in a sedan, so this baby was indeed built for long-distance cruises. Wind noise was also very reasonably muted at speed, thanks in part to the excellent Michelins provided, and probably also due to a lot of engineering hours in a wind tunnel facility in Peugeot Headquarters.

The fine road-going demeanor of the 3008 FL took a slight hit during cornering, where the slightly over-rigid rear suspension began to show up the limitations of a trailing arm design by not being pliant enough to roll with the punches and instead threatened to throw the car off balance on a few occasions during various twisty sections of the writer’s media drive. Of course, the various electronic systems built into the car’s failsafe mechanisms would never allow the car to lose its tail, so the effect was more of a personal impression rather than of an actual event. In a nutshell, the car handled rather well on straights and kept an even hand on the corners.

The writer really liked the 3008 SUV’s audio system as he reckoned the SUV is one the better sounding systems in the existing Peugeot line-up. He thought it was probably due to deeper door baffles that offered an ample soundstage with deep sounding bass and crisp highs. Understandably, a good sounding audio system in a lifestyle based vehicle makes for a more immersive journey, so it is good that Peugeot managed to pull it off nicely in this regard. Furthermore, the writer felt that these items should be included, a keyless entry and push start system, to make it a perfect SUV. However, he understood that Peugeot Malaysia needed to strike a fine balance when it came to feature sets and price points. Taken in totality and considering the number of new key innovations, the writer has noted that the new Peugeot 3008 is a compelling package for the young and adventurous crowd looking for a contemporary crossover vehicle that delivers the goods and in style too.

Prior to its official release, Nasim has released an estimate price tag of RM155,000 for the 3008 SUV; now take the “High Road to Adventure”  at a lower price tag of RM 153,888 on-the-road with insurance.

2014 Peugeot 3008 SUV High Road to Adventure images

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