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A CLASS ABOVE: PEUGEOT 3008

The Peugeot brand has been in Nepal for a long time, but it wasn’t operating as a proper dealership with their imports being on and off. But now that has changed, Peugeot has opened a proper showroom in Thapathali, Kathmandu. The Peugeot 3008 is one of the 4 models on offer at the showroom currently and we were given the task to see just how good the French iteration was in the highly contested mid-sized SUV segment.

EXTERIOR

Peugeot have made a giant leap in terms of designing the 3008. Compared to the previous generation 3008, saying that the present 3008 looks better would be an understatement. From the boring simple design to the new futuristic and bold design, it’s night and day between the two generations. Peugeot have made sure that there isn’t a bad angle on the 3008 and it looks absolutely beautiful from all sides. The front of the 3008 has been given the aggressive treatment with a bold new grille with the lion (Peugeot crest) in the center.The body panels cut into the headlights like a fang, which separates the high beam and the low beam units. Running over the head light is the LED DRLs (Day time Running Lamps) which doubles as the turn indicators. While the GT line gets all LED headlights and the allure variant gets the conventional halogen headlights.The side profile of the vehicle is given a smooth flowing design which is contrasted by the 18 inch rims, the diamond cut rims has been shaped as a star with the 5 spoke design. The roof gets a contrasting black finish along with the C pillars to give it a floating look.Moving to the back of the 3008, the taillight is separated into 3 vertical lines each which gives it a very distinguishable look. There is a lot of chrome work done on the vehicle, the front lip, the grille, the doors and the rear bumper are the most prominent along with the chrome exhaust tips.INTERIOR

The Peugeot 3008, hands down, has the best interior in this segment of vehicles. Like the exterior of the car, the interior also has been taken to new heights compared to the previous Gen 3008. Peugeot have tried to pull off an airplane’s cockpit style design which they have managed to do. It is a very driver focused cabin. All the buttons on the top half of the dash has been given a airplane like switch which you push down to activate, while the other buttons are finished in black to blend into the dash.This however makes it difficult at times to locate the buttons with the fact that it is blended in so nicely. The GT line gets nappa leather seats with the heated functions in the front seats. While the driver’s side seats get the massage function and the electronically adjustable seats but the other seats miss out on this feature. The small steering wheel gives it a very sporty feel. The 3008 gets a digital instrument cluster as standard, it looks very crisp with its display quality. The touch screen infotainment system is mounted on the top of the dash. While it looks out of place on most other cars, Peugeot have managed to integrate that with the dash. The black roof was not just done aesthetically as there is an all glass panoramic sunroof and moon roof present on the car.FEATURES

Peugeot have filled the 3008 to the brim with features and while we can’t talk about all the features in this review, we will mention the ones that caught our eyes the most. Starting off with the approach lights, there is a LED light mounted on the mirror which lights up when you open the door, this is done so that you do not step into a puddle or anything nasty while getting in or out of the car. While the allure variant gets normal LED lights, the GT line gets the Peugeot lion crest illuminating the ground.After entering the vehicle you are welcomed by the big digital instrument cluster which can be personalized into showing what you want. Then comes the massaging function of the driver’s seat, there are different options for which you can select what type of massage you want and the intensity of the massage. My personal favorite was the cat paw, which felt like a cat massaging your back with its paws minus the nails. There is a fragrance dispenser in the vehicle that lets out fragrance as you program it to. On top of that there is blue mood lighting that illuminates the foot well, front door panels, cup holders etc., according to your mood. The view out the back is a little small due to the sloping roof, so in order to eliminate that blind spot Peugeot have equipped the 3008 with 180 reversing camera and parking sensors.

PERFORMANCE AND DRIVING

The engine that powers the 3008 is a 1.6L e-THP Petrol engine producing 165 hp @6000 RPM and 240 Nm of torque @ 1400 RPM mated to a 6 speed automatic gearbox. The gear shifter is different than the ones usually present in other automatic transmission. The shifter unlike the conventional shifter doesn’t slide forward or back, it has to be rocked forward or back depending on what gear you want to engage. There is also an unlock button that you have to press while switching gears while removing the car from parking mode, you also have to press the unlock button while putting it into reverse to reduce the chance of you accidentally switching into the reverse gear.But to be honest this kind of shifting gets tiresome after some time because you have to rock back the gear lever 3 times to get it into the drive mode from parking mode. The 165 hp of the car doesn’t feel as prominent in the normal mode as it does in the sport mode. The responce is much quicker in the sport mode and definitely feels more powerful. The exhaust note of the car also got noticeably louder when in the sport mode, I was amazed at the fact of how they engineered a 1.6l inline four engine to sound so different just at the push of a button and thought it was too good to be true.

And it actually was because after a while of driving in the sport mode I found out that the sound of the engine was being artificially produced and were being emitted from the speakers. The small steering wheel does give it a sportier feel while driving and gives you the confidence to push it a bit harder. The addition of paddle shifters make it that much more fun to drive when you want to take over the job of shifting gears, the auto tends to shift a little early so if you want to extract all of the 165 horsepower you will have to take over the shifting duty. The paddle shifters behind the steering wheel is fixed on the spot rather than spinning with the steering wheel. The brakes feel very strong and will rock you front and back if you abuse it.

THE VERDICT

The Peugeot 3008 starts off from Npr. 1,13,00,000/- for the allure and Npr. 1,19,00,000/- for the GT line. It is a bit pricier than its Korean rivals and is almost on par with its Japanese rivals while it’s cheaper than the German offerings. With an interior that cannot be compared to others in the segment and a good driving experience the Peugeot 3008 proves to be a real threat in taking over the coveted top spot of the mid-sized SUVs.

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