Last year I drove the regular Peugeot 3008 SUV in Allure trim and thoroughly enjoyed it – could barely find a fault if I’m being honest.
No surprise really, it managed to rack up several international accolades most notably Euro Car of the Year 2017, plus was a local finalist in 2018. So, when the latest GT-Line recently came up for test I was quick to jump at the opportunity.
See, I like good, honest machines that do the job of people moving with competence and some flair, but the latter only when it didn’t come at the expense of the prior. Then I saw the Sport Button in this compact French SUV and thought, sacre bleu! What have they done?
What do you mean driver sport pack?
Now look, this is absolutely not a sports car – and despite the GT badge and the sportier setting, it still isn’t taking itself seriously at all. Thumbing that dial, though, and it exhibits an immediately more playful demeanour – 121kW and 240Nm will do that. In addition, they’ve literally made this cat purr with some active exhaust tomfoolery in this mode.
The result was smile-inducing all at once. Pin the throttle and the staccato pipe music had me laugh – this thing is a hoot! I found myself over-driving it just for soundtrack sake, which is in fact quite an injustice since Peugeot have in fact also installed a contemporary and feature laden multimedia and connectivity suite in the shape of i-Cockpit with a configurable 8’-inch touch screen plus customisable 12.3-inch head-up display.
Peugeot's i-Cockpit might not be to everyone's tastes
You’ll peek at this over the (typically Peugeot) compact sports steering wheel with satellite controls which too adapt to the more Dynamic driving mode for an immersive, multi-sensory experience. Fun.
The GT Line comes with a plethora of safety equipment such as Active Lane Departure and Advanced Driver Attention Alert systems in addition to standard features including LED lighting signatures and LED sequential scrolling front indicators. Family-oriented or not, in 2019, I will go as far as to call this charming Pug a true ‘driver’s car.
The road less travelled
Which is why it was the car I selected from my driveway when I had a 300km round trip along the R62 to complete recently. Some of it would include gravel (my test car has Advanced Grip Control for that) so I was delighted to return home later that evening somewhat dusty but entirely entertained.
The asphalt stretches of my trip were challenging – twisty, undulating and somewhat unpaved, but the GT Line and I managed well enough with its turbo-charged engine serving mostly as a fun noise maker. The small leather helm isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re ever driven a Peugeot, you’ll feel at home behind it.
Once you’re familiar with the controls you’ll find a comfortable French chassis underpinning a solid steer and competent if compliant ride. The stylish cabin is finished in tactile ‘Brumeo’ fabric with comfy leather pews and all the aforementioned toys and gear including Android Auto and Apple Car Play screen sharing. The net result is a car that is a pleasure both inside and out. I’m struggling to fault it. Once again.
A self-reflective verdict
Sometimes a car will come along and make you reassess your priorities. That or, make you give the car already on your driveway a second glance since it is almost certainly more capable than you give it credit for being.
What I mean to get across is that you don’t need a blistering 0-100kph time to enthral. Nor do you need fettling at the Nürburgring. We live in one of the most beautiful lands on the third rock from the sun and all you need to explore the damn place is four wheels – something that the 3008 reminded me of.
It’s thanks to its spirit of optimism and adventure.
But don’t just take my word for it
Kelly Lodewyks weighs in
I feel for Peugeot. They are French. Wait ... I realise how that sounds.
I don't feel for them because they are French, I feel for them because of the reputation that French brands have in South Africa. It's a general sense of "stay away". Maybe that was the case a good few years ago, but it certainly isn't the case now.
This 3008 GT Line is case in point. It's a good-looking car outside and in with build quality that could rival the likes of South African favourites, Volkswagen and Toyota. It's also thoroughly engaging to drive – not something you can be certain of with it’s aforementioned rivals. The ride quality is comfortable and soft with little noise coming into the cabin. The engine, a 1.6-litre turbocharged unit with 121kW and 240Nm - is more than adequate.
I mainly used it in traffic on my daily commute and to the shops and back, and I found it to be perfectly capable as a daily driver. While I understand that people may still be hesitant to buy a French car, I think it's time to put those worries to bed. At the very least, add it to your list of vehicles to test if you are in the market for a new set of wheels. This Peugeot 3008 GT Line impressed me very much.
Peugeot 3008 1.6T THP GT Line Auto Specs:
|Engine ||1.6l inline 4-cyl, turbopetrol|
|Gearbox ||6-speed Quickshift (EAT) automatic |
|Driven Wheels ||Front|
|Top Speed ||201kph|
|Average Fuel Consumption ||7l/100km|
|CO2 Emissions ||156g/km|