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Peugeot 3008 1.6 THP165: Style and substance

By Ghaith Madadha - Jul 10,2017 - Last updated at Jul 11,2017

Photo courtesy of Peugeot

A distinctly more upmarket offering in the lucrative and ever popular compact crossover SUV — or CUV — segment, the new Peugeot 3008 boasts a fetchingly futuristic design, useful application of technology, smart packaging and fun driving characteristics.

Also distinct from predecessor in that it sheds previous MPV influences in design and packaging, the second generation 3008 has its feet more firmly in the CUV segment but owes much to its smaller 308 hatchback stable-mate in terms of driving agility and manoeuvrability. Launched globally late last year as a 2017 model and expected soon in Amman, the impressively well-rounded 3008 has already clinched several global awards.


Striking design


Named European Car of the Year 2017 at the Geneva motor show back in March this year, the 3008 is expected to prove to be a popular and accessible model with up-market appeal, value and practicality, including high ground clearance, efficient engines and a spacious, versatile and elegantly contemporary cabin.

Offered with two turbocharged petrol engines at launch, including an entry-level 1.2-litre 3-cylinder THP130 version, it is however the larger THP165 1.6-litre four-cylinder model that is expected in the Middle East and Jordan. A thoroughly thought out product from Peugeot, the 3008’s concept car-like design is strikingly charismatic, complex yet fluent, and stands out in its segment and next to its predecessor.

A chunky design with sharp jutting lines, defined surfacing and ridges, the 3008’s demeanour is urgent and assertive, and features high lower side cladding to imply a rugged SUV-like aesthetic. With an assertive weaving chequered grille taking centre stage of its fascia, the 3008 features a dramatic and aggressive ridged clamshell bonnet and moody LED-browed headlights partially split by jutting claw-like elements.

Reflecting Peugeot’s lion emblem, the high-set rear lights also feature claw motifs. The 3008’s visceral aesthetic also includes a broad lower air intake and deep ridged side character lines. The 3008 flowingly rakish silhouette also features blacked out pillars for a floating roofline effect similar to the Range Rover Evoque.


Fluent and flexible


The most powerful petrol variant at launch, the 3008 THP165 is powered by Peugeot’s efficient, effective familiar 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Developing 163BHP at 6000rpm and 177lb by just 1400rpm, the 3008 THP165’s engine is responsive from idling, with quick-spooling turbo and generously rich and broad mid-range peak torque sweet spot for confident overtaking and performance on inclines.

Subtly muscular and eager to rev to peak power and top-end with progressive pace, the 3008 THP165 is however operates perhaps best riding its ample mid-range torque band where it is refined, flexible and efficient, whether on motorway duty or through winding country lanes and hill climbs.

Driving the front wheels through a slick six-speed automatic gearbox with manual “tiptronic” shifts, the 3008 THP165 accelerates through the 0-100km/h benchmark in 8.9-seconds and is capable of 206km/h, while combined cycle fuel efficiency is frugal at 5.7l/100km. Offered exclusively with front-wheel-drive, the 3008, like most vehicles in its road-biased compact CUV segment, simply doesn’t need it, and especially at this particular power point.

Without the pretences or added weight, cost and complexity of four-wheel-drive the 3008 THP165 weight just 1300kg, yielding both efficiency and performance benefits. The absence of a front-biased four-wheel-drive system occasionally shifting some power rearwards also lends the 3008 better driving fluency, not unlike a well-sorted family hatchback


Eager and effective


A compact family CUV with user-friendly and engaging driving characteristics the 3008 is clearly not pitched as a hardcore off-roader. That being said, it does however very competently compensate the absence of four-wheel-drive with its innovative and nuanced Advanced Grip Control system, which utilises finesses electronic traction control to maintain limited wheelspin to find traction and maintain momentum on low traction surfaces, including inclines. 

Proving to be very effective on a short off road drive on wet grass, the 3008 also features hill descent control, which works as a low speed cruise control, and with gearbox in neutral, one can still use the throttle for electronic inputs to increase speed speed.

Lighter up front than the range-topping diesel 3008 GT in not quite as light at the 3-cylinder THP130 version, the THP165 is the best compromise in the 3008 range for eager performance and handling.

With chassis and electronic assistance systems set-up for a more visceral and engaging experience, the THP165 nimble and agile through winding roads. Tidy and crisp turning in, the THP165’s front tyres grip well into a corner, and remains committed and reassuring at the rear, yet engaging and manoeuvrable. A pleasure through Italian country lanes where driven, the THP165’s steering is light yet direct and positive, while body roll is well-controlled through corners, but without sacrificing ride comfort.


Smooth and stylish


Alert and eager change direction, the 3008 THP165 nevertheless rides with a reassuring stability and smooth suppleness on motorways. Forgiving, refined and settled over imperfections, the 3008 pitches slightly in a vertical direction over sudden crests but feels buttoned down on dips and rebound. 

Featuring the best application so far of Peugeot’s cockpit design with the instrument panel above the steering wheel, the 3008 provides unimpeded views of both the instrument panel and road for greater driving confidence. The reason such a layout works so well in the 3008 is a combination of a high, supportive and well adjustable driving position and a small well-positioned flat top and bottom steering wheel.

Noticeably more premium than its predecessor, the 3008 is stylishly designed inside, ergonomic, refined, well finished and features numerous advanced convenience, infotainment and driver-assistance features. With a minimalist sense of style inside, the 3008 features a reduced button fount, with many functions now accessed through its user-friendly tablet-style infotainment screen, which a configurable digital i-Cockpit instrument panel, similar to Audi’s Virtual Cockpit system, is a particular point of interest. 

Offered in different specification levels, the 3008 uses quality materials, and even includes optional real oak trim, massaging leather seats, scented air circulation and high quality sound systems. Meanwhile, the 3008’s spacious and versatile cabin notably includes generously proportioned rear passenger room.





Engine: 1.6-litre, turbocharged, transverse 4-cylinders

Bore x stroke: 77 x 85.8mm

Valve-train: 16-valve, DOHC, direct injection

Gearbox: 6-speed auto, front-wheel-drive

0-100km/h: 8.9-seconds

80-120km/h: 6.1-seconds

0-1000-metres: 29.9-seconds

Maximum speed: 206km/h

Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 163 (165) [121] @6000rpm

Specific power: 102BHP/litre

Power-to-weight: 125.4BHP/tonne

Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 177 (240) @1400rpm

Specific torque: 150.2Nm/litre

Torque-to-weight: 184.6Nm/tonne

Fuel consumption, urban/extra-urban/combined: 7.3-/4.8-/5.7-litres/100km

CO2 emissions, combined: 129g/km

Fuel tank: 53-litres

Length: 4447mm

Width: 1841mm

Height: 1615mm

Wheelbase: 2675mm

Track, F/R: 1579/1587mm

Overhang, F/R: 923/849mm

Boot capacity, min/max: 591-/1580-litres

Headroom, F/R: 915/912mm

Shoulder room, F/R: 1493/1484mm

Kerb weight: 1300kg


Tyres: 225/55R18

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