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Peugeot 3008 2.0 BlueHDI 180 GT: Sensory experience
By Ghaith Madadha - Nov 07,2016 - Last updated at Nov 07,2016
Photo courtesy of Peugeot
With a long history of making reliably tough yet comfortable cars — like the 504 saloon and estate — that effectively doubled as utilitarian vehicles in rugged locales, before there was a crossover segment, Peugeot’s arrival in the CUV and SUV niche may have been slow, but is coalescing into a carefully calculated and well-pitched line-up. Part of a move away from MPVs biased towards SUVs at Peugeot, the 3008 is set to be soon joined by a 7-seat 5008 SUV.
Launched globally in recent weeks and set to soon arrive in showrooms, the new 3008 is a more dedicated CUV that replaces a predecessor that was less distinctly pitched somewhere between MPV and CUV. Assertive in demeanour and sized to be practical and spacious yet manoeuvrable and agile, the 3008 line-up is initially offered with four engine options, including the range-topping 2.0 BlueHDI 180, to which the sportier and more luxurious GT trim level is exclusive for now.
With browed, slime and assertive fascia, high-set rear lights and high side door cladding, the 3008 emits an alert and urgent sense of movement. Meanwhile blacked out pillars create a floating roofline effect that is complemented by the GT version’s chrome glasshouse outlines that the 3008’s concept car like appeal and flowing design lines. Chunky and with sharp jutting lines and defined surfacing, the 3008 is a more complex and charismatic design than the one it replaces, but is more fluent and evocative than many rivals.
Bearing a distinctively assertive new Peugeot face reflecting the brand’s lion emblem, the 3008’s weaving chequered grille is flanked by browed and moody lights with claw like lines cutting through and framing its wide lower intake. A ridged clamshell bonnet further lends to its sportingly aggressive aesthetic, while “three-claw” rear LED lights also reflect Peugeot’s emblem. The GT model exclusively features flared fenders, more aggressive bumper, full LED lights, stainless steel trim, dual exhausts and two-tonne paint demarcated at a sharp angle along the flank.
Muscular and efficient
Only available in 2.0 BlueHDI 180 guise the range-topping GT model is powered by a 2-litre common-rail turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, as driven. The sort of mighty and efficient turbo diesel engine we could look forward to if or when regulations allow diesel passenger cars in future, the 3008 is in the meantime offered in 1.6-litre turbocharged THP 165 guise for Jordanian customers. Developing 178BHP at 3750rpm and vast 295lb/ft
torque at 2000rpm, the 2.0 BluHDI 180, however, returns hybrid-rivaling 4.8l/100km combined cycle fuel efficiency.
Accelerating from standstill to 100km/h in 8.9 seconds, through 80-120km/h in 5.5 seconds and capable of 207km/h, the BluHDI 180 is only offered with 6-speed automatic gearbox, and is brisk, muscular and bountiful on the road, dispatching steep inclines and overtaking with effortless ease. Well-balancing between fuel efficiency with robust performance in auto mode, the BluHDI 180 gearbox’s responsiveness and gear selection are mostly well-judged in auto mode. Sport mode shifting is more aggressive in keeping the engine in its full thrust mid-range sweet spot, and avoiding low-end lag, typical of virtually all turbo-diesel engines.
Refined and fluent
Smooth, responsive and abundant on the move, the BluHDI 180 is well refined with minimal low-end diesel clatter evident. Meanwhile, fixed steering column-mounted paddle shifters allow one to self-shift, which is more fun, but requires one to keep the 3008 in mid-range when tackling winding hill climbs. Front-driven across the range, the 3008 benefits from the absence of additional, weight cost and complexity of four-wheel drive. On the road it feels lighter, more alert, engaging and fluent without a front-biased 4WD system like rivals.
Built on Peugeot’s new EMP2 modular platform the new 30008 incorporates aluminium front wings and a lightweight tailgate, to shed 100kg over its predecessor. The best equipped and most powerful 3008, the diesel-powered GT is also the heaviest of a relatively light group. Weighing in at 1,465kg, the GT nevertheless feels agile and manoeuvrable through winding switchbacks, hill climbs and narrow roads, and features specific suspension tuning better suited to its weight, more powerful engine and wider, grippier and exclusive 235/50R19 footwear.
Supple and settled
Stable, settled and refined at speed, the GT’s springs seem tauter than other 3008 models with less vertical pitch over crests but similarly buttoned down, confident and settled damping on rebound. Through corners the GT’s suspension well controls body lean while ride quality remains supple and comfortable over imperfect surfaces. Benefiting from the same quick, responsive, alert and positive steering, the GT feels fun and engaging through corners for its segment, turning in tidily and delivering the right level of steering resistance and feel.
Heavier, tauter and more powerful, the GT’s turn-in is not quite as crisp as lighter 3008 versions, with slight understeer if pushed too hard and a touch of torque steer if one comes back on power too hard and early when exiting. However, the GT’s enormous torque output more than compensates as it bounds out of corners and up steep inclines with disdainfully muscular ease. Meanwhile, the absence of four-wheel drive allows for more engaging, lighter and adjustable chassis control, and is compensated for with optional brake and traction control-based electronic off-road assistance systems.
A most convincing addition to Peugeot’s more premium direction in recent years, the 3008’s cabin is stylishly designed, ergonomically accommodating, well-finished with quality materials and features numerous advanced convenience and driver aid features. With driver-focused cockpit style design, relatively high seating position and small low-set flat top and bottom steering wheel that falls nicely to hand the 3008 features the best yet application of Peugeot’s contemporary design of placing the instrument panel above the steering. Working exactly as intended in the 3008, this provides clear uniumpeded views of the instrument panel and road ahead.
A more premium offering in its segment, the 3008 notably features a configurable digital i-Cockpit instrument panel — similar to Audi — and a user-friendly tablet-style infotainment screen in the centre, from which one can access most functions to allow for a reduced button count and less cluttered cabin. Plush materials even include real optional oak trim and leather seats, while seating is highly and comfortable in front and far above average for larger passengers in the rear. Emphasising the sensory experience with quality materials and textures, the 3008 also features scented air circulation, high quality sound system and massaging seats.
Engine: 2.0-litre, turbo diesel, transverse 4 cylinders
Bore x stroke: 85 x 88mm
Valve-train: 16-valve, DOHC, common-rail direct injection
Gearbox: 6-speed auto, front-wheel drive
0-100km/h: 8.9 seconds
80-120km/h: 5.5 seconds
0-1000-metres: 30.2 seconds
Maximum speed: 207km/h
Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 178 (180)  @3,750rpm
Specific power: 89.1BHP/litre
Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 295 (400) @2,000rpm
Specific torque: 200.3Nm/litre
Fuel consumption, urban/extra-urban/combined:
CO2 emissions, combined: 124g/km
Fuel tank: 53 litres
Ground clearance: 219mm
Track, F/R: 1601/1,610mm
Overhang, F/R: 923/849mm
Boot capacity, min/max: 591-/1,580 litres
Headroom, F/R: 915/912mm
Soulder room, F/R: 1,493/1,484mm
Kerb weight: 1,465kg
Tyres, F/R: 235/50R19
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