In the later 2000s, Peugeot released two models which filled the MPV/ SUV gap. The 3008 and 5008 were released in 2008 as a practical answer to models like the Mazda Premacy, Nissan Pathfinder, and Toyota Fortuner. It was the first time the brand had ever embarked in this direction, but they were clearly on the mark. The 3008, the model of choice for this review, was made to blend essential elements of the MPV hatchback and SUV. Meaning it was meant to be spacious, stable, fast, and have a bit of off-roading in its veins. Peugeot also did not spare the accessories by giving sleek clusters and soft-touch material.
The first thing which comes to mind at first glance of the original 3008 is how it looks nothing like other MPVs or SUVs, for that matter. The curves make it look like a hot hatch, but it is too big. The front fascia is also imposing, considering the large grille and sharp headlights. The sloping roof adds to aerodynamics, while the taillights give a unique design language an excellent finish. It is clearly European but adds that unique Peugeot element that makes it unmistakable.
Customers were presented with four engine options ranging from a 1.2-liter three-cylinder petrol unit to a range-topping 2.0-liter diesel with a hybrid engine. You get to choose between a five and six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. Horsepower reaches a peak of 161 for the 2.0 option, so it is imaginable what the lower capacities yield. That being said, the 3008 is no slouch. The top speed is 200 kilometers per hour which are rather average, but the throttle response is noteworthy. Peugeots Dynamic Roll System also comes as standard. The models with this feature can counter body roll, so the 3008 points keenly into the corner like a sports car.
The first thing one notices upon entering the cabin is the amount of visibility to the outside. The windscreen appears as large as a fighter jet cockpit and the rear quarter window makes it easy to spot traffic in previous blind spots. There is great head and shoulder room though the legroom in the rear is not as good compared to the competition. It should be able to seat five passengers. The raised driving position and the center console give the 3008 the feel of an SUV, though the large storage compartments show that it can also be a multipurpose vehicle. Range toppers also get underfloor storage in the back seats, automatic lights and wipers, as well as cruise control.
The 2014 3008 has several drive-aids and safety equipment that come as standard. It was rated by the Euro NCAP as having five stars for both adult and child occupant safety. More recent models have added to this by incorporating lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and driver attention alerts.
Purchasing a new or rather, foreign used 2014 model will set you back at least Ksh 1.5 million. A worthy investment considering all performance, aesthetic, and safety boxes are checked with the eccentric SUV.