In May’s issue of CAR, we picked the excellent Peugeot 2008 GT Line as our winner in the small-crossover group test featuring the Mazda CX-30, Hyundai Creta and Nissan Qashqai. The French compact crossover impressed us with its striking exterior styling, upmarket interior quality, comprehensive standard features list and perky 1,2-litre turbopetrol engine. The team lauded Peugeot’s approach in the smaller 2008 and that’s a smooth segue to its bigger brother: the 3008 GT. Classified by the French firm as a C-SUV, it slots neatly between the 2008 and larger 5008.
The vehicle underwent a comprehensive facelift in 2020 and, after a substantial wait due to COVID-19 and its associated delays, was finally launched in South Africa in the middle of this year. The top-of-the-range GT model, priced at R644 900, arrived at the CAR offices for testing not long after the launch. While the 3008 still retains the basic hardpoints, turbocharged engine and automatic gearbox of its forebear, the comprehensive aesthetic makeover puts the latest vehicle at the forefront of style in its segment. For 2021, the updated 3008 sports a completely new grille and LED daytime running-light signature. To say it draws plenty of attention is putting it mildly. Those with a keen eye will notice the LED DRLs up front that, according to the French carmaker, are reminiscent of a sabre-toothed cat’s and provides it with a suitably sharp front end. Other road users simply loved to stare at the 3008 over the test period, a taxi driver even offered a thumbs up at the sight of the Peugeot in rush-hour traffic.
There are more striking 3D-effect LEDs at the rear, akin to Peugeot’s 3008 DKR off-road machine driven by Sebastian Loeb at the Dakar Rally some years back. Peugeot has opted to leave the 1,6-litre turbocharged unit unchanged; even though 3008s retailed overseas get 133 kW and an eight-speed automatic transmission, and this leaves us with 121 kW and 240 N.m. From the driver’s seat, there’s little more than a subdued purr from the engine, which speaks to the refinement on offer. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox and drive is sent to the front wheels. Interestingly, Peugeot has fitted the GT model with paddle shifters mounted to the steering column and as one of our testers noted, the paddle itself doesn’t move, only the silver-coloured section at the end, so they’re more like shift buttons than paddles.
Unique to the Peugeot is its small, almost oblong-shaped steering wheel, which wasn’t universally accepted by the team. Some complained it can obscure driver instrumentation; however, the I-Cockpit layout – when in clear view – does offer a clear and crisp display. Interestingly, these are not the same 3D-style graphics as the 2008 GT Line we loved so much. Its paddle shifters may give an inkling towards a car with sporty intentions but it’s clear the 3008 excelled when driven sensibly.
The gearbox tends to change gears in a leisurely manner when left to its own devices but that’s something that can be eradicated by tugging on a paddle to shift the cog manually. There are three driving modes on offer: Normal, Eco and Sport. The latter alters the gearbox and engine characteristics, maintaining the selected gear ratio for a bit longer period to extract more performance. It doesn’t offer a significantly sporty experience, though, and the 3008 is more suited to a relaxed setting in either Normal or fuel-saving Eco mode. Speaking of fuel-saving, the 3008 is rated at 7,00 L/100km according to the CAR fuel index.
We averaged 7,70 L/100km on our real-world test route. The 3008 GT rides on large 19-inch alloy wheels as standard, shod with 235/50-section Continental rubber. This combo offers a consistently smooth ride with enough connection to the road to not feel too remote. Inside the cabin, the quilted Nappa leather seats were incredibly supportive and comfortable. Our test unit’s pews were covered in a red hue that may not be to everyone’s taste but complemented the exterior styling rather well. Its ten-inch infotainment screen is a pleasure to operate and is linked to a standard sound system that offers exceptionally crisp sound quality.
A panoramic sunroof makes the cabin feel light and airy and ups the premium feel even further. The 3008 GT’s standard electronic tailgate is a boon when carrying packages that need to go into the luggage compartment. Another nifty standard feature is the option of opening the tailgate by activating a sensor beneath the 3008’s rear section when your hands are full.