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The Warsaw Voice » Society » January 13, 2010
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Peugeot 3008- Stylish Crossover
January 13, 2010   
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The Peugeot 3008 crossover utility vehicle (CUV) is the trendsetter of the moment-as small as a compact car, as spacious as a minivan, and as stylish as an SUV.

The demand for more versatile vehicles shows no sign of waning. For several years now, manufacturers have been trying to grab our attention by sexing up the bodywork, in addition to coming up with technological innovations. The former may even be their overriding concern. And for good reason. No car wants to be left in the showroom. The result is that it is increasingly difficult to categorize new models.

The success of the Nissan Qashquai, a small car with SUV styling, got other makers interested in combining the features of several types of vehicle. Peugeot announced that it was after a piece of the action when it unveiled its Prologue prototype at the Paris Motor Show in the fall of 2008. The production version, the Peugeot 3008, made its debut in Geneva in spring this year.

So what is the latest Peugeot? Well, it is neither a compact nor an SUV. The body dimensions-436 cm long and 183 cm wide-and 2WD qualify it as a compact car but the muscular styling, 163 cm body height and roomy interior belong to the realm of the SUV.

The Peugeot 3008 can comfortably seat five adult passengers and has a 432-liter trunk. The loading space can be increased to 1,241 liters by folding down the back seats should the need arise. The overall storage capacity is 595 kg. The rear hatch is divided into two parts to provide easy access to the trunk, whose floor can be positioned at three different levels. One part of the hatch opens upward and the other downward to form a shelf on which as much as 200 kg baggage can be stored while packing. There must be at least a dozen compartments, shelves and drawers around the driver's seat-floor included. The vehicle can be changed from a passenger car into a delivery van in a matter of minutes and its flat floor makes it easy to transport long, bulky objects. The control panel is modern and stylish and all the indicators and switches have been ergonomically designed. Driver visibility from all angles is in a class of its own.

The test-drive unit had a 1.6l/109 hp Common Rail turbodiesel engine. Maximum torque of 240 Nm kicks in at 1,750 rpm, enabling the 1,425 kg vehicle to accelerate from 0 to 100 kph in 12.2 seconds and to achieve a top speed of 180 kph. What sets the 3008 apart is its performance, flexibility and fuel economy. Average fuel consumption while test driving was 7.2l/100 km. This compares with the 5.1l/100 km stated in the producer's technical specifications. The vehicle is front-wheel drive and has a six-speed manual transmission. The resilient suspension and precise steering system make the Peugeot pleasant to drive.

Standard equipment includes all the commonly used comfort and safety features such as ABS/ESP systems, a complete set of airbags and curtains, air conditioning, a CD/MP3 sound system, electrically controlled windshield and external mirrors, and an electric park brake with Hill Assist function. Extras include a 1.6-square-meter panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, color display navigation, xenon directional headlights, a Grip Control system with special tires and intelligent anti-skid system for off-road driving, a Distance Alert radar system that uses a Head Up Display (a transparent and retractable screen that projects information in front of the driver) to warn when approaching an obstacle or the car in front.

The appearance and user features of the Peugeot 3008 make up for its lack of 4WD and its failure to meet the minimum 20 cm body clearance for a SUV, especially given that Peugeot's product range has a "real" SUV, the 4007, to handle off-road conditions. The Peugeot 3008 is a credit to the familiar rampant lion logo emblazoned on the hood.

Bartosz Grzybiński
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