Peugeot 3008 & 5008 Evolve Aggressively

By Lee Pang Seng

THE recent change of hands in the Peugeot dealership in Malaysia to Bermaz Auto Alliance is followed up with the launch of the latest evolvement of the popular 3008 and 5008 SUVs (sport utility vehicles). In addition to the quest for greater modernity in these vehicles’ body design elements, an aggressive streak is also added for a more forward appeal.

Notes of styling refreshments come in the new frameless grille that is flanked by headlamps that are redesigned to be more aggressive and feature LED (light emitting diode) technology with cornering lamps function. Stamping the French brand roots is the Peugeot lion monogram on the mesh-like grille.

The rear too sees new LED lights that boast ‘full-technology LED with Peugeot’s iconic 3D (three-dimensional) effect claw signature with scrolling indicator lights’. Underlining this new design element is a new bumper that integrates gloss black side scoops and a painted treadplate.

The body silhouette remains largely unchanged from the previous model otherwise. And in bearing a similar body styling, some might at a glance not be able to tell the models apart other than noting the model name on the bonnet and rear panel, and different design alloy wheels. A clear giveaway is the rear C-pillar as that for the 5008 is broader to give it a longer look that befits its seven-seating accommodation.

These Peugeot SUVs might have been around for a few years but the body design stays contemporary, helped further by the fresh styling elements. Dimensionally, there are differences between the two; the 5008 is longer by 160mm at 4670mm, slightly wider by 5mm at 1855 and 27mm taller at 1655mm. It also runs on a longer 2840mm wheelbase against the 3008’s 2730mm. As such, it is heavier at 1595kg against the 3008’s 1492 (kerb weight).

In luggage capacity, the 5008 has more to offer with more than 2000 litres of space with the second row seatrests folded down. There are 952 litres with the third row seats tucked away; getting the seats up is a matter of folding the covers and pulling the seatrests up. The shorter 3008 has 591 litres of space that almost triple to 1670 when the second row seatrests are folded down.

Beneath all that, there are many similarities; from the front MacPherson suspension set-up to the multi-link torsion beam rear, 225/55 R18 tyres on the different design wheels and the 1.6-litre Twin Scroll Turbo High Pressure (THP) engine with direct petrol injection. The power unit is an undersquare engine with 77mm bore and 858mm stroke to displace 1598cc.

Output is given as 121kW (165hp) at 6000rpm and good torque of 240Nm that develops early at 1400rpm. The engine drives the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. Peugeot says both these two SUVs would achieve a 205km/h top speed while remaining frugal on fuel consumption with a combined 7.0L/100km (almost 14.3km per litre) on the NEDC test benchmark.

As both the 3008 and 5008, they are locally assembled, are Allure models, they share similar features and safety systems. These include auto levelling headlamps, rain sensing wipers (that we saw in action during our drive in Genting Highlands), power tailgate (leg under kick for hands free opening) with programmable height function, panoramic sunroof with sliding and tilt glass, auto dimming rearview mirror, wireless handphone charger and tyre pressure monitoring system, among other useful items.

For the latter, there are the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) that handles braking and handling functions, Advanced Grip Control, Hill Assist Descent Control, Blind Spot Monitoring, Active Lane Keeping Assist (that lit up graphically in orange tone on the instrument panel when we strayed from our lane during the drive) and Driver Attention Warning. Both are pretty well equipped in that respect.

Getting comfortable in the driver and front passenger seats is easily managed with the electronic controls available. Press D for Drive on the dashboard and off we went as the system automatically releases the Parking brake electronically. There is a Sport mode with steering wheel paddle shifts for an engaging drive through winding roads.

The exemplary French comfort was experienced with the good cushioning of road bumps and rumble strips. We could drive along highways at fair speeds with wind and road noise nicely subdued due to good insulation, and both felt planted on the road as well for a sense of stability. And during the times we worked up the engine in low gears for the drive up to Genting Highlands, the firewall insulation kept engine noise low.

Before we delve further into the handling dynamics of the 3008 and 5008, we have to understand that both these Peugeot SUVs are meant more for comfortable family drives than be driven in a sporty manner. Having a Sports mode and paddle shifters as transmission options gives us the benefit of better control along winding roads.

Both could take to the corners at fair speeds but during the times we tried to explore the limits, the understeering characteristics were clearly felt. We found it best to take the sharp corners at lower speeds to enjoy better dynamic control apart from choosing a wider line through. Otherwise, we found ourselves drifting wide as the tyres squealed in protest trying to grip the road.

It didn’t matter if it was the longer wheelbase 5008 or shorter wheelbase 3008; both are clear understeerers when pushed hard into a tight corner. Body lean was quite well checked though. We felt that the six-speed automatic transmission was also not quite suited to hard driving under such conditions. And when you factor the uphill element in, flooring the accelerator showed up the turbo lag before maximum torque could be fully utilised to enjoy strong forward movement.

Driving at a more conventional space was the best way to enjoy these Peugeot SUVs, for the comfort in ride and sampling of all the features on board. For one, we found that selecting the respective functions on the 10-inch Capacitive Touchscreen on the centre dash was via a selector panel below with touchscreen adjustment for the respective function.

Price-wise, the difference between the two models is relatively small; the 3008 Allure is tagged at 161,616.66 on the road without insurance and the 5008 Allure fetches RM177,311.90. Both come with a five-year or 100,000km manufacturer warranty and a three-year or 60,000km free maintenance.

By the way, Stellantis is looking beyond Malaysia for its Peugeot presence. The company has recently acquired the Gurun assembly facility from the Naza Group and expects to use it as a production base for regional penetration in good time to come. Following the 3008 and 5008 is the local assembly of the 2008 to reach out to a broader avenue of customers.