On Monday 6 March, 2017, the Peugeot 3008 SUV was awarded the prestigious title of the European Car of the Year. The panel of judges made the decision to crown this innovative vehicle the winner, taking into account it’s style, interior design and class-leading performance.  With more than twenty other awards already under its belt, the 3008 is proudly hosted at Kempston Group Isando.

With 25 years motoring experience, Mike Darroll, the Dealer Principal at Peugeot Isando, joined the Kempston Group with a wealth of knowledge and experience relating to manufacturing, finance and retail. Mike also candidly admitted to me that he was somewhat sceptical of the Peugeot brand until he started gaining an intimate knowledge of the products and services on offer. Having had a complete paradigm shift about this brand, Mike notes that each Peugeot he has come into contact with has been brilliant and exceeded his expectations. Currently also driving the 3008 for the last few months, Mike was able to offer me additional insight into his own long-term experience with the vehicle.

The 3008, which was launched in the second half of 2017, is an SUV unlike any other – most notably, to look at. With an exceptionally futuristic back end, the 3008 is classically styled with that tell-tale French flair, sporting magnificent sweeping lines, confident and bold design elements, and flawless integration of technological features on the inside. I am honestly quite taken with the exterior look of the vehicle, and upon entering, just as impressed with the unusual, unique interior.

Luxurious elements are standard – even with cloth-wrapped seats, the cockpit itself exudes indulgence and comfort. I love the distinctive steering wheel shape and the way the controls and dials are laid out in the dash – it breaks away from the norm, and this is always a big plus in my book. I am told that in the top of the range variants, your driving experience can be so perfectly individualised, that colour-coded dash lighting, fragrances, sound modes and even the way the vehicle drives can be changed to suit your mood. However, it is good to know that even on the base-line 3008 models, the vehicle still contains many more features as standard, which in other brands you would need to pay extra for. The i-Cockpit, as it is called, is said to provide a 100% digital experience through an 8-inch capacitive touchscreen and configurable 12.3-inch head-up digital instrument display panel. I found this both easy to use, as well as convenient, despite the worryingly-technological terms.

The 3008 is built on the all-new Peugeot platform that is 100 kilograms lighter in design, promoting fuel efficiency and better performance. In his own personal capacity, Mike has recorded 8 litres to 100 kilometres fuel consumption, even whilst he has an admittedly heavy foot. Speaking of which, the 3008 performs exceedingly well – pulling away confidently in the 1.6 litre Active variant I am driving, reacting instantly when I hit the accelerator, and gripping the road solidly through corners. Feedback from the steering wheel is superb, and I feel the drive is light and effortless for such a big SUV.

As a family woman, I am always interested to see how any vehicle under the “Family test” i.e.: putting my kids (and sometimes my dogs) into the back. Mike agrees with the conclusions I draw from this experimentation: it is spacious and more than capable of providing room and comfort for a medium sized family. The boot offers 590 litres space to start off with, and enlarges to 1600 litres with the seats flipped down. Long trips, according to Mike, are a pleasure, even with a trailer hooked on the long road, the 3008 performed exceptionally well.

When it comes to safety, the 3008 has earned top ratings with EuroNCAP, and subsequently also taken home numerous accolades internationally. Adding to the initial trophies it collected, the 3008 won the Women’s World Car of the Year Award for 2017 in the SUV category as well, underlining my own (female) assessment. When asked if the reputation of Peugeot in South Africa is slowly on the up-and-up, Mike confidently stated that with quality products like the 3008, and the attentive, client-focussed services offered at Peugeot Isando, the brand will most certainly speak for itself.

Mike also notes that the Peugeot brand is committed to building its name in South Africa: through supporting the sales teams by bringing in only the best models, Peugeot is heading in the right direction. That direction includes a whole new line-up of vehicles in 2018, which Mike is enthusiastic about, and subsequently leaves me excited about my future test-driving plans for the brand. With a superlative experience such as that provided by the 3008, I can only imagine what else is to come from Peugeot.

The 3008 was a sublime experience: inspired styling, innovative technology and an ultimately enhanced driving experience. The Peugeot Isando dealership is fully equipped to match its incredible services to such high-quality products – a dynamic aftersales team runs an integrated workshop and parts division, that will ensure you are kept on the road (and happily so) at all times. As an added bonus, should your Peugeot be immobilised for whatever reason, the Dealership offers a fantastic Mobility Programme which will provide you with an alternate vehicle whilst yours is carefully attended to.

For more info, click on: http://isando.peugeotsouthafrica.co.za/


By Desh Bechan