Kemptson Group Isando are nestled in the heart of Kempton Park, and proudly host the Peugeot brand at their Dealership. During the course of a very eventful year, I was privileged to catch up with Mike Darroll, Dealer Principal last year, in my search for more information on the brand new, enigmatic Peugeot 3008. Now looking at this fantastic vehicle one more time, I once again come back to veteran motoring expert, Mika Darroll.
Mike joined the Kempston Group with a wealth of knowledge and experience relating to manufacturing, finance and retail, and has over twenty five years of experience in this industry. Mike also candidly admits he was somewhat sceptical of the Peugeot brand until he started gaining an intimate knowledge of the products and services on offer and started to understand the true capabilities this brand has to offer. Having had a complete paradigm shift regarding the Peugeot 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, which he feels is taking the market by storm.
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 selected. 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.
The 3008 is built on the all-new Peugeot platform that is 100 kilograms lighter in design, promoting fuel efficiency and better performance (Mike notes he has recorded 8 litres to 100 kilometres in his experience, 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.
Mike agrees with the family-sided conclusions I draw about the 3008: it is spacious and more than capable of providing room and comfort for a family. The boot offers 590 litres 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. It is such personal elements of assessment which I truly value from a Dealer Principal, who actively seeks to test out the true excellence of each vehicle he promotes.
When it comes to safety, the 3008 has earned top ratings with EuroNCAP, and subsequently also taken home numerous accolades internationally. Most recently, the 3008 won the Women’s World Car of the Year Award for 2017 in the SUV category, as well as claiming the title of the 2017 European Car of the Year. 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 bet 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.
After my visit with Mike, and my time in the 3008, I more confident than ever that Peugeot is a brand worth watching. The 3008 was a sublime experience, and – as Mike Darroll noted – the Peugeot dealership in Isando strives to be the same. I look forward to seeing what 2018 has to offer this dynamic group!
For more info, click on: Kemptson Group Isando
By Desh Pillay Bechan