By on November 14, 2010

Peugeot has been all downhill recently in Brazil. Despite a relatively good showing in the São Paulo Car Show, its Brazilians offerings have been nothing to write home about. Having carved out a solid sixth place slot in sales (and sometimes threatening Renault’s fifth place) when it first got to Brazil, it has been recently surpassed by the likes of Toyota, Honda and even Hyundai. However, with the all-new (for Brazil) 3008, which was launched in Europe in 2009, Peugeot is asking its Brazilians customers: Are you ready to give up your false-jeep pretensions and give a more minivan-looking crossover a chance?

First surprise is the price. Yes, crazy as always for international standards, but by local ones quite good. You get a lot of content for the R$79,000 (at R$1.8=US$1, US$43,889) Peugeot hopes customers will pay (that, and all numbers in the article courtesy of Brazilian car enthusiast site Bestcars). To move them to part with their cash, Peugeot has been really careful and crafty. Inside you’ll find not only good space, but a tasteful and thoughtful finish and layout. The instruments even have a little sporting vibe going on. Maybe this has something to do with this car (unfortunately) not being of Brazilian construction. It comes from France and considering the 35 percent importation tax Brazil punishes it with, the price is even more surprising. Of course though, Peugeot knows that this is a very steep price for most Brazilians. It expects sales of 200 a month. If Brazilians would give up their SUV love affair for a while, I’d wager that that number could be a tad higher.

On the outside is another surprise. I’ve seen the cars in pictures and it had won no love from me. In person, however, it works. Could be I’m just tired of SUV macho/monster car looks, but this car doesn’t hide its minivan-ness. Of course, Peugeot has beefed it up a little bit, as is de rigueur nowadays, but it has a certain je ne sais quoi. Suffice to say, I like it and its quite different both from the SUVs (Honda CR-V, Hyundai ix35) and minivans (Kia Carens, Citroën C4 Picasso) Peugeot says the 3008 will wrangle against in the Brazilian market. Another thing helping it is that it is quite compact (4.36 m long or 14.3ft.), but it’s rather wide (at 1.83m or 6ft.) and has a good wheelbase (2.61m or 8.56ft.). I have a feeling even most of our corn-fed American friends would find it surprisingly comfy and roomy.

Being a minivan also helps in other areas. It has a surprisingly good frontal aerodynamic coefficient (0.296), which helps the engine achieve good numbers, both in terms of economy and performance. Speaking of the engine, that’s one of the best surprises. It has just 1.6L, but it has a turbo, so it’s good for 156hp. Not only that, but maximum torque (24.5 m.kgf or 177.21 pound-force feet) is available at just 1,400rpm (very near idle) making it fast off the line. Of course, due to the “low” displacement, there are no miracles. You have to step on it to get its best performance (and then the economic side slowly, but surely goes down the drain). But that’s the beauty of the downsizing movement so in vogue in Europe. It can be quite economic when puttering about, but it has the oomph when you call for it. 0-100m (0-62.5 miles) is over in 9.5 seconds and maximum speed is limited at 202km/h (126.25 mph). Showing its efficiency and (ear) comfort at 120 km/h (75 mph), the engine is revolving just 2,600 times per minute. Sadly, Peugeot was not forthcoming as to consumption numbers. Hum.

Like I said, this van will surprise and delight Brazilians, who have been showing clear signs that they’re tiring of the very low content-feature in the “local” cars (though it seems the so-called domestic makers are ignoring this, to their peril). Fire it up and a little plastic thingy comes up behind the wheel. On it, some extra information. Like GM’s head-up display but different due to it not being on the windshield. No doubt, Peugeot customers will praise it for this practical solution should a rock come cracking across their path. Such a large windshield will no doubt fetch a very high price in the replacement market. Imagine if it also had all the extra complications of a head-up display… Another thing that’ll surprise and confuse Brazilians is the absence of a hand brake. It’s all done electronically. The trunk is also clever. It opens up two ways. It also has a parcel shelf that can be put at different height in the trunk. Such things are not common in Brazilian cars and while some might call them gimmicky, I’m sure most will just let themselves be pleased.

Also surprising is that Peugeot decided to not only to bless this car with their little and most recent 1.6 mill, but they also decided to grace their car with their most modern 6-speed auto with sequential mode. In 4-speed guise, their Porsche supplied previous automatic was always a chore. The new one seems better sorted out and those who buy the car will have bragging rights. AFAIK, in this price segment, no other car has so many cogs.

Finally, the ride. Peugeot also has some nifty little tricks up their sleeves to surprise and delight. Though the suspension seems conventional with its run-of-the-mill torsion beam in the back, it comes with a, well, twist. Peugeot calls it the Rolling Dynamic Control. It uses a central hydraulic connection module between the back shock absorbers. It contains a “floating” piston and a compensation chamber that behaves as if the car had a third absorber (allowing hydraulic transference between the conventional absorbers) as the body rolls between curves. This means the car is very well behaved. Surprisingly and I’d say delightfully so. Of course, Peugeot has all the rest of the suspension well-sorted out in that typical Gallic fashion. Therefore, the car goes down the road with the aplomb and authority only those who enjoy French cars know. It’s not a sport car though. Push it too hard and it’ll push back (and show its rather porky 1,660kg – or 3,660 lbs.), but driven as a family-oriented people mover, it won’t disappoint.

All in all, by bringing to Brazil some of its most modern technologies (and showing how dated the “domestic” Peugeot cars are), Peugeot once again gains a spot in the enthusiast’s heart. Even though it’s only for those with some wherewithal (and most probably a family!).

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17 Comments on “Peugeot 3008 do Brasil: Surprising and Delighting Its Customers...”


  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    I haven’t driven a Peugeot since the 504 days, so this people mover with its imposing front snout looks strange to me.  Kudos anyway for bringing over with an up to date drive train.  With that said, I’d be one of the Brazillians opting for a Ford Ecosport with a 2.0L Zetec, if it is still in production.

    • 0 avatar

      They are not really in the same class. The EcoSport is even more compact. You know that the EcoSport is developed on the platform of what Americans call a subcompact Fiesta, right? Plus, the Ford has no trunk-space. Plus the interior is much worse. And it’s not nearly as roomy or comfortable. Now if you compare the EcoSport to its direct competition it really is competitive. But the 3008 is actually a market segment above.

      Anyway, if you really want an EcoSport in this configuration, you’d better hurry. It is going the way of the dodo bird and will be substituted by the Kuga in 2012 at latest. But Ford will probably try to place the Kuga as a competitor to the 3008, so the EcoSport might just survive in a stripped down version in markets like Brazil for another year or two or three.

      Thanks for reading and the feedback!

    • 0 avatar
      UnclePete

      The “front snout” seems to be the corporate face for Peugeot. I recently spent two weeks in Ireland, and there were lots of Peugeots on the road. All the newer ones have similar faces.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    Oi Marcelo. No he leido tu entrada completa, pero esa cosa con ese look va straight to the DO NOT WANT folder.
     
     

    • 0 avatar

      Hola Stingray!

      LOL! Trust me, it does look much better in person than the pictures suggest. There’s a certain attractiveness. What they were aiming to do was butch up the minivan. With a suggestion of SUV. I think they largely achieve it. It doesn’t hide it’s a minivan, which I like, but some of the SUV touches makes it look somewhat more manly. However, it doesn’t cross the line and look like it’s trying to compensate for something or other.

      In other words, the design is handsome. And I also liked the technical solutions. All in all, a winner in my book. And I was much surprised by that. When pictures first started floating around, I thought it’d suck. Plus I also thought it’d come w/ Peugeot/Citroën’s ancient and inefficient 2.0 and 4-speed slushbox. These have been updated and Peugeot is finally offering their more modern capacities. That’s why I give it the thumbs up. In technology it now leaves the competitors in the dust. Even the Citroën C4 Picasso is left looking bad.

      Can’t help but applaud that. You know, forcing the competition’s hand.

    • 0 avatar
      Stingray

      According to your review, should be a nice car. I still don’t like it, the Peugeots I like are the 407, the 206 (the Iranians developed the 4 door saloon, which is very nice) and not much after that.
       
      On the design, I agree with you, it’s a blend of minivan with SUV, and I think they got a good balance at that.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Holy Crap!

    I don’t know if it’s just me…but the cost seems weird.
    I haven’t purchased anything this expensive in Brazil, but isn’t 41 thousand dollars an awfull lot to pay for a 156 HP crossover?

    How much does a beer cost!?

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, like mentioned in article, crazy! But in market, probably well-placed. The market will probably pull the price down almost US$4,000. I didn’t spend much time commenting, but it is a very well appointed vehicle. Much more than the competition. And like mentioned very modern.

      In a supermarket a 350ml beer can costs anything between 45 and 80 cents. In a bar expect to payaround two dollars for a bottle of 600ml.

      Thanks for reading!

  • avatar
    Joss

    What a porker – 3660 Ibs!! with a 1.6L even if it is turbo.
    Where’s all that weight and imagine avec passengers…

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    It’s a people mover akin to the Mazda 5, which weighs in at 3479 lbs and utilizes a 2.3L that makes 150 or so horsepower.

    • 0 avatar

      You’re probably right. Now which has the better drive? The Peugeot is pretty good…

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      Marcello I was responding to the post from Joss.  I call vehicles like the Mazda 5 people movers – because they are much more compact than lets say a Honda Odyssey, which weighs in at 4,300 to 4,500 pounds depending on well equipped it is.
       
      I haven’t driven one, but the Mazda 5 is considered pretty good road warrior for a smallish mini-van.  It’s available with three rows of seats. Unfortunately, the third row occupies the cargo space in front of the rear hatch.
       
      In the US the base Mazda 5 starts at under $19K – versus – the larger Odyssey, which starts at under $28K for the base model.  Caveat emptor – Good luck in finding a base model on a dealer’s lot.
       
      With regards to porkers, there is the FWD Chevrolet Traverse SUV weighing in at 5,000 lbs with seating for 8.

    • 0 avatar
      Mirko Reinhardt

      The Mazda5 competitor would be the 3-row Peugeot 5008, which seems to be a longer version of the 3008. (different exterior but nearly identical interior styling)
      http://www.peugeot.co.uk/aboutpeugeot/news/apr09-jun09/peugeot-5008-family-people-carrier/

  • avatar
    M 1

    Augh! My eyes!
     
    It looks like a Mazda mini-van humping an Audi.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    How are the safety features of this vehicle?  Does it have front & side airbags?
     
    With that being said it’s nice to see it with a 6 speed even if it’s a slushbox.  Every time i drive my father-in-laws car, his “reverse” is where my 6th gear is (Subaru WRX STi). Both cars are stick…

    I’ve almost blown up the transmission a couple times but caught myself :-)

    • 0 avatar

      Oi Marcello,
      Here in Mexico the 3008 was on showrooms since August, the price is MXP 309,000 which translates to (sorry) USD$24,817, they came in just one flavor, All equiped, and regarding the safety features, it has airbags almost in the glovebox!!! (kidding) well it has courtain, and front. (not sure but IIRC knee airbags too).
      About the preventive systems, it has ABS, ESP, EBD,RDC.
      I already made a test drive in Sept, and it handles VERY well, the turbo has almost no lag, and kicks in very well.
      It is not certainly a 207RC or a RCZ, but to move a family is more than enough.
      I am on the process of getting a replacement for my Wife’s Voyager 3.3, so far the options are, Mazda5 and the 3008, the Mazda 5 has 2 advantages, the Price and the 6th seat, and so far the 3008 has the advantage of the enhanced safety. Too bad that Subaru is not selling the Grandis, which would be a good contender too.
      I am about to ask for a test drive for the Mazda 5, will see…
      Um forte Abraço!

  • avatar

    Marcello,
    As a Journalist I have been at the 3008  launch. While I mostly agree with you and BCWS, here are some remarks:
    The dash will reflect badly in the windshield at noon as in the 206, the door jamb is too low for my six foot, and the car will swerve slightly above 80 MPH, due to the directinal rear axle, the same which gives it such sweet handling, almost too sporting for a wagon.
    Reeflecting the small displacement engine it spends in spirited driving tup to 115 mph on the road sometning like 23 MPG, and doing it sweetly up to 31 MPG urban/country, all  with 25% ethanol blend. To someone who knew well and hated the old Pug auto box, I loved the new one who will dance closely coupled with the engine, masking its low displacement and making it feel as a 3 liter (181 CI) all the time, with so much gears so the turbo doesn´t lose its pressure when the throttle is closed, aided by an extractor kind of exhaust system to keep the kettle boling… Unforgettable is the three gears kickdown at 75 mph.
    But as even Peugeot acknowledges, it came to bring showroom glitter in the country of 250,00 20 k dollars economy cars monthly…
    abraço forte
    Mahar
    http://www.maharpress.blogspot.com

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