‘THAT BIT OF truck tyre in the road looks remarkably like a… SNAKE!’ The thing about a road trip is it gives you an opportunity to experience things you might never have otherwise. Now I’ve seen plenty of tiny tabakrolletjies in my garden back home, but that 1.5m-long black beauty was a first. It’s the same with the Peugeot. Driving it from home to work to airport and back on city freeways only tells you so much. A country weekend was on.
Leaving the 3008’s boot floor in its middle height setting, I had the remaining 75% of the 521-litre boot packed by 6am. We headed off along the N2 up Sir Lowry’s Pass, on through Hermanus, then left at Stanford onto the R326 towards Riviersonderend – one of the best bits of blacktop anywhere in the country. It’s full of fast sweeps and undulations and begs you to drive it with gusto. So I did.
Peugeot’s achievement with the 3008 is admirable. This tall and spacious MPV gives away precious little to its 308 compatriot in the handling department. It’s unusually fluent, with no alarming body roll and minimal understeer and yet very forgiving over bumps.
The reason for this composure? Peugeot calls it Dynamic Roll Control – a system fitted to high-end 3008s like ours that consists of a floating piston inside a pressurised reservoir hydraulically linked to both left and right rear shock absorbers. It acts much like a third, central shock absorber. The clever bit is the internal piston’s varied reaction to roll and bounce movements. When cornering (roll phase), it does not move, increasing (stiffening) the damping effect. But when you’re travelling straight and hit an irregularity (bounce phase), the piston moves, allowing improved bump absorption by softening the damping effect.
Then I spotted the reptile and stopped to snap it from a healthy distance. Venomous or not, we were out of there.
The route to the farmhouse we’d booked entailed several kilometres of dirt road that the locals said was ‘baie sleg’. However the Peugeot glided across the better parts – the loose surface accentuating the light steering – and merely jiggled slightly over the rockier bits, without a single passenger complaint. Best of all, it felt as rattle-free as ever on the tar back home despite having traversed that gravel road eight times. I’m still not happy around snakes, but even more impressed with the 3008’s driver-friendly traits.