July 6, 2020

Ultimate Drive

Your FREE Motoring Publication in the Western Cape

French invasion – Peugeot roars again

Did you know that Peugeot has one of the richest histories in South Africa’s motoring landscape? The French brand ran rampant in terms of sales in the 70s and 80s, but left our shores for various reasons. They returned a few years later, but failed to reach the same heights again. The French giant kept playing the game in the years since, producing many award winning cars and engines, but sales figures in South Africa remained way below what the products deserved.

Come 2019 and Peugeot is on an entirely new path to restore its stance in SA, as well as to renew consumer confidence. To achieve this, three major aspects have been brought on. These are: Peugeot Pride, Peugeot 5008, and Peugeot 108.

Under the guidance of new boss, Xavier Gobille, Peugeot South Africa is on quite the offensive and the biggest driving force behind it is ‘Peugeot Pride’(PP). Designed to restore the consumer’s faith in Peugeot, PP is a five-year/100 000km warranty, and a service plan of the same duration, added to each new purchase as of 1 September 2019. To further boost PP, a few storage facilities have been opened in SA from where dealerships can source the most common parts. And in the case that your vehicle is at the dealership for more than 48 hours, Peugeot will give you a courtesy car.

Gobille says: “We are moving forward in creating a new and exciting future, one that produces great opportunities for our customers. The five-year/100 000km warranty and our pledge to our customers represents a solid commitment by Peugeot to the South African market and its customers.”

In terms of Peugeot’s product offensive, the brand’s new 5008 leads its South African charge. The SUV, that slots in above the well-packaged 3008, offers seven seats and two engine choices – both turbocharged. The 1.6-litre petrol offers 121kW and 240Nm of torque, whereas the 2.0-litre diesel has 110kW and 370Nm. Both engines are mated with a seven-speed automatic gearbox. The diesel engine is particularly eager to perform and all the torque kicks in at 2000rpm. It creates ample thrust to propel the 1540kg SUV forward and the front-wheel drive setup has enough steering feedback.

Inside, the 5008 boasts impressive design cues headed by a centre console that is both intuitive and easy to use. The piano dials from which one can operate certain functions are easy to operate and to understand. Boot space is an impressive 780L, but it increases to 1940L when the third and second rows are folded flat. Gaining access to the boot can be done manually, electronically, or by swiping your foot underneath the rear of the car. Removing the two aft seats is easy, too. Just pull the yellow lever and unhook it. Reinserting them is even easier!

A raft of safety features is included in the package, which comprises Active Lane Keeping Assistance, Driver Attention Warning, speed sign recognition and speed suggestion, blind-spot monitoring, park assist, and Visio Park (180-degree vision on GT Line). The Peugeot 5008 will sell from a very competive R534 900-00.

Peugeot also launched its new 108. Available in Active trim only, the city car is equipped with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine that produces 53kW and 93Nm of torque. It offers six airbags for added safety, as well as stability control and ABS, making it one of the safest cars in the segment. The steering wheel houses controls from which to control media, and the multimedia system is Bluetooth, AUX, and USB compatible. The front windows are electric. The up to date tech will be a bonus for students, while the safety features will probably sway the parents decision, too. Selling from only R 179 900-00 the Peugeot 108 is bound to be on any new buyers’ shortlist.

Peugeot should be commended for taking this next step as it seeks to re-establish itself in South Africa and the steps taken should see the brand find favour among local consumers.