Home Articles LIFESTYLE: Motoring: Peugeot 3008 2.0 HDI and Audi A7 3.0 TDi

LIFESTYLE: Motoring: Peugeot 3008 2.0 HDI and Audi A7 3.0 TDi

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Peugeot has recently launched the updated 3008 crossover which, in my opinion, looks a lot better and more sophisticated compared to the previous model.

In front the grill has changed from a large colour-coded grill with large square sections to a rather sleek chrome-surrounded grill with horizontal slats in high gloss black. The headlights too have been reshaped and now have LED day-time driving lights incorporated into the bottom section of the light cluster.

French design and flair is certainly evident as found on the prominent front-wheel archers all the way to the rear lights that are shaped with the same angle as the waistline of the car. As this vehicle has a high roof, getting in and out is a breeze. The test vehicle was the top of the range Allure, which comes with full leather interior, full glass roof, automatic gearbox, and all the creature comforts required like Bluetooth and navigation as standard. This vehicle is also very practical, with a rear tailgate which has a split opening. The top section is for normal loading, while lowering the bottom section caters for heavier and bigger loads. The floor of the boot can be moved to three different levels depending on what you need to load. Folding the rear seats makes for a total flat bed and the front passenger seat can also be folded forward at the pull of a single leaver. This allows you to load long items with ease.

This being a true family vehicle means that there are lots of storage areas all over the vehicle, like in the rear passenger footwell. The centre arm rest is also huge and can probably store a two-litre Coke or two. The rear passengers also have retractable window blinds. The glass roof cover is opened and closed at the touch of a button and is brilliant for winter mornings: not only does it let the sun through, but also gives you a sense of space. The best for me is the rear passenger child locks that not only stop the kids from operating the rear windows, but also activate the child lock to the doors – all this with a simple switch on the driver’s door.

Driving this car gives one a sense of being in a large vehicle thanks to the huge windscreen and high driving position. I must admit this did take getting used to. The one thing I believe is missing on this vehicle is front park distance control, as you cannot see the front of the vehicle. The 2,0-litre diesel motor pulls strongly and is fairly quiet, but don’t expect mind-blowing performance. The gearbox has three modes as well as a manual option; however, normal is best.

This is a perfect family vehicle with lots of space, it’s easy to drive and has a sophisticated look. All this with every luxury needed as standard, yet a practical vehicle for driving every day or taking the family on holiday.

Audi A7 3.0 TDi Bi-Turbo

pg55_June2014This is the largest four-door coupé from the Audi stable. Although “four-door coupé” is an oxymoron, it seems to have taken the market and since Mercedes launched the CLS ten years ago, many other manufacturers have followed suit.

These vehicles are either loved or hated. I have to admit I think the A7 looks amazing. The low roofline and widened waist give the vehicle a certain presence. The frameless doors confirm the vehicle’s coupé origins. The perfectly sculptured rear fenders give the vehicle a hand-crafted look. The rear sloped windscreen forms part of the boot lid that opens like a hatchback, making it easy to load.A clever idea is the rear board that is split due to the size of the rear window. A small portion is fitted behind the seats while the remainder is fitted just below the window and is raised when the boot is opened. If you are in need of further load space, both these can be removed. This makes the vehicle not only look sporty but is actually practical.

Opening the doors makes you realise just how big the vehicle is. The low sitting position makes you almost fall into the seats. Finding your perfect driving position is an absolute cinch thanks to the electronically controlled seats. The test vehicle I had was equipped with the Audi exclusive interior package. This allows the owner to customise the interior. Inside, the door panels were flat with no stitching or joints – making the doors look classy. Furthermore the inlays were made of dark wood with silver pinstripes running horizontally, making it the best inlays I have ever seen. These inlays are fitted to the dashboard, gearshift surrounds, top of the door panel and the upper rear section of the dashboard. This not only makes it look airy but adds a touch of class.

The Bi-Turbo 3,0-litre diesel motor has been mated to the Quattro all-wheel drive system that has been made infamous by Audi’s multitronic gearbox. This makes the vehicle agile and extremely easy to drive on almost any surface. The only warning I would give is to watch the speedometer as the accelerator is more like a launch control that gets you pushed back into your seat at the slightest depression of the pedal.

This is the type of car that will suit a person who is looking for something different while still requiring space for five plus luggage. I think it’s a winner, but it will create a dent in your pocket, especially if you would like to feel special by loading the fancy optional extras.

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Author:Azim Omar CA(SA) is a member of SAGMJ

Follow me on Twitter @azimomar