Peugeot showcased its new 3008 model on an 8500-kilometre outback road trip as a tribute to the first Redex Trial 57 years ago.
When 192 vehicles left Sydney Showground in September 1953 for the inaugural Redex Trial, the stage was set for an event that marked a new era in Australia for French vehicle manufacturer Peugeot. Ken Tubman and John Marshall’s Peugeot 203 was lined up among the various starting vehicles and, after 14 days and 8500 miles (13,679 kilometres) of roads and rough tracks that took them up the east coast to Townsville, across to Mount Isa, north to Darwin, back through the centre via Tennant Creek and Alice Springs to Port Augusta, Adelaide and Melbourne, the duo led the field back to Sydney for the finish.
Following Tubman and Marshall’s success, sales of Peugeots boomed in Australia as their win proved the reliability of the French brand in the harshest Australian conditions. It established a reputation that has followed the marque to this day.
In 2010 Peugeot celebrates 200 years in business and Peugeot Australia chose a re-run of part of the 1953 Redex Trial to showcase its latest model, the 3008. A pair of 3008 XTE Peugeots with a 1.6HDi engine left the same spot in Sydney for an 8500km drive, taking in many of the roads used in the 1953 trial and visiting Peugeot dealers and clubs along the way.
The 3008 is a compact wagon that melds the popular design of a hatchback with the practicality of an SUV or people mover. It is only a two-wheel-drive with the front wheels driven, but with the optional ‘grip control’ feature it has the tractive ability to handle gravel or icy roads.
For a compact vehicle the 3008 makes the most of its space with a cabin well suited to a small family. There’s plenty of room in the well-appointed interior for four adults to travel in comfort, with a flexible cargo space to accommodate various loads.
The back seats fold flat to give a handy load space.
The 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine offers a modest 80kW of power and 249Nm of torque, so with this engine the 3008 is no rocket ship. For buyers wanting more there is the option of a 120kW/340Nm 2.0L turbo-diesel or a 115kW/240Nm 1.6L turbocharged petrol engine. The 2.0L turbo-diesel is the engine of choice and is priced as the premium engine in the 3008 range.
While the 1.6HDi is no powerhouse, it is frugal with fuel, with the XTE offering 5.1L/100km on 18-inch wheels and the lower-specced XSE giving 4.9L/100km on 17-inch alloy wheels. On the Redex Tribute Drive, the XTE averaged 5.5L/100km.