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The all-new, larger, and now distinctly more SUV-styled 2017 Peugeot 3008 has been revealed tonight ahead of an Australian debut set for next year.

The model’s transformation from a small and quirky high-riding hatch into a ‘proper’ mid-sized SUV has been anticipated for sometime, with spy photos over the past year and leaked imagery in recent weeks offering a clear look at what buyers should expect.

Tonight’s unveiling offers the first clear look at Peugeot’s new assault on the medium-SUV market, entering above the compact 2008 that debuted in 2013.

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As a telling leaked image revealed earlier today, the new 3008 boasts conventional SUV proportions, while showcasing the latest step in the French car maker’s evolving design language.

Although its now eight-year-old predecessor was given a facelift in 2013 to bring it in-line with that new look, the all-new 3008 takes the look further with a bolder and more upright face than any of its siblings.

A broad concave grille dominates the front end, nearly reviving the retired ‘smile’ of previous-generation Peugeot models, while the now familiar two-piece headlight design is just-about bisected in this latest iteration.

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The lower half of the front bumper features a broad air dam that extends to each corner, where high-set and chrome-trimmed fog lights complete the picture.

The new 3008 joins its countryman the new Renault Koleos in wearing a length of chrome jewellery along its front quarter panel. A strong character line adds to the appearance of heavily pumped guards, while blacked-out pillars creates a ‘floating roof’ look for the glasshouse.

At the rear, Peugeot’s unofficial, unspoken admiration for the three-striped Adidas brand is again embodied in the pattern of its LED tail lamps (a look previously seen in the 208 and 308 hatches).

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Grey plastic cladding at every face adds the all-important faux-ruggedness that buyers expect of an urban SUV, and large five-spoke alloy wheels round out the exterior styling highlights.

The cabin, as expected, showcases the first production appearance of Peugeot’s new-generation i-Cockpit layout, revealed this time last month with a special open-cut design preview.

Fans of France’s rampant lion brand will be pleased to see that preview carry over into the production 3008 with virtually no changes, bringing with it a tablet-like 8.0-inch main display and an Audi-rivalling 12.3-inch screen in place of the traditional instrument cluster behind the steering wheel.

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The new evolution of Peugeot’s digital interface is a significant one, although buyers familiar with the 208 and 308 models might also welcome the return of physical controls to the centre stack – complementing the on-screen controls more notably than in the i-Cockpit system’s existing form.

The new 3008 is built on the same ‘EMP2’ architecture that underpins the latest 308, but Peugeot has stretched the wheelbase of that design from 2620mm in the 308 to a new 2675mm for the 3008.

For perspective, that’s up from 2613mm in the outgoing 3008, pushing the SUV out of the ‘small’ category and into the mid-sized market. Rivals in that space include the Toyota RAV4 (2660mm wheelbase), the Hyundai Tucson (2670mm) and the Mazda CX-5 (2700mm).

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The 3008’s graduation also means an additional 24mm and 36mm of rear legroom and headroom respectively, while its new seats-up 520-litre (VDA) rear storage allowance is 90 litres greater than before. Lowering the back seats grows that to 1580 litres

Despite the growth, Peugeot says the move to its EMP2 platform has resulted in weight savings of around 100kg. Kerb weights for the new model start at 1325kg for petrol variants and 1375kg for those driven by a diesel engine.

Engine options in the European market, the only spread confirmed for now, will include 1.2-litre and 1.6-litre turbo petrol options, along with a 1.6-litre turbo diesel.

Transmissions will include six-speed manual and six-speed automatic shifters.

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Depending on the model grade and options selected, safety features will include ctive Safety Brake and Distance Alert, Active lane departure warning, Driver attention warning, Automatic adaptive headlamp main-beam, Speed limit sign recognition and recommendation, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop function (automatic gearboxes), and Active blind-spot monitoring.

Watch for Australian details and pricing to be revealed closer to the new 2017 Peugeot 3008’s local debut next year.

MORE: Peugeot 3008 news and reviews
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