Some may argue that all soft roaders are created equal and that under all those shells they are exactly the same. I’m afraid you are wrong. There are great softies and there are a few good softies and there is no such thing as a bad car, mind you.
Some excel in places where others don’t and, well, the other way around, too. The 4008 brings a strange recipe to the table, one that I can’t quite tell if I like or not.
Let’s get to it then. The 4008 seems pretty luxurious inside for its price tag. Heated leather and electric seats with soft touch here, there and everywhere, even a gigantic panoramic roof with ambiance lighting. It’s clear now that this softy was actually intended to stay on the pavement. The lovely 18inch wheels are far too pretty to be scruffed up in the dirt and yet the 4008 will have any gravel road for breakfast, lunch and supper, should it wish. You see, while it might look all road going and pretty, and we can’t argue the fact that it’s a good looking vehicle, it will also tackle moderate trails with its clever and intuitive all-wheel drive setup.
There are 3 modes available; 2W, 4 Part Time and 4W Lock. The latter locks the centre differential and pushes power to all four wheels and not just to the back wheels when slip is detected on the front wheels. Ground clearance is around the 200mm mark, which is slightly above industry standard with most softies topping out around the 190mm mark.
The interior feels solid and well made. The steering wheel feels heavy and actually pretty good to hold on to. The multi-function controls work great and once you figure out how clever the on-board computer actually is, it will actually surprise you. This has to be one of the first cars which will run voice activation and voice recognition between a variety of drivers and still get the commands perfectly spot on. I was really impressed by that alone. Bluetooth phone or Bluetooth Audio streaming is also setup via that same voice command setup and everything goes pretty smooth once you’ve got the hang of it. The audio system sounds good and sound quality is on par with most of the other softies in the market.
The 4008 is powered by a 2.0 petrol engine which makes 110kw and is mated to a 6 speed CVT gearbox. The engine is smooth, albeit a little underpowered, but will cruise the highway and overtake with minimal fuss. The gearbox can, at times, shift a little slow, but with the addition of the paddles behind the steering, changing gears quickly can be a breeze. The fuel consumption we measured was an overall reading of about 8.4l/100km over about a tank of mixed driving conditions. I expected worse, but was very surprised.
The 4008 is a great alternative if you want to move away from the main crowd and have something a little different and more exclusive. The 4008 gives a prestigious road presence and is kitted to the max. Your money really goes a great distance with this Allure model.
All 4008’s come standard with a 3 year 100 000km warranty and a 5 year 100 000km premium service plan. The 4008 is available in 2 models; the Active 2.0 CVT, which retails forR375 900, and the Allure 2.0 CVT, which we tested, and retails for R400 500.