Gareth Butterfield thinks Peugeot’s 3008 is its best big car yet
THIS is the Peugeot 3008 SUV-crossover. And, yes, it’s two types of car rolled into one. To my mind, an SUV-crossover should be a contradiction in terms, but it’s either another niche or a car with an identity crisis. Either way, it’s a curious-looking thing.
The previous 3008, which was very much an MPV, has latched onto a new trend, given the fact MPVs don’t sell so well these days and SUVs and crossovers are all the range. And this newcomer aims to fall into both of the latter camps. Confused? Me too.
I find it’s best to take the 3008 in isolation. To do away with labels and focus on what is, in reality, a really interesting car.
For a start it rides high. It’s also got plenty of space, and it’s very luxurious inside. In fact, it’s one of the most luxurious Peugeots I’ve ever sat in.
If it really must be pigeon-holed, its closest rivals are most likely the Nissan Quashqai and Renault Kadjar – but it really does feel like more of a premium project, especially over the Nissan.
From the outside its shape might be swoopy, modern and cutting edge, but the real future-fest is to be found inside. In the mid-to-high-range GT-Line, which tops out comfortably below £30,000, is oozing with gadgets and gizmos.
Adaptive cruise control? Yep. Two configurable screens in the dashboard? Tick. Heated massage seats? You bet. It has most of the kit you’d expect from a top-spec Mercedes and beats the Nissan into a cocked hat.
In fact, Peugeot’s latest i-Cockpit display with its infotainment display and a 12.3in screen in place of conventional dials, is superb. It adds to the cutting-edge feel of the driving experience. A comically small steering wheel is the only fly in the ointment for me, but these are a Peugeot trait now and, to be fair, it does leave plenty of room to keep an eye on that big screen sat before you.
The system allows you to alter the arrangement of the dials, decide what is shown, and have satnav directions inside the driver’s instrument binnacle.
Rear space is good, if not exceptional. You’ll get two adults sitting comfortably in the back, although headroom is hampered a little by the glass panoramic roof.
The 520-litre boot has the lowest loading height in its class and the load capacity can be increased to 1,670 litres with the seats down.
Engines include a 2.0-litre diesel, a 1.6-litre diesel, a 1.6-litre petrol and a peppy three-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol, depending on what blend of fuel economy, emissions and pace you require.
The six-speed Efficient Automatic Transmission in my test model is a slick-shifting unit, but stamp your foot on the gas and the diesels can become harsh. That said, there’s a sport mode, which completely alters the characteristics and even adds a trendy synthetic exhaust note to the cabin.
On that subject, it drives very well. Grip is good and the ride is composed with body roll well under control for an SUV. Or a Crossover. Or whatever it is.
There are four levels of trim available; Active, Allure, GT Line and GT. Factory-fitted safety kit on the Active includes automatic emergency braking and rear parking sensors.
Choose the Allure and you get a Safety Plus pack, which comes with lane-keep assist, blind-spot detection and a reversing camera.
The GT-Line hasn’t got any extra safety equipment—just sportier looks, while the GT gets active cruise control.
So it’s a good all-round performer with a character all of its own and, while it might be a bit pricier than its rivals, the array of technology on offer and the distinctive looks certainly make it stand out.
The last 3008 wasn’t anywhere near as good as this one but it still sold well. I’ve got a feeling this one will be an even bigger success story.