Road test: Peugeot 3008 SUV GT Line BlueHDi 120

  • All-new Peugeot 3008 SUV
  • Refined 1.6-litre diesel tested
  • Priced at £28,835 in GT Line spec

Peugeot’s new 3008 has undergone something of a transformation. Gone is the people carrier crossover of old, in its place a boldly-styled SUV set to take on the class-leading Nissan QashqaiRenault Kadjar and Seat Ateca.

First impressions of the new 3008 are good. Peugeot’s I-Cockpit design is a real selling point – as is the broad range of standard kit and genuine practicality thanks to a large boot and spacious interior.

As it’s an SUV, a large proportion of the 3008’s sales will be diesel, so we’re testing the mid-range 120hp 1.6-litre BlueHDi engine in GT Line spec. Read on to find out how it fares.

Oodles of equipment on premium spec GT Line car

It doesn’t matter what spec 3008 you go for, Peugeot’s futuristic I-Cockpit is standard across all trim levels. That means even the cheapest Active spec models get an eight-inch central infotainment screen and 12.3-inch digital instrument panel – the latter replacing the traditional analogue speed and rev-counter dials.

Impressive considering brands such as Audi – whom pioneered the digital instrument panel with their Virtual Cockpit system – don’t even offer the tech on base spec cars.

The 3008 doesn’t let the side down when it comes to overall equipment levels, either, our near top spec GT Line model coming with a wealth of standard equipment, including:

Should customers wish there’s also an array of optional extras to choose from. Fitted to our test car was: Sunset Copper metallic paint (£525), electric tailgate (£750), panoramic opening glass roof (£990), the £450 Visio Pack 2 (360-degree bird’s eye camera view and automatic parking) and FOCAL premium speaker system (£590).

We reckon there’s a bit of money to be saved here, the only essential extra being the electric tailgate.

The £1,490 Claudia Mistral leather seat trim – featuring electrically-adjustable heated front seats with memory and massage function for the driver’s seat – was another pricey option fitted to our test car we reckon you could do without.

Sure, the memory seats may be useful if multiple drivers get behind the wheel, but otherwise we’d save £930 and go for the massaging heated front seats instead.

Willing and refined 1.6-litre diesel engine

There’s a choice of six different engines in the 3008, from a three-cylinder petrol to a 180hp 2.0-litre diesel. We tested the familiar 1.6-litre BlueHDi diesel motor with the higher 120hp output and it didn’t disappoint. 

Smooth and willing, the engine only made itself known when revved right up to the red line, otherwise staying quiet and refined. A chunky 300Nm of torque is enough to punt the 3008 along quite happily in most situations, although we did find ourselves having to unexpectedly change down a gear on mild inclines.

Not that this was a chore thanks to the easy-to-use six-speed manual gearbox – a massive improvement over previous Peugeot efforts. Fuel economy on our 45-mile test route – through towns and across hilly country roads – worked out at a reasonable 48mpg.

Strong chassis let down by vague steering

Even on the larger 18-inch wheels fitted to Allure and GT Line cars, the ride is well-damped and composed over almost all surfaces. Even when things get a little rougher on heavily rutted country roads, the 3008 never feels crashy or out of its depth – an impressive feat.

Body control is also impressive, while the big Peugeot offers plenty of grip through the bends. It’s certainly no sports car, but any thoughts of a big, lumbering SUV are quickly banished once you take the wheel.

Unfortunately, however, the steering doesn’t live up to the rest of the chassis. Although pleasantly weighty, it’s disappointingly vague especially around the straight ahead position. This means medium to high speed turns require more lock than normal, especially if taken at pace, however the upshot is a relaxed and stable overall drive.

Verdict

Peugeot has transformed the 3008 into a genuine mid-sized SUV contender with this all-new model. It’s far more interesting and characterful then the majority of its rivals, plus that stunning interior is a pleasure to sit in and operate.

The GT Line spec offers almost all the standard kit you’ll ever need, plus the exterior touches bring out the best in the 3008’s bold styling. For us, the sweet 130hp 1.2-litre petrol gets the nod over the 120hp 1.6-litre diesel fitted to our test car, but in any case we’d strongly advise you pick the manual over the sluggish automatic option.  

Verdict: 4.0 stars