Crossover maxes out on style, practicality and economy
- Sharp, striking exterior styling
- Slick, distinctive interior design
- Punchy 1.2-litre petrol and 1.6 diesel
- Large, usable boot space
- More luxurious than old 3008
- Below-par automatic gearboxes
- Suspension could be smoother
- Range-topping engines underwhelming
- Diesel versions a little noisy
The first Peugeot 3008 was a mish-mash between a people carrier and an SUV, with questionable styling but a spacious, family-friendly interior. The new model is much more definite. This is a 4x4-wannabe with bold looks, raised ride height and plenty of ground clearance.
Don’t think that this is an actual off-roader, though. Four-wheel drive is not available and while traction-maximising Grip Control – a system that adapts to the type of surface you’re driving on – might help in some circumstances, this is a car designed very much for tarmac. Peugeot even goes as far as describing the 3008 as sporty.
The 3008 faces a long list of established rivals that claim to offer the same recipe of a high driving position, practical interior and affordable running costs. Leading the charge is the Nissan Qashqai – which has sat high up the UK best-sellers’ list for several years – with the boldly styled Kia Sportage and pricier VW Tiguan gunning for the same customers.
Other competition comes in the form of the just-launched SEAT Ateca, plus the sleek and affordable Renault Kadjar and the fun-to-drive Mazda CX-5. Where the 3008 bests all rivals, however, is in its ultra-sharp styling and super-simple interior, which features a shrunken steering wheel, with digital dials above and a driver-canted centre console complete with large touchscreen infotainment system.
Eye-catching inside and out
It’s this unique style that should persuade buyers to head to their nearest Peugeot dealership; the 3008 really is an attention-grabbing machine in the flesh. Managing to blend a high stance with boxy but dramatic lines, the 3008 makes most other compact SUVs look bland and old-fashioned.
The interior only adds to the feel-good factor, with plush materials like fabric and wood fabrics used across the seats and the dashboard, and a strong sense of quality. This is important, considering the starting price only just sneaks below the £22,000 mark, with top-spec models rising above £30,000.
Comprehensive engine and trim choice
Engines range from a 130hp turbocharged 1.2-litre and 100hp 1.6-litre diesel – the former available in manual and automatic form – to a 165hp 1.6-litre petrol and a 180hp diesel, both only sold with an automatic gearbox.
There’s also a 1.6-litre diesel with 120hp sitting in the middle of the range. Emissions from all versions (bar the most powerful petrol with mud and snow tyres) stand at less than 130g/km.
Specification levels vary from Active to range-topping GT. Basic Active trim is likely to account for just a handful of sales, with well-equipped Allure adding sat-nav and sharper styling. GT-Line models gain a sportier look while top-spec GT models – only available with the 180hp diesel engine – come with Mercedes-aping black wood dashboard trim.
GT-Line and GT versions can also be specified with a two-tone black and grey 'Coupe Franche' finish, where the front two-thirds of the car is one colour, with the rear third being black.
Unlike many SUVs, it’s the cheapest models that make the most sense with decent performance and low running costs, as the automatic gearbox that’s standard on the most potent petrol and diesel engines is frustratingly dim-witted and negates the benefit of the more powerful engines.
The Parkers Verdict
The Peugeot 3008 SUV is something of a revelation compared with its predecessor. Peugeot has managed to create a desirable and striking family car that will not only look great on the driveway, but it has space for the family, drives well and won’t cost a bomb to run. Its party piece is that stunning interior though, just stick to a more modest model and you won’t be disappointed.