Road Test: Peugeot 3008 GT-Line 1.6 BlueHDI 120
The 3008 sharpens its focus on the SUV segment, shaping up to become a class-leader, says Alex Grant.
SECTOR: Crossover PRICE: £28,025 FUEL: 70.6mpg CO2: 104g/km
In a crowded corner of the market, style counts for a lot. Ask Peugeot; the old 3008 launched just as the crossover movement was beginning to boom. A decent small SUV it might have been, but without the rugged styling it never quite found the visibility enjoyed by the Qashqai or Sportage. That’s not a mistake Peugeot is making twice.
Generation two is a combination of good things; a platform and styling cues from the 308, over the sort of horizontal bonnet and blunt front end which are more typical of this segment. It’s slightly bigger overall, but also slightly lighter, with more space inside and a cabin that feels roomy even without the panoramic roof.
While it’s shed the MPV silhouette, it’s suitably adaptable for all manner of business and family life. The boot offers around 25% more volume than the old car’s, still with an under-floor compartment but without the split tailgate, and all except the driver’s seat can fold flat, ideal for impropmptu moving of Swedish MDF. If you need seven seats, then the 5008 is being reborn as a bigger version of this car, offering a folding third row in the boot. It’s a strong offer.
What’s most striking, though, is how well finished it is inside. A stylish combination of soft-touch materials and satin silver switchgear, with a fabric insert accent across the dashboard – it’s the best cabin Peugeot has ever brought to the market, and capable of significantly more expensive crossovers too.
Flexibility aside, what’s striking about the cabin is how well finished it is. Soft to the touch and accented with a fabric inlay, often-used controls are grouped as a bank of satin silver rocker switches across the middle of the dashboard, and all UK cars get a digital instrument cluster with the unusual feature of a pared-back view for night time driving. This isn’t only the best interior Peugeot has ever brought to market, it’s right up with the premium brands.
The downside, depending on how tall you are, is that 3008 uses the same high-mounted instruments and small steering wheel as most other new Peugeots – it just doesn’t suit some drivers. Neither will the air conditioning controls, which are in a menu of the central touchscreen. PSA’s infotainment system, though high-resolution and feature-rich with its TomTom live traffic data, can be a bit laggy, too. Small details in an otherwise very well-rounded car.
To be expected from a shared platform, it’s a little like a 308 to drive; neither overly firmly sprung nor prone to disconcerting body roll when changing direction. Engine noise is as well suppressed as the cabin is well-finished, and the 1.6-litre diesel returns around 60mpg at motorway speeds. Even in GT Line trim, the 3008 uses low rolling resistance tyres which are relatively narrow for its 18-inch wheels, which curbs the economy sacrifice that often comes with the extra car park appeal.
Peugeot has had a transformative few years, with great new products that look, feel and drive right, and a range that’s targeting the right parts of market in an appropriate way. The 3008 feels like a convergence of the best qualities; high on practicality and great to drive, but with the right design to find its place in this sector at last.
What We Think
An excellent newcomer in a highly competitive segment, the 3008’s new-found style isn’t skin deep; it puts Peugeot right at the top of the class.
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