Mission possible as Peugeot 3008 aims to be key player in booming SUV sector
PUBLISHED: 15:31 11 February 2017
Peugeot's stylish new 3008 SUV has got off to a winning start - and it's not difficult to see why, says motoring editor Andy Russell.
Peugeot’s new 3008 is on a mission – to take the brand upmarket and be a key player in the soaraway C-segment sport utility vehicle market which has grown two and a half fold in Europe since 2009.
Replacing the 3008 crossover, it’s one of the best-looking of a new breed of family SUVs, sharper looking and driving, with top-notch materials and finish and more ground clearance. It’s all blingy not bland.
Looks and image
Peugeot has pulled out all the stops and even before its official launch, the 3008 was winning awards.
It makes the most of Peugeot’s new design language with those head-turning headlights, huge welcoming grille and curvy contours flowing back to the lion brand’s claw-like rear light clusters.
It stands out from the SUV crowd - different and desirable.
Under the bonnet
Diesel will dominate with 100, 120, 150 and 180hp 1.6-litre units with six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes but don’t poo-poo petrol. The 130hp 1.2-litre, in manual or auto guise, is fine if you don’t clock up big mileage while the auto-only 165hp 1.6-litre unit, gracing many a hot Peugeot, brings out the excellent dynamic qualities.
It’s pretty potent, especially if you use the manual paddle gear shifters and switch to sport mode, yet returned a respectable 37 to 40mpg.
How it drives
Peugeot set out to make the 3008 the best blend of ride and roadholding and has the suspension know-how to succeed.
You need firm suspension to keep a tall SUV on an even keel when cornering but, despite 18in wheels, the ride is supple enough to iron out criss-cross roadwork-scarred surfaces without being soft and soggy and cruises competently on motorways.
There’s a sporty edge to the way it handles, taut and tidy through bends, heightened by the compact steering wheel, an essential part of the hi-tech i-Cockpit.
There’s no all-wheel drive but models with advanced Grip Control have adjustable traction control for different terrain, mud and snow tyres and hill descent control.
Space and practicality
Most adults will have lots of legroom in the back, even tall ones won’t feel the pinch, and the sense of space is heightened with the £990 opening glass roof which floods the cabin with light without sacrificing much headroom.
Three in the back is comfortable, if cosy, but I found the front seats short on underthigh support.
The deep, square boot is almost 90 litres bigger at 591 litres, expanding to 1,670 litres with the one-third, two-third split rear seat cushions lowering so the backs go totally flat with the sill-level load floor. The hard parcel shelf, which pivots in the middle to aid loading, is fiddly to get in and out but there’s space under the floor, above the spare wheel, to stow it when not in use.
No complaints about the feel and quality of the interior which raises Peugeot’s game again. Smart alloy trim highlights and cloth panels on the doors and fascia make it feel as good as it looks.
Big doorbins, cubbyholes and a central locker you can almost put your arm in make up for the tiny glovebox.
At the wheel
Peugeot has shaken up fascia design with its excellent i-Cockpit with an eight-inch tablet and ‘piano key’ toggle switches to access menus for the likes of entertainment, navigation, settings and phone. If you use a smartphone you’ll love it even if adjusting the temperature or fan speed is more complicated than simply turning an old-fashion knob – that said, the pros outweigh the cons.
The 3008 takes the i-Cockpit to the next level with a high-level 12.3in digital instrument panel, viewed over that flat-topped and bottomed steering wheel, with five different modes to customise and prioritise the display. It fully deserved to win the What Car? technology award.
This new 3008 is a shot in the arm for Peugeot and the entire family sport utility vehicle sector. Stylish, packed with kit and technology and dynamic to drive it ticks all the right boxes.
SPEC AND TECH
Price: Peugeot 3008 Allure THP 165 £26,395 (range from £21,795)
Engine: 1,598cc, 165hp, four-cylinder turbo petrol mated to six-speed automatic transmission
Performance: 0-62mph 8.9 seconds; top speed 128mph
MPG: Urban 37.2; extra urban 55.4; combined 47.1
CO2 emissions: 129g/km
Benefit-in-kind tax rate: 22%
Insurance group: 13E (out of 50)
Warranty: Three years or 60,000 miles
Will it fit in the garage? L 4,447mm; W (including door mirrors) 2,098mm ; H 1,624mm