The Peugeot 3008 is a fun-looking SUV with a big boot, stylish interior and decent levels of equipment, but it takes a while to get used to the quirky small steering wheel and high-up instrument cluster
The Peugeot 3008 is a bold-looking, practical family SUV with a funky, well-designed denim-clad interior that casts a Gallic look of disdain at the somewhat sombre cabins you get in the VW Tiguan and Skoda Karoq.
It doesn’t just look great either – the material quality and tactile switches feel fantastic too. Okay, the small, low-mounted steering wheel and high-mounted digital instrument cluster take a bit of getting used to, but the digital screen that replaces traditional dials look so good you likely won’t care. It’s a comfortable place to sit too, with enough seat and steering-wheel adjustment to ensure you’ll feel at home whether you’re tall or short, although you may find the wheel obscures part of the instrument display if you’re very tall.
The back seats are less quirky, but still roomy – there’s even enough room for three adults sitting side-by-side thanks to a flat floor and wider middle seat than you’ll find in the back of a Tiguan.
You might think that roomy back seats mean the boot space has suffered – but drop the adjustable boot floor to its lowest position and the 3008’s load bay is only a few litres shy of the giant space in the VW Tiguan – it’s a whopper. Fold the Peugeot’s rear seats down – and, helpfully, the front passenger one – and you can carry a bike with both wheels attached, or treat yourself to a bigger Christmas tree than ever before.
Everything about the Peugeot 3008 makes it feel more expensive than it is, especially the interior
Although the 3008 sounds like a rugged, load-lugging SUV, you can’t actually get it with four-wheel drive. What it does come with is a range of efficient petrol and diesel engines.
The best choice, if you do lots of long-distance driving, is the 120hp 1.6-litre diesel – it’s efficient and powerful enough to overtake on the motorway. If you’re more likely to do lots of town driving then the smoother, quieter 130hp 1.2-litre petrol is a better bet. You can upgrade most 3008 models from a manual gearbox to a smooth six-speed automatic for £1,400, and it’s a worthwhile option because it takes some of the annoyance out of stop-start traffic.
Wherever you take it, the 3008’s easy to drive and relatively comfy over bumpy surfaces. It’s not a particularly sporty SUV, however, and isn’t going to put a smile on your face in fast bends like a SEAT Ateca does – but do you really need that in your family SUV? What matters more is that it’s pretty quiet at motorway speeds.
What’s also important to know is that the 3008’s a safe place for you and your family. It earned a five-star score in Euro NCAP’s tough 2016 crash tests, and all models get automatic emergency braking, which can perform an emergency stop from town speeds if the car detects an imminent collision.
This level of safety, combined with a genuinely different-but-brilliant interior, efficient engines and big boot means the 3008 should be high up on your shortlist of family SUVs, especially if you want something a little bit quirky.