Peugeot 3008 2016

Mid-size SUV looks quirky and fresh

8.0
wowscore
This is the average score given by leading car publications from 4 reviews
  • Distinctive looks
  • Frugal engines
  • High-tech inside
  • Basic engines are slow
  • Patchy material quality
  • Expensive in top-spec GT trim
 

£21,458 - £26,685 Price range

 

5 Seats

 

57 - 70 MPG

Review

The Peugeot 3008 SUV showcases the company’s new design direction as it goes after rivals such as the Nissan Qashqai, Renault Kadjar and Kia Sportage.

A major criticism of the old 3008 was its interior – its design meant that the steering wheel could block the driver’s view of the dials. But Peugeot’s resolved that with the model and done a smashing job on the design in the process – it’s now one of the most stylish you can find in the class. Leather, metal and unusual forms focused around two large screens make for a dashboard that is far more interesting than the corporate atmosphere you find in, say, a VW Tiguan.

This eye-catching design hasn’t dented the practicality credentials, because with its huge boot (complete with standard, electrically operated tailgate), and spacious rear seats, the 3008 is just as good at the boring stuff as it is at turning rival parents’ heads on the school run.

Out on the road, the new car’s connection with the 308 hatchback – with which it shares a platform – is undeniable. The steering is precise, the car is predictable and surefooted, plus the ride quality nears the top of the class. It’s a nice balance between the best of both worlds.

As with its platform, the 3008 shares its engines with other models from the Peugeot range. You get a pick ‘n’ mix of petrols and diesels no bigger than 2.0 litres in size, all of which put fuel economy ahead of performance.

Standard equipment levels are yet to be finalised, but we do know all cars get full-LED headlights with Audi-style scrolling indicators, a panoramic glass sunroof and the aforementioned automatic tailgate that can be operated with a wave of your foot beneath the rear bumper.

GT Line and GT models represent the top of the range with wider wheelarches, 19-inch alloy wheels, aluminium roof bars and twin exhausts. GT Line models have sports front seats trimmed in a mix of cloth and leather effect materials while GT models get electrically adjustable, heated and even have a massage function.

Inside, the new 3008 is the first car to get the latest version of the Peugeot’s i-cockpit, which has been designed to improve the driver’s view of the instrument binnacle – something that has come in for criticism on older i-cockpit-equipped models such as the 208 and 308.

Most of the interior has soft-to-the-touch expensive plastics, fabric trims pieces and satisfying cold-to-the-touch metal switchgear – it’s certainly more interesting to look at than the inners of rivals.

The driver is treated to a 12.3-inch display that replaces traditional dials – it’s similar to Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. Just like the German system, you can choose what information takes centre stage, with the most useful feature being the sat-nav directions neatly displayed in your field of view.

All 3008s come with a large infotainment screen complete with crisp graphics – it’s compatible with Apple CarPlay, MirrorLink and Android Auto, allowing easy integration with smartphone apps for sat-nav, music streaming and various other functions.

Peugeot 3008 passenger space

The new 3008 is 8cm longer than the old model and can easily accommodate four six-footers as a result. That isn’t particularly apparent in the front where the protruding stylish lines rob you of some of the space, but the trade-off is easily worth it. It’s by no means cramped, but move to the rear seats and the extra legroom of the longer wheelbase can really be felt. Rear headroom isn’t class-leading, though, made worse if you go for the optional panoramic sunroof and the seats aren’t the most comfortable or supportive out there either.

Peugeot 3008 boot space

The boot has the lowest load lip in the segment and also opens electrically, so the new 3008 should score well in our practicality test. With the seats up, the capacity is 520 litres, which easily beats the bestselling Qashqai’s 430 litres. Flip the seats flat to the floor using the boot-mounted levers and the capacity increases to a very usable 1,580 litres. Practicality is helped by the square shape of the load area, and as an added bonus for commuters there’s an optional foldable electric scooter that charges in the boot and offers a range of 7.5 miles.

The 3008 is 100kgs lighter than the old model, yet Peugeot’s engineers have wisely focused on ride comfort rather than out-and-out sportiness. That’s not to say the 3008 is a wallowy thing – far from it – body roll is well contained and the small steering wheel helps it feel sporty. However, these attributes are more or less shared with rivals. As a relaxing means of transport, though, the 3008 is hard to fault – the new car’s stiffer body structure has allowed for softer springs and noise is well suppressed.

Technically this is an SUV and as such it needs to have some sort of off-road ability. In the case of the 3008 that comes via the optional Advanced Grip Control system in combination with tyres designed for muddy and snowy conditions. It’s no Land Rover, but – having tested the system in the smaller 2008 – we can attest that it copes admirably with wet grass and snow – all the off-road ability you’re really likely to need.

The 3008 comes with the company’s proven PureTech petrol and Blue HDi diesel engines – with the potential for fuel economy of around 70mpg when combined with the company’s AT6 automatic gearbox. The gearbox itself shifts smoothly, but ultimately isn’t as responsive or as quick as the DSG unit in the VW Tiguan or SEAT Ateca.

Peugeot 3008 diesel engines

And if you want 70mpg fuel economy the 118hp 1.6-litre diesel is the model to go for. Officially it’ll get 70.6mpg and costs £20 annually to tax. Figures have yet to be revealed for the 98hp version but expect it to be even more frugal.

The other diesel option in the range is the 2.0-litre BlueHDi, but it will likely be overlooked in favour of the smaller units. That’s a shame, because the 2.0-litre is a strong performer and would make perfect sense if you plan on using your 3008 for towing. There are two power levels to choose from – either 148hp or 178hp.

Peugeot 3008 petrol engine

With a capacity of 1.2-litres, the entry-level petrol engine seems way too small to be adequate for the 3008. Don’t let the small size fool you – with 129hp it’s a lively engine that feels strong and sounds interesting thanks to its three-cylinder thrum.

If your 3008 will often be loaded full of people and/or luggage you’ll welcome the extra torque of the 1.6-litre PureTech. It’s also turbocharged to produce 165hp, but keep it on the boil and fuel consumption won’t stay near the claimed 49mpg average figure.

Conclusion

Even though Peugeot (extremely tenuously) claims that the original 3008 sparked the soft-roader craze, the original missed the opportunity to become the raging success that the Qashqai is to Nissan.

This new model looks to make the impact the old car never did, then, and it seems to answer all the questions posed by SUV buyers  – it looks stylish, yet tough; it’s practical, yet full of technology; and it drives no worse than a family hatchback while using similar amounts of fuel. Be ready to see lots of them on a school run near you.