Let’s talk about the 3008ís steering wheel. Enough time has passed to give suitably subjective opinion on the most important item in the cabin. Iíve seen larger wheels on fairground dodgem cars. And yet every other car I drive now feels like itís fitted with a ginormous wheel from a 1980s Mercedes-Benz. Go figure.
What I thought would be a problem ñ the need for much arm twirling ñ hasnít happened. The carís variable rate steering assistance is rarely tripped up and has proved its worth when Iíve needed to squeeze the 3008 into tight parking spaces. At the other end of the spectrum ñ brisk driving on country roads ñ small inputs are more than enough to see you safely through a series of entertaining bends. Further proof that you really can have fun in a mid-sized SUV. At least one thatís been tuned more for real life motoring than an obscure and unforgiving German racetrack. Those of a certain age, whose first experience of Star Wars was the 1997 digitally remastered version, might not care for the general demise of steering feel, but enthusiasts like me are grateful that Peugeot hasnít abandoned the concept.
Sticking with things that are firmly planted in the real world, Iíve just discovered that, assuming you leave the car in neutral, you donít need to press the clutch to start it. Yes, I know I am a little slow to discover this snub to health and safety logic, but I find it refreshing in an age of incessant warning bongs and other such ësafetyí mechanisms. Now, the reason Iíve only become enlightened is that Iíve always left a manual transmission car in gear and, unsurprisingly, depressed the clutch when starting a car. Lurching forward into the nearest car or wall is never a good thing. Still, this labour-saving revelation and the fact that I have to use an actual key to start the 3008 proves that fancy pants technology has yet to spoil every facet of motoring life. Well, almost. If weíre going to talk about spoilsport technology, I have to mention the decision to revert to the carís built-in navigation system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto offer more choice and flexibility when it comes to navigation and entertainment. For me, Apple CarPlay has been a little patchy at times with occasional sluggish performance spoiling the experience. Hereís the thing: whoís at fault ñ the car or my phone? Many non-tech savvy consumers will likely blame their car, which is unfair on car makers.
This is one reason why some companies have shunned Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus the generic interfaces strip a car of a chunk of its identity. Once your phone is plugged in, that carefully crafted user interface is replaced by a supersize phone interface. So much for spending money on building a unique brand identity, then. Thank goodness Peugeot decided to make the 3008ís cabin a bold and distinctive place to be while youíre waiting for Apple CarPlay to do its thing.
Date arrived 4th May 2017
Fuel economy 65.7mpg (combined) 51.2mpg (on test)
There’s still a lot to be said for a traditional key in these hi-tech times.
Oh CarPlay, why do you frustrate me so much?