Peugeot’s on a bit of a roll of late, revealing four all-new cars this year, and not one of them to replace an existing model in the line-up. First came the 3008 crossover vehicle, tested here, followed by the 5008 MPV, the stunningly gorgeous RCZ coupé and finally the i0n – an electric city car largely based on the Mitsubishi i MiEV.
And now the 3008 has plugged a vital gap in the French company’s model range. It’s Peugeot’s first foray into a market that’s dominated by the likes of the Nissan Qashqai – a car that offers the high stance of a 4×4, versatility of an MPV, with the driving manners of a mainstream car. In terms of size, the 3008 falls midway between the 308 hatchback, and the five and seven-seat 308 SW. There’s plenty of room for five in comfort, and thanks to the high seating position, there’s also an abundance of shoulder room – even the long suffering middle rear passenger has more than enough space. In the boot, there’s a versatile floor that can adopt three positions for top practicality. Peugeot has paid close attention to its critics and, as a result, the 3008 boasts the best quality Peugeot interior to date. Intricate attention to detail and sumptuous materials lift what is often a mundane experience in its direct rivals. The Audi-esque centre console is neatly wrapped around the driver, and that combined with the high, commanding driving position, makes the driver’s seat a special place to be. The toggle switches and deep domed dials with chromed rings are a classy touch, too.
There’s a choice of three HDi diesel engines, starting with the 1.6-litre unit developing 110bhp. It’s available with a choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed EGS automated-manual transmission. Next up is the 2.0-litre 150bhp six-speed manual, while a flagship 163bhp 2.0-litre unit is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. CO2 emissions range from 130g/km to 173g/km. We got behind the wheel of the HDi 110 and 150 engines, which were both kitted out in Exclusive trim. While the 2.0-litre 150bhp versions offered extra zip, it’s the 1.6-litre that is the sweeter unit, offering a good blend of power, right across the rev band and decent levels of refinement. The punchier engine felt a little more raw in comparison. All models feel agile, yet they offer a comfortable ride, with tidy, grippy handling. There’s little noise intrusion from the engine or wind, too.
There’s a choice of three trim levels, which depart from the usual Peugeot naming policy. First up is Active trim with air conditioning, electronic stability programme, electric front windows and a EuroNCAP five star safety rating. Mid-range Sport trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, rear parking sensors, and colour coded exterior trim, while top-of-the-range Exclusive models come with a panoramic glass roof, dual-zone climate control, a head up display and automatic wipers and headlights. The 10 model range is available to order now, with cars reaching showrooms in November.
RIVALS: FORD C-MAX, NISSAN QASHQAI, RENAULT SCENIC, VOLKSWAGEN GOLF PLUS
- Engine: 1560cc, 4-cylinder, turbodiesel with particulate filter
- Gearbox: 6-speed manual
- Max power: 110bhp at 4,000rpm
- Max torque: 177lb ft at 1,750rpm
- Max towing weight: 1,300kg
- Max speed: 112mph
- 0-62mph: 12.2secs
- Combined consumption: 55.4mpg
- CO2 emissions (taxband): 137g/km (E)
- Boot space: 512/1,604litres
- Insurance group: 6