I love a good Peugeot. Most car fans will tell you the same thing, which is why it has been so disappointing to watch their demise over the past decade or two. In my mind, their last truly brilliant car, the 306, was released in 1993 and although they’ve never necessarly put fashion or modernity at the top of their list, I seem to remember that there was a 306 for everyone. A huge range of engines and options meant anyone could afford one and enjoy it. The simplicity of Peugeot was something I had always admired, even when they were making very dull cars indeed.
But with one look at the new Peugeot 3008, I have a feeling everything’s going to change.
I’d already had a strange feeling I’d like it It looks daring and curious, and brilliant – French, avant-garde, a little bit silly and just weirdly angular and off-kilter. Peugeot needed a bit of a crazy car, and I think they’ve got it with this.
All this being said, they were actually already well on the way to turning things around as a company. They are making a profit again and people are buying their cars again. Not a surprise, if they are all going to be as handsome as this.
Inside, it’s all the same sounds coming from me. In my review of Audi’s A5 Cabriolet, I mentioned how impressed I was with the car’s Virtual Cockpit. I think Peugeot have done the same thing with the 3008 and made it just as good. Fluid and with a good degree of customisation, the dashboard display is attractive but also genuinely usable and useful. It’s the little attention to details such as the animation – based on Peugeot’s existing iCockpit system the whole driving interface is
In terms of ergonomics and comfort, the interior impresses in this area too. There is a large centre console that divides driver and passenger, and this rises to a infotainment screen that’s friendly and usable. The retro inspired toggle switches below this are a delight to use, too, and they make it very easy to switch between displays and screen while on the road. On the GT Line edition that I drove, little bits of brushed aluminium and wooden trim help set the car apart from its competitors, and generally help make the cabin a thoughtful, spacious and enjoyable place to be. The optional panoramic roof really works on a high, wide car like this too, and emphasises the feeling of space and roominess.
Driving and handling
In the GT Line, I tested the new 1.2 PureTech petrol engine, which at times felt a little starved of energy to fully propel the 3008 to the cruising speeds it deserves to be at. It’s perfectly calm and economical enough around town, but started to feel noisy and a little revvy at speeds. I would have liked to have tried the diesel variant twinned with the auto box, as I’ve a feeling it would suit this car slightly better.
Swift progress isn’t hampered by the driving feel, handling or ride quality however, as in all these areas I was really impressed. There’s little in the way of resonance around the cabin and the suspension has truly French levels of comfort and tranquility. In this sense, a long journey in the new 3008 down for a weekend in Devon was a pleasure.
Comfort is supported, if you pardon the pun, by some excellent, firm seats and plenty of leg and headroom in both the front and back. Again, the panoramic roof really helps here. The Peugeot 3008 is not a small car, by any means, but it does somehow manage to feel larger than it is inside. Something a little more like a Kia Sorento, for example.
The size and stance of the car suggests it may lend itself to some off-road prowess. While it is two-wheel drive only, the 3008 does come with an optional Grip Control System and it starts to feel a bit of ‘SUV’y’ in this context. Not a bad thing, and the car also benefits from the newly developed HADC system which is a form of advanced hill descent.
The Peugeot 3008 might be one of my favourite cars of the last 12 months – certainly of 2017 so far. It’s more than accomplished – setting a huge precedent in terms of standard for Peugeot and thoroughly deserving of its status as European Car of the Year. What’s nice is that it isn’t just good for Peugeot and French cars, it’s a sector-topping car full-stop, and it’s been a while since we’ve been able to say that about anything from PSA. It’s everything it needed to be – striking in terms of appearance, practicality, usability and value for money. Excellent work, Peugeot.
The Good Bits
It’s great to look at
Genuinely hugely practical
It doesn’t afraid to be a bit different
Interior styling is well thought-out and the ‘virtual cockpit’ style dashboard is fantastic
There’s a lot of space in the cabin
The Bad Bits
There’s no 4WD option
It’s still a crossover
Styling will divide option
Some people may find the cockpit layout confusing and difficult to master.