By Wayne Gorrett
Launched in April 2009, the first iteration of Peugeot’s popular MPV was criticised for its stodgy, librarian styling, while being praised for its stronger, more memorable attributes. It went on to receive several awards during its eight year life, until production ceased in November last year. More than a million Mk1 3008’s were made with over 75,000 of them finding homes in the UK.
In May 2016, Peugeot revealed its all-new 3008 and the car went on UK sale in January 2017. This month, the second-generation 3008 was awarded the ‘European Car of the Year 2017’ title, as voted by a jury of 58 motoring journalists from 22 European countries, seeing off competition from new models such as the Mercedes E-Class, Volvo S90/V90 and the Alfa Romeo Giulia.
It is manufactured at Peugeot’s Sochaux production facility and engines and transmissions come from its Trémery and Douvrin sites.
Recently, we enjoyed the company of the new 3008 for a few days. It arrived in the guise of an automatic diesel, wore the top-spec GT trim package and sporting the optional ‘Coupe Franche’ dual colour paint job (£1,300, £525 of which includes the initial metallic colour).
➤ The style factory
These days, not a week goes by without a new SUV being announced by a manufacture desperate to foist their slab-sided, two-box iterations upon a seemingly insatiable public.
Then along comes Peugeot’s new 3008. Frankly, it’s a welcome breath of fresh air. Now in an altogether different market segment, with a whole new clutch of competitors, the 3008 is required to gallop way before it can even think about walking.
Being fashionable, sleek and attention-grabbing instantly sets the MkII 3008 apart from its new rivals, blending its high stance with boxy but dramatic lines and shallow side windows. It adds up to a sportier look and makes most other compact SUVs appear bland and old-fashioned – yes, even that one announced last week, or the week before that, or the week before that.
Because the 3008 is totally new, it wears a completely new set of vital stats. The body is 8omm longer, its wheelbase has been lengthened by 62mm and most versions ride high on 18in alloy wheels giving generous ground clearance. The finished article certainly looks the part.
Unlike many of its direct rivals, it’s not available with 4WD. Only a soupçon of electronic wizardry in the form of an off-road biased traction control system and hill descent control will help you on rough ground.
There is a clamshell bonnet, jagged front lights, roof-rails, a discrete rear spoiler, stainless steel sills, wheel arch cladding and the de rigueur ‘floating roof’, thanks to tinted rear glass and blacked-out C-pillars. The stub-nosed front end mirrors its smaller 2008 crossover sibling which was refreshed early 2016 year and at the back, gone is the old car’s split tailgate in favour of a conventional, lightweight manual hatch, which may be automated and include motion sensors, for £750.
➤ The inside story
The 3008’s interior has to be one of the highest quality cabins from the French manufacturer in years and 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. More on that below.
Much of the interior involves expensive soft-touch plastics, fabric trims pieces and tactile, real-metal switchgear – it’s certainly more interesting to look at than the inners of rivals. However, there are a several areas of ill-fitting trim at the front which, once you notice them, let down a class act.
The new 3008 can comfortably accommodate four six-footers and space can in no way be described as cramped. Move to the rear seats and the extra legroom of the longer wheelbase can really be felt. Some may find the rear headroom a tad miserly which is made worse if you go for the optional panoramic sunroof.
Those with children will appreciate the three Isofix mounting points (two in the back and one in the front passenger seat).
The central armrest has a deep, air-conditioned storage bin beneath it. In front of it are two cup holders and a small storage tray for your phone or other devices. The 3008’s glovebox is pointlessly small, but there are large door bins which are lined to prevent every day in-car tat from jiggling around on the move.
The 3008’s boot has a low, practical load lip and with the rear seats up, 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. Under the boot floor is a space-saver spare wheel which is standard across all variants, along with some hidey holes to keep valuables hidden from prying eyes.
Of additional interest to commuters will be the optional ‘e-Bike’, a folding electrical bicycle that charges in the boot and offers a range of 7.5 miles. Another lifestyle accessory is the sliding boot floor, which can support up to 100kg and is useful either as a picnic seat or when loading heavy items. It helps negate the loss of the former model’s split tailgate.
➤ Peugeot’s i-Cockpit
Arguably the highlight of the new 3008 and standard across the range, is Peugeot’s redesigned i-Cockpit with its configurable 12.3-inch head-up digital instrument panel, a centre mounted 8.0-inch touch-screen and small multi-function steering wheel which is levelled top and bottom to improve the driver’s sight-line to the instrument panel, a complaint of the 208, 2008 and 308 when the ‘looking-over-the-steering-wheel’ dash layout was introduced a number of years ago.
While not a conventional heads-up display, the instrument panel is now positioned higher than previously, making it more within the driver’s field of vision. Coupled with the diminutive, reshaped steering wheel, the idea works a lot better than it did before and should appeal to a broader audience. I definitely like the arrangement and would happily live with it.
(Activate ‘CC’ for English subtitles)
Usually found on more premium cars of Germanic origin, the high-definition colour graphics within the 12.3-inch wide instrument panel can be adapted to give five display modes including:
* ‘Dials’ mode, a conventional view to replicate the analogue setup of most modern cars.
* ‘Navigation’ mode turns the dials on their sides to a ‘roller’ format, 3D navigation with instructions fill the centre of the display.
* ‘Driving’ mode with ‘roller’ format dials and driver assistance information including lane keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control with stop function.
* ‘Minimal’ mode which displays only essential information for when driving at night.
* A configurable ‘Personal’ mode which allows the driver to choose the exact information they require to be displayed.
Unlike on the previous i-Cockpit iteration, the centre-mounted 8.0-inch touch-screen is now angled directly towards the driver and is accompanied by function-related toggle switches lower down, which enable direct one-touch access to the desired function – a much safer arrangement that that found on the new Citroen C3 infotainment screen which still requires several hazardous touches to reach its layered functions – all the while requiring you to divert your eyes from the goings on ahead.
Features available via the toggle switches on all version of the new i-Cockpit include: dual zone climate control, DAB radio, phone, car system settings, Mirror Screen (Apple CarPlay & Mirrorlink), and (on Allure version and upwards) a TomTom based 3D satnav system which includes live updates.
➤ Trim grades and prices
As you would expect, the 3008 is amply equipped across its four trim grades; Active, Allure, GT Line and GT. The entry-level Active won’t be available until late spring and this time round there is no ‘Access’ trim level as before.
All models are blessed with Peugeot’s i-Cockpit as detailed above, but the entry-level Active has 17-inch alloy wheels, auto lights, auto wipers, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, reversing sensors, lane departure warning, auto emergency braking, touchscreen system, smartphone mirroring, DAB radio, fully-digital instrument binnacle, driver attention alert system, Bluetooth connection, cruise control and a speed limiter. Prices for Active models range from £21,795 to £25,045.
Walking up a trim level, Allure adds active blind spot detection, lane keep assistance, advanced driver attention alert, auto-dipping headlights, reversing camera, leather effect upholstery, navigation system with TomTom live updates (includes 3 year subscription) voice recognition plus 18-inch alloy wheels. 3008’s in Allure trim start from £23,595 and peak at £26,845.
The penultimate GT Line comes with ‘Amplify’ mood system, with alternate interior lighting and fragrances, GT Line interior and exterior details, wireless smartphone charger, full-LED headlights and LED scrolling indicators. Price range: £25,495 – £28,545.
The top-spec GT model (as tested) adds adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and push button start, smart electric tailgate with hands-free opening, GT interior and exterior details, massaging, electrically adjusted driver’s seat, heated front seats, Nappa leather, panoramic glass roof along with 19-inch alloy wheels. If this is your bag, be prepared to part with £32,995 before your visit to the options list.
➤ Engines and transmissions
There are four engines in the new 3008 model range – two petrol and two diesel units. All are equipped with stop/start technology and conform to Euro6.1 specification.
The small petrol range starts with Peugeot’s award-winning 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder PureTech turbocharged engine offering 131hp, followed by a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder naturally-aspirated THP with an output of 165hp. There’s also a 1.6-litre ‘e-THP’ low consumption version, again with 165hp.
The BlueHDi turbocharged diesels comprise of a 1.6-litre available in two states of tune (100hp and 120hp), while the 2.0-litre is available in 150hp and 180hp, the latter only available on the top-spec GT trim and paired with the EAT6 automatic.
All models are front-wheel-drive and the manual gearbox available on most models is a six-speed unit, while a five-speed ‘box is only available with the 1.6L BlueHDi 100 S&S diesel and only in Active trim.
Peugeot also offers its new EAT6 six-speed Efficient Automatic Transmission which is sprinkled liberally across the 17-model 3008 range.
We spent a week with the GT variant, which comes fitted with the 2.0-litre BlueHDi 180, paired with the EAT6 automatic.
➤ On-road cred
The MkII 3008 is 100kgs lighter than the old model, yet Peugeot’s engineers have wisely focused on ride comfort rather than sportiness. The car is first and foremost a comfortable tourer. The ride is soft yet composed. It’s quiet too, even on pockmarked roads.
That small steering wheel makes for rapid responses and the 3008 SUV is very car-like in feel and the suspension is softer than you might expect.
Suitably adequate but not top of its class can summarise the 3008’s handling prowess. On the motorway the steering is a little vague around the dead ahead but it offers good weight, giving the driver confidence as you sweep the car through turns.
Despite the 3008’s soft suspension set-up, the car stays quite flat through bends. There is noticeable downward pitch at the front under braking and float at the rear coming off crests in the road. However, it remains secure, grips well and stays light and manageable around town.
➤ Safety and security
The new Peugeot 3008 was awarded a full five stars for safety by Euro NCAP.
There’s plenty of standard safety kit including mandatory items like tyre-pressure monitoring, stability control and a plethora of airbags front and back, while a Thatcham-approved alarm is standard across the range.
➤ MPG, running costs and CO2
With kerb weights ranging from 1,250 to 1,465 kg, the new 3008 is well weighted for its class and should be relatively inexpensive to live with.
Peugeot’s range of PureTech petrol and BlueHDi diesel engines have never been so efficient or clean and all are Euro6 compliant. Official fuel consumption of the PureTech engines average around 53 mpg, while the BlueHDi diesels really step it up, achieving 59-71 mpg, depending on engine output, transmission and wheel size.
CO2 emissions from the petrol PureTech range vary from 117 to 129 g/km, while the BlueHDi’s offer a credible 103 to 129 g/km.
Driving the 2.0-litre BlueHDi 180 s/s automatic in top GT spec for a week, we achieved 46.2 mpg over 542 mixed miles at an average speed of 32 mph. This equates to 78.4% of the official 58.9 mpg.
➤ Warranty, servicing and aftercare
The new 3008 comes with the a three-year unlimited mileage warranty, with the first two years being provided by Peugeot UK and the third year by the Peugeot retailer – which is the usual industry-wide arrangement.
For additional peace of mind, there’s a free 12-month ‘Peugeot Assistance’ package which will bring roadside assistance to you in an emergency. It is provided by the AA and is valid throughout the UK and Europe.
The servicing intervals on the 3008 are as conventional as its warranty; it requires maintenance every year or 12,000 miles, whichever is the sooner. Servicing costs are likely to be reasonable and a fixed-price Peugeot servicing package will make budgeting for maintenance easier.
This second-generation Peugeot 3008 is a far more attractive prospect than its previous iteration. It sports an abundance of Gallic charm that is evident both inside and out, and its Francophilean quirkiness is all part of its not insignificant appeal.
The absence this time round of the former entry-level ‘Access’ trim does make the new 3008 appear expensive, with the new range now starting from £21,795 for the ‘Active’ grade. But, you are getting loads more car and, more importantly, sheer value for your money.
As a calm, comfortable and relaxing means of transport, the 3008 is hard to fault – the new car’s stiffer chassis and body structure has allowed for softer springs and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) is well suppressed.
Repositioned as an SUV from its early design stages, the new 3008 had to be a stand out product from the get-go in order to compete in an insatiable and fiercely competitive section of the market. It has met that brief with room to spare…plenty of it, as it turns out.
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