Friday, 22 September 2017

REVIEW – Peugeot 3008 SUV GT-Line

You will by now have seen the TV advert in which that chap knocks over a glass of water, as a new 3008 SUV drives around. The thinking behind this is to highlight the new i-Cockpit, which is the centrepiece of the new car. I have to admit, I wasn’t much of a fan of the previous 3008. But then I have been impressed with the new cars in the Peugeot range. So it seemed only fair to give it a chance. Before long I had a shiny new 3008 SUV GT Line on the driveway, and boy am I glad I gave it a chance…

Looks – 10/10

I said some pretty harsh things about the looks of the old 3008. I think I may have likened it to the frog-looking Ford Scorpio, which is without doubt one of the ugliest cars ever made. Happily the new 3008 SUV is far removed from that image, and in fact sports a futuristic, almost concept-esque look. The model I tested was a GT-Line, which meant it had a sporty edge to the styling. At the front there are some striking, angular lines. I love the corners of the lower grille, which sweep up and separate the headlights. Between them a concave grille gives a shouty appearance. At the back the lines a generally a little softer, but for the stick-out taillights with gloss black trim in between them. The plastic bumper has the appearance of twin exhausts, so it’s a good combination of sporty and rough-and-ready.

Inside the cabin is an absolute triumph. Peugeot call it the i-Cockpit, and I can certainly see why. The centre console seems to wrap around the driver. There are toggle switches for the main functions that would not be out of place on an Airbus A320. The steering wheel is small, as we have come to expect from Peugeot. The flat bottom of the steering wheel is synonymous with sportiness these days, whilst having a flat top as well makes the instrument cluster more easily visible. And that’s important, because the instrument cluster is delightful. It’s a configurable 12.3-inch display, and can show anything from traditional dials to a satellite navigation screen or a trip computer. The standard trim on the GT-Line is a leather and cloth combo, and I love the use of the same cloth fabric on the dashboard and door trims. Being a light grey it makes the cabin feel fresh, and also brings it all together.


Handling/Performance – 8/10

There are several choices of engine for the GT-Line, ranging from the BlueHDi 120 (which I tested) to the e-THP 165 petrol which has a bit more performance to it. The top-spec GT model gets a 180PS diesel engine. The 1.6-litre diesel engine I tested offered 120PS and 300Nm of torque. Through the 6-speed manual gearbox it will reach 0-62mph in 11.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 117mph. It will hardly set the tyres alight, but with the added ‘Sport’ mode it actually feels rather lively. Part of this is that despite its stature the 3008 is actually quite light at 1,300kg. Power delivery is typical of any diesel, with the most available between 1,500rpm and 3,000rpm. The 6-speed gearbox allows you to make the most of this limited range.

The 3008 SUV is a nice car to drive. On the motorway it is comfortable, with a reasonably soft suspension and well sound-proofed cabin. Admittedly that softer suspension does translate into a little bit of lean in the corners, but it’s not enough to make it a problem. The small steering wheel makes every input feel quick and sharp. In ‘Sport’ mode it gets a little weightier, such that on a country road you really feel like this is a responsive, sporty car. And that’s when you’ll probably find the BlueHDi 120 a little underpowered, wanting that little bit extra to propel you between the corners.

Economy – 10/10

Peugeot has put a lot of effort into making its engines more efficient, and the BlueHDi range is testament to that. Take the 1.6-litre engine in my 3008 test car. It emits a mere 104g/km CO2. That means that road tax will cost you £140 in the first and subsequent years. Hardly a great expense for what is a sizeable family car. Combined fuel consumption is a whopping 70.6mpg, and that means you’ll spend far less time at the pumps. The start/stop technology, and the surprisingly low kerb weight of 1,300kg, both help the 3008 SUV sip less fuel, and the 6-speed gearbox keeps revs down on the motorway.

Practicality – 10/10

The 3008 SUV is, as a family car, perfectly sized. It’s not much bigger than most hatchbacks, but has extra height which helps in many ways. Firstly, the cabin is vast, with plenty of head and leg room front and back. The boot is a generous size, and with the rear seats folded down you could transport just about anything you’d need to. Since becoming a father, I have found myself obsessed with ISOFIX. What pleased me about the 3008 SUV was the mounting point on the passenger seat, which meant I could easily keep an eye on the little one even when it was just me in the car. The GT-Line is also very well equipped, including full-LED headlamps, satellite navigation, smartphone charging plate, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, reversing camera and keyless entry/go.

Fun – 8/10

The old 3008 was about as much fun as standing out in the rain in your underwear. But the new one is totally different. The car now feels like it’s been designed for the driver, with the i-Cockpit bringing a harmonious blend of ergonomics and style that makes you happy to sit behind the wheel. The range of engines on offer ensure that those looking for more oomph have a bit of choice (the e-THP 165 is certainly a poky engine) whilst the driving dynamics are enjoyable. The 3008 SUV has become a plethora of gadgets and gizmos. It feels like a concept car, and it looks like a concept car. There’s a futuristic aurora about it, and people I showed it to were impressed with the equipment on offer.

Concluding Remarks

So there you have it, the new Peugeot 3008 SUV. The exterior styling is bold and futuristic, and the i-Cockpit is an absolute gem. There are a host of engines available, with the 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engine being a popular choice. Equipment is generous, and as far as a family car goes, the 3008 SUV is up there with the best of them. As a new dad myself, I found it brilliant, and certainly a car I’d consider buying. Speaking of buying, prices start at £22,495. The BlueHDi 120 GT Line starts at £28,025 and with a few options my test car was £31,330. Admittedly, that is the wrong side of £30k, but then the 3008 SUV is a lot of car. To find out more visit your local dealer or head over to the Peugeot website. The compact SUV market may be crowded, but the Peugeot 3008 SUV just upped the ante. i-Cockpit? i-Like-it.

Total Score – 46/50

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