We were rather taken by the Peugeot 3008, so we got one in for a month to really investigate whether you should still take the plunge on the quirky French crossover.
When we reviewed the Peugeot 3008 back in May, 2017, we concluded that it was “vastly superior to its predecessor” and “a very capable and refreshing take on the SUV”. Being a much less dreary and predictable affair than its rivals helped it stand out. That and the swanky interior.
The thing with motoring journalism, however, is that, since we drove the 3008, various new competitors have cruised into the market, including the Hyundai Kona and Jeep Compass. Can the 3008 really still cut it?
Ben Griffin decided to drive it again to find out as part of our new ‘re-review’ segment, so we got one in for a month. Specifically, a 3008 PureTech 130 Auto in Allure, which means it sits below GT Line and GT, but above Active in the trim table. How did it get on?
Peugeot 3008 re-review: Still a decent machine?
We will spare you the cliff-hanger, dramatic pause and other suspense-building mechanisms, just know that the 3008 is still highly recommended for anyone who wants a mix of handling, practicality and looks.
Things to note: The Sport mode is still pointless and the 1.2-litre PureTech still makes a bit of a din if you want to test the 0-62mph time of 10.5 seconds, but everything else is as pleasing as before. Despite being low on horsepower, the relatively low kerb weight provides palatable levels of go.
A level of hesitance from the EAT6 six-speed automatic made itself known again, but then at gentler speeds ─ what you will most likely be doing and is encouraged by the 3008’s usually smooth ride ─ it proves more than ample. We did, however, miss the extra control afforded by the six-speed manual (not to mention better fuel economy).
Once you get going, the engine noise all but disappears (even on the motorway) and the sound of wind hitting its upright stance results in only slightly more audible disruption in what is a very quiet cabin. No squeaks, no rattles, just blissful peace. Or a really decent sound from the optional Focal system.
At night, we found Peugeot’s light blue ambient lighting provides a sense of luxury missing from most of its rivals. The bold almost space-age interior design, grey fabric detailing and elegant digital instrument cluster provides a sense your money went a lot further than it did in, say, the Kona.
The 3008 is practical, too, as we found out when ferrying a particularly plush double mattress with ease. Folding down the rear seats takes no time at all and the boot space offered goes from 590 litres to 1,670 litres, both figures ahead of the game.
Being able to make use of 60:40 split-folding rear seats helps you forget two other issues with the 3008, the first of which is the not-quite-flat load space when the rear seats are folded down and the fact the middle seat in the back is somewhat cramped (but still livable for shorter journeys).
As for driving, Peugeot’s trademark small steering wheel will divide opinion. We find it jazzes up the experience somewhat, but some may find it out of place in an SUV. Still, the lightness and number of turns between lock helps make the 3008 easy to move around town at the expense of steering feel.
A big part of the 3008’s appeal is that it hides its size very well and 1,270kg kerb weight means you can go for a petrol engine and see decent fuel economy. Driving back from Gatwick, a route littered with road improvements, average speed checks and traffic, we averaged 42.7mpg.
For a car of its size that is actually quite peppy, that is impressive, indeed. And with some effort on our part, we reckon a few more miles could be eked out ─ not quite the 55.4mpg Peugeot claims, though, but close enough to forgive.
CO2 is 117g/km, meaning an annual road tax bill will £160 for the first year and £140 after that. Considering the diesel tax adjustment that will affect the more frugal 1.6-litre diesel, which is said to do up to 70.6mpg, going petrol is an easier decision. But for long distance drivers, diesel is still most frugal.
Safety is another plus, as the 3008 is rated very highly in this area. At a driver level, the systems, such as the forward collision warning, are effective at warning you without being obtrusive or overly zealous. We also like that the lane-keep assist is more subtle than in some rivals.
We could also write home about the 3008’s generous spec, even on an entry-level Active model. You get 17-inch wheels, DAB digital radio, rear parking sensors, automatic just about everything, autonomous emergency braking and car connectivity in the form of Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluetooth.
There is no real need to chuck on many extras, especially as the cheap and cheerful 1.2L PureTech 130 S&S Active manual is a desirable combination. But there is cash left over if you went elsewhere that could be splurged on a panoramic roof (£990), Focal speakers (£590) or the moody Magnetic Blue paint (£525), all of which are worth considering in our humble opinion.
Peugeot 3008 re-review: So still worth buying?
To be frank, we still rate the 3008 as our favourite crossover. The Jeep Compass makes more sense if you ever actually go off-road, a bog-standard Discovery Sport is trendier (a privilege you pay for) and the seven-seater 5008 is better for larger families, but for everything else the 3008 is hard to fault.
We wish the warranty ─ of the two-year unlimited mileage variety ─ was more generous to help undo (or at least alleviate) the stigma of French unreliability, but the pros of having a decent, frugal petrol engine, desirable looks and a spacious cabin make it a solid gamble.
And based on the number of 3008s we have seen out and about on UK roads, it appears a lot of you would agree. But, rather predictably, very few have been brave enough to go for the half and half ‘coupe franche’ paintjob.