Peugeot 3008 is quite appealing

I find Peugeot’s numbering system a little bit confusing when it comes to the double zero cars. I can handle 107, 207, 308, 407. But, the 1007 and now the 3008 don’t fit in immediately. That’s probably why the great-looking new Peugeot coupe will use letters RCZ instead of numbers.

Anyway, when you actually think about it the 3008 is pretty logical, it is an incremental model on the 308 range – an MPV based on the 308. Aha!

Peugeot 3008

Still on the subject of confusion. Although the 3008 is designed to be an MPV in style, like so many similar vehicles, don’t expect it to offer lots of spare seats. The 3008 is a four, or five-seater, full stop.

It has a certain presence when you first see it. The 3008 follows the current Peugeot “big mouth” styling, but to my eyes it is a little bit more successful in that, being a taller car, the maw is more like a conventional radiator grille.

Clamber aboard and the interior looks very different from Peugeots of recent years. There’s a sizeable centre console and a dashboard with quite a bit of chrome “bling”, notably the row of chrome switches. I reckon it works. The 3008 interior looks a bit special, especially with the £1025 option of leather upholstery.

The road test car came with the HUD or head-up-display. This projects the speedometer, not onto the windscreen, but onto a small clear plastic panel that motors out of the dashboard, just at the bottom of your line of sight.

Initially odd, it actually works well. With the proliferation of speed cameras there is pressure on drivers to divide their attention and watch the speedometer almost as much as the road. Anything that helps you do both safely, has to be applauded.

With the Exclusive specification, the test car came with a massive glass sunroof covering almost the entire roof. It bathes the car in heat-filtered sunshine. That’s good for me as I like a lot of daylight. But, for more retiring types there is an equally massive blind. I’m still puzzling how this massive roof blind disappears into the small rearmost section of the roof – it simply doesn’t look big enough to stow it!

Peugeot 3008 interior

While vertical visibility is outstanding thanks to this massive glass sunroof, other aspects of the 3008’s visibility are not so good. The heavy rear pillars makes reversing into parking places rather more tricky than it should be.

Pitching the 3008 into the MPV market made me expect more legroom in the back thanks to the upright driving position. In reality my knees were most definitely in contact with the front seats. Otherwise, space in the back is good.

There was initial shock when I first opened the tailgate and checked out the load space. Not only was there a very high sill, but the boot floor appeared to be half way up the car! Further exploration revealed that I had been fooled by two unusual features on the 3008.

Firstly the tailgate opens in two parts, rather like a Range Rover or Discovery. The bottom half swings down to offer a flat area for your picnic goodies, or (presumably if you are not too gargantuan in size) to use like a seat as you do on a Range Rover. The latter’s polo match might become the 3008’s soccer match, but the idea is similar.

The other unusual feature is that the boot floor that I saw when I lifted the tailgate is actually a shelf that you can position at different heights to give yourself a split-level boot.

Interior storage space is not particularly outstanding on the Peugeot 3008. Indeed, the glovebox is quite small. But, there is a huge space under the central armrest. Pity, though, that the lid is hinged on the side and – in the UK – it is on the driver’s side, making it a little tricky for the driver to access.

Peugeot 3008 rear view

My test car was the Peugeot 3008 Exclusive HDI 110, to give its full list of credits. With a 1600cc diesel engine under the bonnet, this clearly was not going to be the most lively of motors. In reality, however, it feels more responsive and eager than the 12.2 seconds 0-62 might suggest.

However, although it is quite well subdued, the sonorous diesel drone when revving the engine, remains quite noticeable. After a few miles of low gear work on twisty B roads, I did find this constant soundtrack a bit tiresome.

It is generally surefooted, but thanks to reasonable steering feedback I could detect the front wheels fighting the inherent understeer on a couple of occasions.

If the drone can be the downside of some diesels, the upside is usually fuel consumption and that is certainly true on the 3008 where I thought a mid 40s figure overall was quite noteworthy. Carbon dioxide emissions are 130g/km allowing this 3008 to squeeze into Band D for UK road tax.

You will gather that the 3008 doesn’t win any prizes in most of the key categories of a road test. It doesn’t offer outstanding space, class-leading versatility, or sparkling dynamics. Yet, I found myself become quite fond of the 3008.

At £20,595 for the Peugeot 3008 Exclusive HDi 110 (just three slots down from the top-of-the-range), With entry-level 3008 models from £16,695, it also seems quite competitively priced..

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