Can you remember the last Peugeot 3008? Probably not. It was one of the least memorable cars on sale, with its MPV looks, uninspiring cabin and limited engine range.
Fast forward to the second-generation 3008 that we have on our fleet and it’s easy to see just how much Peugeot has moved forwards in the past few years.
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Particularly in our car’s GT-Line specification, the 3008 is incredibly stylish both inside and out. Diamond-cut alloys, LED headlights and lovely scrolling indicators (usually seen on more ‘premium’ cars) give the 3008 a terrific amount of road presence. Compared to some rather bleak-looking rivals, Peugeot needs to be applauded for not following the rest of the pack.
Move inside and you’ll find a fantastic modern-looking cabin with few buttons, a variety of high-quality materials and great I-Cockpit digital dials, which are customisable depending what you want on there – satnav, speedo, journey information and the list goes on. It’s certainly on par with the big German brands in terms of tech and quality.
So, where’s the but?
I can’t help but think the design is all rather over-the-top and a case of style over substance. Take, for example, the sloping roofline and high-positioned rear lights. It might look the part, but it results in poor visibility.
This might be acceptable on a Lamborghini, but on your run-of-the-mill diesel crossover, it’s irritating. Thankfully our model features a reversing camera to aid with this, but not all models benefit from this privilege.
Then there’s the interior. My biggest gripe is the small steering wheel. It’s nothing new as Peugeots for the past few years have featured this, but I just can’t get on with the layout. It’s meant to give you that ‘sports car feel’, but my experience is that it just results in needless shuffling when steering.
It also gets in the way of the dials and, in certain positions, blocks the speedo. You can move both the steering wheel and the seat to improve this, but I found that just left me sitting in an uncomfortable position, which is hardly ideal.
My final gripe – at the risk of this sounding like a rant – regards the 3008’s driving assistance systems. It has plenty of them, such as autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring and more. While they can be very useful, some of them are extremely irritating – to the point I switched them off, which surely negates the point of it having it in the first place?
The lane-keep assist bings, bongs and steers if you’re anywhere in the lane that isn’t completely central. I get why it’s there, but it’s aggravating to the point where it interferes so much you have no option but to turn it off.
The blind-spot monitoring system can also be a bit temperamental. One day on the A3M, the blind-spot warning light remained on despite me having long overtaken the car that the system seemed infatuated with.
Having checked numerous times over my shoulder that there was definitely no other car there, I indicated and attempted to change lane – only for the car to block my move. It was very eerie and I’ve never seen a system so determined that it’s right. Unsurprisingly, I turned the system off as soon as it would let me escape from my lane and pull over a few hundred metres up the road.
But, really, I’m doing the Peugeot 3008 a disservice. These issues undoubtedly annoyed me, but it can’t stop you from enjoying the car’s excellent comfort, high-quality interior and the refined 1.6-litre diesel unit fitted to our test car.
Add in plenty of rear legroom, a decent-size boot, and it’s not much of a surprise to understand why you see so many 3008s on the road.
But would we sacrifice a few of Peugeot’s design touches and safety aids for a bit more practicality and user-friendliness? Undoubtedly.
Model: Peugeot 3008 GT-Line 1.5 BlueHDi 130
Price: £30,454 on-road
Engine: 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel
Power: 130 hp
Torque: 300 Nm
Top speed: 119 mph
0-60mph: 10.6 seconds
Fuel economy: 67.4 mpg (combined cycle)
CO2 emissions: 109 g/km