2017 Peugeot 3008 review: Better than the Seat Ateca?

In our Peugeot 3008 review, we see if Peugeot learned from the old 3008 and whether the new model can stand up to the Seat Ateca, Nissan Qashqai and other SUV crossovers.

Forget the old 3008 for a second. Where the old one was about as visually pleasing as boudin noir, the new one is chic and sophisticated. Proof, if ever it was needed, that a crossover SUV can turn heads.

In going from more of a crossover to an SUV, the new Peugeot 3008 now has to compete with an ever-increasing number of competitors. That means do more than look pretty – it needs to persuade the average buyer that going French is a good idea.

That would be easy if you were looking to buy a cold meat, cheese or wine, of course, but our European neighbour has been responsible for some awful cars. It was lucky the 208 GTi, 308 GTi and RCZ R came along because Peugeot was in a bad state.

But before you start running for the hills in search of a German or Japanese alternative, you should know the new 3008 more than lived up to expectations during our week-long test.

Would we choose it over a Qashqai, though, or a Seat Ateca? Allow us to elaborate, having notched up more than 460 miles in the GT Line PureTech 130S/S.

2017 Peugeot 3008: What are we looking at?

This is the second-generation 3008 and it is based on the EMP2 platform used by the 308 and 308 SW. At 4,447 metres in length, it is 800mm longer than its predecessor and has a 62mm longer wheelbase, making it roomier inside, but has a kerb weight as little as 1,250kg if you go petrol.

There is currently no option of an all-wheel drive system, which is odd given that Peugeot calls it an SUV, but it does have 2,200mm of ground clearance and Grip Control to help it tackle slightly more difficult terrain.

You even get Hill Assist Descent Control for crawling down slopes at a constant 2mph and the tyres are of the all-season variety so you should always have the grip to cope with Britain’s worst weather.

The 2017 3008 is hardly a full-blown, all-out off-roader, but it can go further off the beaten track than a conventional car, which will be adequate for most buyers, and it has serious practicality going for it as you shall soon find out.

2017 Peugeot 3008: How does it drive?

Like a Peugeot. The good ones, that is. It has a whiff of the 308 GTi about it in terms of how precise the steering is and how enthusiastically it grips. You tend to forget you are in quite a big C-segment car until you slide into the clutches of understeer.

The six-speed manual gear stick is so chunky passengers thought it was an automatic and the distance between gears is acceptable. It is a little notchy and, more annoyingly, even the most gentle clutch control can be met with a jumpy change between second and third.

We also experienced a hint of squeaky brake syndrome on one journey, but it subsided quickly. In truth, these are the two biggest issues we experienced and neither ruined the experience.

The three-cylinder turbocharged petrol takes 10.8 seconds from 0-62mph, which sounds painfully slow, but in reality not once did we panic about making an overtake or making it up a steep hill.

A combination of 129bhp and 173lb/ft (230Nm) of torque from 1,750rpm is a sweet spot of pootling and poke and the turbo lag is acceptable. Though anything but fast, this engine is gutsy enough to make it viable in the real world.

Even when you gun it, which always seems like a good idea but the linear power delivery kills the fun somewhat, the engine remains civilised and even nice to listen to. The 3008 is an extremely refined car when coupled with the petrol.

Complimenting its motorway abilities is the lack of wind noise up to 70mph, although to be fair we had the truly excellent Focal sound system (it’s up there with Meridian and Harmon Kardon offerings) blaring after the second day of testing.

The Pug is also comfortable over bumps. A Nissan Qashqai is a bit softer, which comes in handy if you drive into a craterous pot hole, but smaller undulations are soaked up nicely and without muting the feel you get through the wheels.

Steering feel is, admittedly, of little use when trying to get home before your child brings up his McDonald’s Big Mac (other burgers are available), but it does mean those who appreciate a sporty edge to their cars could stomach this particular SUV.

It helps, too, the new 3008 has a sport mode for a twitchier accelerator and exhibits almost zero body roll, a by-product of the suspension and relatively low kerb weight. Where some SUVs feel heavy, the 3008 feels nimble and poised for some B-road shenanigans.

2017 Peugeot 3008: Bet the interior is rubbish

No, that is untrue. Peugeot has absolutely nailed the interior of the 3008 when it comes to aesthetics to the point where it makes the Jaguar F-Pace look cheap. The few nastier plastics are hidden away nicely.

Peugeot has kept things simple and drawn in some inspiration from recent concept cars, resulting in a clean and uncluttered cabin. The stylish ‘brumeo’ fabric material, the ‘piano key’ metal switches, the angular lines – everything goes against the mundane beautifully.

Even the materials are solid and closing the door is met with a firm, reassuring thud. Not once during our 460-miles of motoring did anything rattle, come loose or fall off in our hand. In the 3008 we began to trust.

The infotainment system could be of a higher resolution, but then the 12.3-inch digital display (standard on all cars, take that Audi) behind the dinky Peugeot steering wheel is where your eyes will spend the most time, especially as you can switch it to a navigation mode and get a superior map visual.

The ability to adjust the digital dial display is a neat touch, especially as it allows you to focus on a specific element such as fuel consumption or your own customised setting. Not only is it useful and clear, Peugeot bothered to make it compliment the physical elements.

Android Auto and Apple Car Play are useful extras, but you can get away with the functionality built into Peugeot’s eight-inch display. The user-interface is mainly logical, but the odd function does require too much concentration to operate while driving.

The front seats are somewhat firm, but avoid becoming uncomfortable. Even after three hours of driving, our body never complained. Larger motorists may find them a bit snug, but the flip-side is being held in place if you decide to drive like an idiot.

The interior is often an overlooked element of a car or the one where cost-cutting takes place, but Peugeot’s i-Cockpit is proof you can get a spot of luxury and style without having to look to the Germans and spend more money.

As for safety, the new Peugeot 3008 secured itself a full five-star rating from Euro NCAP, making it able to compete with rivals when it comes to protecting your family in the event of an accident. Autonomous emergency braking as standard is a big plus.

2017 Peugeot 3008: Practicality and boot space?

Even with a rather tall person up front, the rear seats can cope with above average passengers both in terms of head and leg room. Sadly the centre console ends up rather close to the middle seat so it is more suitable for a child or shorter adult.

Higher spec cars provide a folding front seat and a two-position boot floor. Overall storage space in the boot is up to 591 litres with the parcel shelf in place, rising to 1,670 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats folded flat. The Ateca and Qashqai fare worse here.

There are also various storage spaces, lined door bins so phones avoid getting scratched and two central cup holders for all your drink needs (unless you super size) so this is a car that can cope with family life.

2017 Peugeot 3008: Running costs, specs and UK price?

In town or when being heavy-footed, the 3008 fuel economy drops between 20 and 25mpg, which makes the diesel alternatives cheaper to run. But this engine is otherwise rather frugal.

We averaged 43mpg after a variety of motorway cruising and stop-start traffic on the M25 with little effort. At 70mph, we saw around 50mpg with cruise control engaged. Peugeot claims a combined figure of 55.4mpg.

Usually petrol is the inferior choice, but the Government has decided to wage war on diesels. Therefore the 130S&S makes more sense if you want to avoid any noticeable fuel or tax hikes going forward and they are cheaper to buy.

With that said, the 1.6-litre diesel (available in two power outputs) can achieve up to a claimed 70.6mpg and CO2 as little as 104g/km although all engines will pay £140 a year after the first year, such is the new VED system.

More powerful diesels see a noticeable drop in fuel efficiency on paper. Going for the more costly six-speed automatic causes a drop in fuel economy and an increase in CO2 so consider sticking with the manual.

Prices start from £22,495 for the 3008 1.2L PureTech 130 S&S Active with a six-speed manual, rising to £33,605 for the top-spec 3008 GT 2.0L BlueHDi 180 S&S GT with an EAT6 six-speed automatic.

Our GT Line test car came in at £25,555, which included the Magnetic Blue colour (£525), motorised tailgate (£750), opening glass roof (£990), Focal sound system (£590) and the vis pack (£450).

Active models come with a high level of equipment, which means there is no such thing as a poorly equipped 3008 but that does mean a slightly higher price than some of its rivals for an entry-level motor.

You get, for instance, a lane departure warning system, DAB digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, 17-inch alloy wheels, blue ambient lighting, parking sensors at the rear, automatic headlights, automatic wipers and autonomous emergency braking.

At GT Line level (just above Allure), you get a smartphone charging plate in the centre console, twin-exit exhaust effect trim, full LED headlights, LED sequential indicators, 18-inch alloys, sport bodykit and higher quality interior materials.

The extra comfort and enhancement the already excellent i-Cockpit gets from the GT Line trim and that the 130 S/S engine is excellent makes it one of our favourite combinations, although the diesel works out cheapest to run (for now) and Allure will be luxurious enough for most.

A hybrid version is on the way, just in case you want even better fuel economy, sub 50g/km CO2 emissions and up to 30 miles of range on electric power only, but expect a much higher buying cost.

2017 Peugeot 3008: Should I buy one, then?

We have to hand it to Peugeot, the 3008 is vastly superior to its predecessor. It is one of the best-looking crossover SUVs, it drives better than almost all of its rivals, has a big boot and the interior is second to none at this price point.

You also get a two-year unlimited mileage warranty and three years up to 100,000 miles, which will allay some fears associated with French cars, and a very generous level of equipment. We were genuinely expecting a much higher price tag – a big compliment, indeed.

The Tiguan, Qashqai and Ateca are worth looking into as they are accomplished competitors, but you would be foolish to ignore the 3008 because we found it to be a very capable and refreshing take on the SUV.

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