It was a dull and damp day in Bologna, Italy as we touched down to test the all-new Peugeot 3008 at the international launch. My anticipation levels were high for this particular car having spent many miles as a passenger in its predecessor with my father who currently owns one. The previous generation was a quirky looking thing that wasn’t sure if it was a people carrier or an SUV but it was, and still is, incredibly purposeful and very easy to live with. Peugeot have opted for a whole new approach with the new 3008 and this C Segment SUV looks to me like it’s very much on to a winner. Before we talk about the drive lets just admire the look and new styling that Peugeot’s talented design lab have come up with. Looking at the profile of the 3008 you will notice that somehow the designers have managed to blend a high stance with boxy but dramatic lines. It is still the same width as the original but now it’s longer, slightly lower and has greater ground clearance. Gone is the split tailgate in favour of the more simplistic hatch style which helps in the weight saving department but staying true to their spare wheel commitment, you will find a fifth wheel under the false floor. With the tailgate closed you are faced with a gloss black band housing seductive LED tail lamps that have three claw-marks for that signature Peugeot look. Right now you are probably looking at the paint and wondering what’s with the two-tone design?
Right now you are probably looking at the paint and wondering what’s with the two-tone design? Ok it might not be to everyones taste but the GT Line and GT versions of the 3008 can be specified with a two-tone black and grey “Coupe Franche” finish, where the front two-thirds of the car is silver, with the rear third being black. It did cause a few raised eyebrows but lets face it, the C Segment SUV sector can be a little dull and anything to give it lift gets the thumbs up from us! Gone is the split tailgate in favour of the more simplistic hatch style which helps in the weight saving department but staying true to their spare wheel commitment, you will find a fifth wheel under the false floor. With the tailgate closed you are faced with a gloss black band housing seductive LED tail lamps that have three claw-marks for that signature Peugeot look. Right now you are probably looking at the paint and wondering what’s with the two-tone design? Ok it might not be to everyones taste but the GT Line and GT versions of the 3008 can be specified with a two-tone black and grey “Coupe Franche” finish, where the front two-thirds of the car is silver, with the rear third being black. It did cause a few raised eyebrows but lets face it, the C Segment SUV sector can be a little dull and anything to give it lift gets the thumbs up from us!
Moving inside is when you really get the feel Peugeot’s ambition to not just enter, but compete in the premium sector. It is simply sublime especially in this GT Line trim with soft-touch plastics on top of the dashboard to the genuine oak facia, which leaves you under no illusions that you are in a quality environment. The seats are comfortable with ample room front and rear with a tailored leather stitch that oozes quality. For me the “Pièce de résistance” is the new i-Cockpit, which features a 12.3-inch digital display showing the speedometer, fuel gauge and other dashboard dials. This can be configured to show sat-nav guidance, media playlists or information about fuel economy and journey times. This is something we have seen from Audi before but unlike the German giant there is no price walk for this amazing digital dash and all 3008’s will feature this system. The i-Cockpit is further aided by the eight-inch infotainment touchscreen in the centre, which features Apple CarPlay, MirrorLink and Android Auto. There are six sculpted piano-key toggle switches acting as shortcuts to the main control functions just underneath.We got a chance to test the Apple CarPlay feature playing some classic rock tunes and the sound quality was simply stunning!
Peugeot have teamed up with French audio giants Focal to bring you a set up capable of producing crisp clear bass with amazing mid range punch. In a past life I was a judge at many a modified car show and more often than not, we awarded cars kitted with Focal Audio top honours in the sound category. It’s great to see this aftermarket product pairing with Peugeot for the foreseeable future. So aside from this amazing GT Line trim what other options will Irish buyers have? The range starts with Access trim, followed by Active trim, and then on to the Allure trim, while GT Line, which we are testing, comes next and GT tops the range. Under the bonnet its time to get down to the business end with a range of class-leading PureTech petrol and BlueHDi engines available. The final Irish options will be confirmed soon but we should be able to choose from the 130hp turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol and 100hp 1.6-litre diesel, the former also available in automatic. For more grunt the 2.0-litre 180hp diesel sold with an automatic gearbox should also be available. Emissions from all versions should be less than 130g/km, meaning affordable car tax regardless of your choice. Over the next two days we tested a range of different engines and trim levels. At no point did I feel we were getting out of first class and into economy because Peugeot have somehow managed to keep quality materials used regardless and none of the power plants are weak. Through the twisty mountain pass roads to the autostrada the 3008 was joyous to drive but what I didn’t expect was that you can have one with real world off road capabilities. Although there is no four-wheel drive option there is a unique traction-maximising Grip Control system that adapts to the type of surface you’re driving on.
We pitched it against a rather sharp decent with the witchcraft switched on and watched in awe as it managed to safely negotiate a slippery grass surface with no input other than steering from the driver to get us to the bottom. Add winter tyres to your 3008 and the same system, which is essentially a sophisticated traction-control device, will help you negotiate mud, sand and snow. It’s not a big money optional extra either at just shy of €400 so it could be well worth having. For me Peugeot have not just raised the bar a bit in this sector, they have possibly jumped out of it and into a different league. There is no poor man option. Each 3008 feels impeccable to drive so it’s just simply about what trim you will find yourself most comfortable in. Right now there is a number of left-hand drive units touring Irish dealerships for you to peruse but you can expect right hand drive models to land in February and sell fast. Peugeot are reporting soaring inquiries on this particular model and we have no doubt it will be a huge success and contender for Car Of The Year 2017. We look forward to spending a week with the 3008 on its Irish arrival where we can give you a more detailed review.
Pricing has now been released from Peugeot Ireland for the all new 3008. Prices will start from €25,995 for the Access trim 1.2 PureTech 130 bhp while the 1.6 Blue HDi 100bhp in Access trim starts from €26,515. If you opt for the Active trim pricing will range from between €28,295 up to €32,045 while the Allure trim will set you back between €29,885 and €33,605 depending on engine and transmission choice. The range topping GT Line starts from €33,225 up to €36,975. All prices are without optional extras.