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The Top Gear car review:Peugeot 3008
For:Great ride, plush and practical, good engines
Against:Cars without Dynamic Ride Control don't drive as well
1.6 HDi 115 Active II 5dr
Hybrids are all very well, but they use petrol engines and we all know diesels are more efficient. OK, why no diesel hybrids? Simple. Diesel...
What we say:
Peugeot is late to the mini-MPV market, so has gone and done something a bit different. In an OK way...
What is it?
The 3008 is Peugeot’s first bash at a crossover, aimed squarely at the Nissan Qashqai. A worthy first effort it is, too, as the French machine is a cracking all-rounder. The cabin is classy, refined and practical.
There’s a good choice of specs, too, but you need to choose wisely to find the sweet spot in the 3008’s range. For 2014, it’s been facelifted, with a new front end and styling tweaks inside and out, but otherwise it’s the same as before.
Pay attention here, because cars without Peugeot’s Dynamic Roll Control are a bit ropey on the move. They’re more prone to lolloping about and the ride can be uncomfortable on anything other than smooth tarmac. Choose the HDi 150 and THP 150 models with it, though, and the 3008 is transformed. The ride is smooth and unflustered at all times, body roll is minimal for a car of its size and there’s plenty of grip.
Everything’s quite light and easy to use, so the big Peugeot is a cinch around town. It’s no GTi on the back roads, but that’s not really the point. Engines start with a humble-but-frugal 115bhp 1.6 HDi and top out at a punchy 163bhp 2.0-litre oil burner. This combines brilliantly with an electric motor in the HYbrid4 to give silent, zero tailpipe emissions in-town motoring. Petrols take the form of a 1.6-litre 120bhp unit, which is a tad underpowered, but the 156bhp THP turbo petrol is pretty quick.
On the inside
Rear legroom in this 5-seater isn’t the best in its class, but other than that the Peugeot is pleasingly spacious. It’s practical, too, as the boot has a handy three-stage floor, so you can split the luggage space into separate areas.
Lugging furniture rather than kids? No problem – the rear seats fold down with the simplest tug of a lever, and the split tailgate makes loading the thing even easier. Up front, the high driving position means visibility is superb and the dash is very well built. It almost apes an Audi TT in its design and classy nature. Almost.
Obviously, the diesels are the ones to go for if economy is top priority. The best of all is the base HYbrid4, which offers 83.1mpg and 88g/km of CO2 – amazing for something this size, but it’s not cheap. Take the 67.3mpg 1.6 e-HDi 115 for £7k less instead. Its EGC gearbox is a seriously acquired taste, though, so we’d probably stick with a regular 1.6 diesel or, if you can afford slightly higher running costs, the 1.6 156bhp petrol. The 3008 has been generally well received, so a good mid-spec (Active or Allure) model is likely to hang on to its value as well as anything else in this class. Speaking of which, it’s not bad value for money, either.