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Car Review

Peugeot 3008 (2016-2023) review

810
Published: 14 Feb 2022
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

SUV thingies like the 3008 usually go one of two ways. Softly sprung and as taut as a plate of eighth-birthday-party jelly. Or stiffened up to high hell to compensate, their ginormous alloys thumping along with an unsubtlety that’ll have you chanting ‘fee, fi, fo, fum’ as you thunder down pothole-ridden roads.

Peugeot, though, has treaded a very welcome line between the two. Soft enough to offer all the comfort a family car should, but with an incisiveness in corners you don’t exactly need, but will relish when you’re driving alone and want to daydream you’re a main player in Peugeot’s storied rallying past. Possibly. 

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Really? I wasn’t expecting that.

That dinky steering wheel lends this car sharp reactions, but they feel entirely natural, and you can carry uncanny speed into corners if you so desire. Equally, this is a car with a truly relaxed gait when you just want to mooch around with the ‘cat paw’ massage function softly prodding away at your back muscles.

We’d go petrol, given the option: both 1.2 and 1.6 are around 200kg lighter than their diesel equivalents, the base version weighing a paltry 1,320kg. That’s a chubby passenger or two more than an Alpine A110. Quite where Peugeot has scalloped out the weight in something so chunky, we’ll never know, but the 3008’s surprising litheness is the wholly tangible benefit.

We couldn’t blame you for defaulting to a diesel, mind – French carmakers have always been a dab hand at those – but the more economically minded should perhaps hold fire until they’ve tried the Hybrid. While its RRP price looks terrifying (and is knocking on the door of a Porsche Macan’s), its lease cost actually works out a little cheaper than a top-spec diesel, presumably due to better residuals. 

Interesting. So a hybrid might work out as the goldilocks option?

The basic front-drive Hybrid 225 with its eight-speed auto ‘box and 32 miles of all-electric range is that car. With 266lb ft of torque it can get the 3008 from 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds and feels as quick as you’d ever need. The extra weight (around 300kg) doesn’t dampen those surprisingly impressive dynamics too much either, although the gearbox takes a second to make its mind up when you put your foot down and the 1.6-litre petrol engine can be a little grumbly.  

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What about that fast one you were talking about?

The full-fat, twin-electric motor Hybrid4 300 shares its system with the DS 7 Crossback and there it’s quiet and refined, even when the combustion engine kicks in, and it’s the same in the Peugeot. Everything works with a genial lack of fuss, and it’s got a surprising turn of speed, although the eight-speed auto ‘box does sometimes require a head-up for speedy junction exits. It’s a good car, but probably not worth the premium. You’ll likely only go for this drivetrain if you need the all-wheel drive, and even then, the system is more geared for greasy road traction than tackling forestry tracks.

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