Peugeot are a very good example of how a manufacturer can turn things around. They suffered from uninspiring products for a while, and then the economic downturn dealt a blow that could well have finished the company off if handled improperly. Today the lion is back on form making a profit once again as well as cars that challenge for class leadership. The new 2017 Peugeot 3008 SUV is the best example yet of what “new Peugeot” are capable of. We headed to Italy to be amongst the first to drive this latest model.
Our test car finished in Ultimate Red with contrasting Diamond Black roof certainly turned heads. We first saw this car at its unveiling in Paris earlier in the year, but out here among the Italian mountains in natural light, this SUV is handsome indeed. The design kicks off with a wide chrome grill that sits between some rather feline inspired raked headlights. Your eye is then carried along the bodywork by a thin band of vents. A rising belt line flows into pronounced shoulders that taper to a point. The rear is dominated by a gloss black upper finish that contrasts distinctive light clusters. This top of the range GT model also featured a smart set of 19 inch alloy wheels.
As impressive as the exterior design is, it’s the cabin that is the real show stopper. Built upon Peugeot’s new i-Cockpit design, a large display presents digital dials above a small steering wheel. The display is totally customisable and is superbly animated. I’d say it is actually on par with Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. A large centre console divides driver and passenger as it rises up to a new 8 inch touchscreen infotainment display. New software brings better ergonomics and the unit itself is more responsive than its predecessor. Useful toggle switches below act as useful shortcut buttons to cut through menus. This GT model had some high quality leather quilted seats that were not only heated, but also massaging. They provided good support of which is ideal for those long hauls. Wood and aluminium trim further boosts the perceived quality of the highly sculpted cabin. The outermost rear passengers benefit from good head and leg room, however, a protruding central ventilation unit does cut down on the middle occupants leg room. A generous 591 litre boot is at your disposal in the 2017 Peugeot 3008 SUV and can be optioned with a handy sliding floor negating the need to reach in for luggage.
This specific 2017 Peugeot 3008 SUV was equipped with a 2.0 litre BlueHDi diesel engine of which claims 58 MPG combined in this car. It produces a healthy 181hp and 400Nm of torque. This is then sent to the front wheels via a 6 speed automatic transmission. Whilst under load this engine can sound a but grumbly, but once up to speed the overall refinement is commendable. There is little in the way of road or wind noise and the engine melts away into the background. It is notoriously difficult to gauge ride quality on silky smooth European roads, but of the tarmac imperfections I encountered the 3008 acquitted itself well. This model makes swift progress thanks to its strong diesel engine and on motorways it made short work of dawdling traffic. Its automatic gearbox produces near seamless shifts and proved intelligent enough to select appropriate ratios. The steering is precise and well weighted, although does lack some feel. Its aforementioned small steering wheel helps boost the sensation of agility and aids in exploiting the high levels of grip. Press the sport button and the throttle response and steering weight increases. Visibility is good generally speaking with thin A-pillars, that said, rear visibility is reduced by a shallow window and so I would recommend the reversing camera.
Option the Grip Control system and this SUV becomes a bit more capable if you feel the need to leave tarmac. Whilst only being front wheel drive, you can select from various modes that alter how the 2017 Peugeot 3008 SUV dispenses its power dependant upon the surface. You also benefit from tyres with a bit more bite. A world first from Peugeot is HADC which is a form of advanced hill descent control than and run at much slower speeds down slopes than regular HDC. This can be fitted to both manual and automatic models.
The 2017 Peugeot 3008 SUV is arguably the most competent car Peugeot has ever made. Suitably stylish, beautifully designed, and more refined than many rivals. The SUV segment is booming and competition is some of the toughest in any arena, however, this is a very complete car. It isn’t just good for a French SUV, it is undoubtably one of the best in its class. You can have a Peugeot 3008 SUV from £21,795.