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First drive: Peugeot 3008 GT Line BlueHDI 120 EAT6
22 August 2017
Author: Debbie Wood
Peugeot really is a brand on the move at the moment and no car demonstrates the French firm's shift from family budget motoring to desirable quality better than this, the new 3008.
Launched in January this year, the new 3008 made a significant move away from its MPV roots into more popular SUV territory and stepped up its premium appeal in the process.
Few have a bad word to say about this car; in fact, we think it's the best-looking Peugeot to come off the production line in a long time, plus it was also named the 2017 car of the year at the Geneva motor show in March.
You can buy the 3008 in four trims here in the UK - Active, Allure, GT Line and GT. Here, we're testing mid-spec GT Line and the highlights from the standard specification include wireless phone charging, full LED headlights, a reversing camera, satnav, blind-spot monitoring, voice-recognition technology, plus sporty design extras exclusive to this trim like 18in alloy wheels, a twin exhaust, a special chequered radiator grille design and a black diamond effect roof. That's a lot of kit for the sub-£30,000 price tag.
GT Line cars also come with the firm's new interior called i-Cockpit as standard, which incorporates a large customisable 12in screen offering excellent resolution and a new advanced uncluttered dashboard. Interior refinement is excellent and easily brings the Peugeot in line with rivals from Volkswagen and Mazda, and is far superior to the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage; the fabric inserts are particularly nice, while the seats are large and comfortable too; we also really liked the piano-style switches that house the controls for the infotainment screen, although the small steering wheel takes some getting used to.
For those looking for that added dose of luxury, the i-Cockpit also includes a choice of two interior ambiences, which include specific fragrances and lighting to set the mood.
There's a raft of safety kit on offer in our test car too, including lane-departure warning, parking sensors and a distance alert system that are all standard across the line-up. Move up the range and a lane-keeping assist system (which we found a little too intrusive), blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control all become available.
The inside offers plenty of space in the front and rear while the cabin is littered with practical features including a deceptively large centre cubbie, spacious door pockets and cup holders, and the boot is also large at 591 litres.
All-round easy drive
Under the bonnet of our test car is the popular 1.6-litre diesel offering up to 120hp and 300Nm of torque. Officially, the car can sprint 0-62mph in 11.6 seconds while running costs of 67.3mpg combined and 108g/km of CO2 are very competitive with its class.
Importantly for fleet managers, whole-life costs also stack up very well against the likes of the Seat Ateca, Kia Sportage and Nissan Qashqai with competitive RVs and a low pence-per mile figure.
Despite its rugged looks, four-wheel drive isn't available, but the firm's adaptable traction system, called Grip Control, is on hand to offer maximised grip when the road surface gets a little trickier.
As you would expect, the 3008 is no sports car, and majors on comfortable and practical motoring. Ride quality overall is very good, especially on 18in alloys, and the car is easy to drive and manoeuvre in the city and out on the motorway.
Mated to the engine is a six-speed automatic gearbox that offers smooth and timely gear changes; however, although there's very little penalty for picking the auto (4g/km of CO2 and 3mpg), we still prefer the six-speed manual and wouldn't fork out the extra £1,400.
The engine is a little rough around the edges at times, especially when accelerating, while the steering offers very little in terms of feel, and there's a fraction too much road and wind noise entering the cabin at higher speeds than we'd like.
However, the 3008 is not about driving enthusiasts or sporty handing; it's a car that's geared towards family motoring and comfort, and in both tasks it performs excellently.
If it's as much of a marker for where Peugeot is heading in the future as the firm would have us believe, it's fair to say we're pretty excited to see what comes next - just save your money and opt for the manual gearbox in this case.