There’s just one petrol engine: a turbocharged, three-cylinder 1.2 producing 129bhp. While we’ve yet to try it in the 3008, it has impressed us in other Peugeots because it offers smooth performance and decent flexibility.
The rest of the range is formed of diesel engines. The more modest of the pair, a 118bhp 1.6 BlueHDi 120 unit, is flexible and easy to recommend. In fact, because this diesel is so good, it’s hard to justify spending extra on the more powerful 148bhp 2.0 BlueHDi 150 unit, for the modest performance gains that it brings.
Most versions have a six-speed manual gearbox, although the 118bhp HDi has an optional automatic transmission. The Hybrid4 model uses the same transmission, but mixes diesel and electric power to provide 197bhp and lots of low-down pulling power. Overall, it’s usefully quick.
The 3008 provides decent high-speed comfort but its low-speed ride is rather firm, and the tall body moves around quite a bit on demanding roads. The 2.0 HDi model has Dynamic Roll Control rear suspension, however. It’s an active system that provides better ride comfort and body control. In this spec the 3008 rides as well as most rivals.
Hybrid4 models are heavier and less forgiving over bumps even though, like for like, they are fitted with smaller wheels than conventionally powered 3008s.
As with the ride quality, the 3008’s handling depends on whether it has Dynamic Roll Control fitted. With it, the 3008 is surprising agile for such a tall car; without, it has a rather cumbersome character on twistier roads.
Light, responsive steering makes the 3008 easy to drive, but keen drivers are likely to find it somewhat short on feel. All 3008s grip well. Grip Control is an option for 1.6 diesel and manual 2.0-litre diesel models. It allows the driver to maximise traction by choosing different settings for various weather and surface conditions.
Even though the 3008 is a tall car, wind noise isn’t excessive thanks to the model’s smooth shape. There’s also little in the way of tyre noise, and it’s only over really rough surfaces that you hear the suspension going about its business. Overall, the 3008 isn’t quite as refined as the Nissan Qashqai, but it’s still one of the quietest cars in its class.
The petrol engine is smooth and free revving, while the diesels sound clattery under hard acceleration but are hushed when cruising. The manual transmission in most models is slick enough. The 1.6 BlueHDi 120’s optional automatic gearbox is a little ponderous but once you are familiar with its behaviour, it becomes a bit more tolerable.
The hybrid system in the Hybrid4 version generally operates smoothly but the silent running in EV mode serves only to highlight the noise of the diesel as it continually shuts down and starts up.
The 3008’s large, driver-focused centre console dominates the cabin. Combined with a raised driving position it gives a commanding feel, but it’s not as user-friendly as it could be. The stereo is a long reach for shorter drivers, and the mass of buttons and the fiddly infotainment system can be irritating. The head-up display that’s standard on range-topping models, and an option on others, works well, however.
The front seats lack sufficient side support and the stepped backrest adjustment (for versions with manual seats) means that not everyone will be able to find their perfect angle. However, most drivers should be able to get comfortable. The bulky footrest on the left of the footwell may annoy some, however.
Thanks to a raised driving position and reasonably slender front pillars, the view forward from the 3008’s driver’s seat is pretty clear. The quarter lights in the side windows are narrow enough not to obscure your vision, although it takes a while to get used to the door mirrors, which are an odd shape and mounted quite far back.
The view behind isn’t bad thanks to a decent-sized rear windscreen, but stout pillars mean that over-the-shoulder vision isn’t great. Rear parking sensors are standard on entry-level Active versions, but you also get front sensors and a reversing camera on the other trim, Allure. A parking space measurement system is standard on that model, too.
A heated windscreen isn’t available, however, and xenon headlights are a pricey option on top-spec cars.
All 3008 models come with Bluetooth connectivity and a USB input socket, but the car is saddled with infotainment systems from an older era. The model doesn’t have the latest touchscreen system that’s in Peugeot’s 208 and 308 models.
It’s the worse for it, with interfaces and operating systems that are clunky and not very intuitive. Even the satellite navigation that comes as standard on Allure models is pretty frustrating.
DAB radio is a cheap option for Allure models but part of pricey option packs for Active editions, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the final list price.
One neat touch, however, is that the standard-fit USB input socket is mounted in the lid of the centre armrest cubby. It is fiddly to access but means you can keep your iPod or phone tucked away neatly within it.
The Nissan Qashqai SUV leads the way in the sector for technology and if tech is your thing, it’s well worth a look.
The 3008’s interior represented a major improvement in quality for the brand when the model was launched. It still looks great and holds its own against most rivals, thanks to some smart materials and an attractive design.
Some of the plastics further back and lower down the cabin aren’t quite as impressive, however, and too much of the switchgear looks and feels dated. Peugeot’s more recent offerings are much better in this respect.
Although its unusually high centre console means that the 3008 feels quite cosy from the driver’s seat, there’s plenty of head room and, because it’s one of the widest cars in its class, there’s decent shoulder room. All versions have height-adjustable driver’s and front passenger’s seats. The pedal area is fine, but the high footrest to the left isn’t to all tastes.
There are lots of storage areas, and some are more useful than others. The central cubby underneath the armrest is huge (if fiddly to access due to its side-hinged lid), while the door bins are slim but large enough to accommodate a big drinks bottle. The glovebox is small, however, while the slot above the stereo in the centre console will hold a phone, but nothing more.
The 3008’s tall, wide shape translates into plenty of rear head- and shoulder room. In this respect, it’s a match for most rivals. Unfortunately, it also has one of the shortest wheelbases in its class, which might explain why it doesn’t score so highly for back-seat leg room.
In fact, there’s not as much rear room as you get in some small family hatchbacks, so taller passengers could find their knees are pushed up against the front seats. A flat floor means that a central rear passenger has no centre tunnel to contend with, but the seat cushion is uncomfortably hard.
Access is fine but although the door openings are tall, they’re not especially long. A foldout central armrest, that features two fixed cupholders, is standard across the range and there are small front seatback pockets. The very narrow rear door bins are fit only for stationery, but even basic Active models come with handy under-floor storage areas.
There are no sliding or reclining functions but the 3008’s rear seats are easy to fold. You simply pull a handle that’s conveniently mounted on the side of the boot, just inside the tailgate.
The rear cushions automatically drop down and forward as the backrest is folded and, if the moveable boot floor is in the appropriate setting, you’re left with a totally flat load area. It’s clever stuff; its quick and simple action ideal for those who are regularly loading their cars with lots of luggage.
The jewel in the 3008’s crown is its boot. It’s a good size and more versatile than most rivals’. The Peugeot even features an SUV-like split tailgate, which means there’s a lower part that makes a useful loading – or even seating – platform, and an upper section that’s light and easy to lift.
There’s also a three-stage boot floor. Standard on all versions, it gives the option of a very deep load area; one that’s flush with the rear seats and lower tailgate when folded, and which has storage area beneath, or a higher setting that splits the load space into two separate areas.
The boot itself is deep and square, and easy to access thanks to a well-shaped load entrance. A capacity of 512 litres with the seats up is more than most rivals (including the Nissan Qashqai) can offer, but it’s not especially wide, which could be a problem for parents with larger pushchairs. Side-mounted handles make it easy to fold the rear seats, and there’s a flat deck when the floor is in its middle setting.
Opt for the hybrid model and capacity drops to just 354 litres because the car’s battery and electrics occupy most of the underfloor storage space.
The 3008 is competitively priced but thanks to large showroom discounts, significant savings are the norm. You’ll need them to offset what are rather poor resale values for the class. Fuel economy and CO2 emissions are very competitive, if not a match for the Nissan Qashqai, though.
The exception – at least, theoretically – is the Hybrid4 model, which has very impressive official consumption figures. Unfortunately, our True MPG tests suggests that you’ll get nowhere near these in the real world. The model is expensive, too.
Otherwise, fixed-price servicing packages allow buyers to pay maintenance costs in regular bite-sized chunks, while insurance groupings are competitive.
Standard equipment is on a par with most rivals. Entry-level Active cars come with four electric windows, air-con, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth and a full complement of safety kit, plus automatic lights and wipers. It’s hard to justify spending the extra to go beyond this specification.
There’s only one further trim level for conventionally powered 3008s. Called Allure, it adds larger alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, front parking sensors, a rear-view camera with Park assist, and a panoramic glass roof. These are all nice enough features but, particularly with the clunky nav system, they don’t quite offset the extra cost.
Hybrid4 models are available in different Active and Allure trims that are roughly similar to those of the standard car, with the addition of climate control for Active models and the deletion of the panoramic roof for Allure trim.
In our previous customer satisfaction survey the 3008 was rated third in its category out of 10 cars, ahead of the likes of the Ford S-Max and Toyota Verso. It even fared well against all the other cars on the market finishing in 19th place, out of the 109 cars surveyed. As a brand, Peugeot achieves acceptable reliability results, in our most recent survey being placed in 12th position out of 37 manufacturers.
The 3008’s standard warranty cover is three years or 60,000 miles, and features a 12-year anti-perforation warranty. New cars come with a one-year breakdown cover package, too; extended warranties are available. However, neither the 3008 nor its rivals can hold a candle to the seven-year warranty covering the Kia Sportage.
The 3008 earned the full five stars from Euro NCAP when rated for safety in 2009, but it’s worth remembering the tests have become significantly tougher since then. All models come with six airbags and electronic stability control as standard. However, the 3008 lacks the active safety aids (city safety braking, lane-keeping assist) either as standard or as options, that are provided with some newer rivals.
Deadlocks and automatic door locks are standard across the range, and all but the entry-level car have alloy wheels with locking wheel nuts. A Thatcham category 1 approved alarm is standard on top-spec Allure trim, but an option on entry-level Active. Security firm Thatcham Research has awarded the 3008 four out of five stars for its resistance to being stolen, and three stars for its resistance to being broken into. These ratings are just under average for the class.