Once a quirky, curvy, innovative crossover hatchback, the Peugeot 3008 morphed into more of a by-the-book compact SUV when the first-generation car was replaced by the second back in 2016. In some ways that was a shame, making the car less original; but the move has played well commercially, boosting the car’s UK sales popularity amongst customers who increasingly rate the versatility, convenience and the bolder styling of these high-riding cars.
Now, with a new pair of plug-in hybrid models entering the range alongside regular petrol- and diesel options, the second-generation 3008 looks set to continue to prosper as it progresses through the second half of its showroom life. It’s a car that might appeal to value-savvy buyers at the bottom of the model range, where it can be snapped up for less than £28,000; but it also now has what it takes to appeal to tax-conscious company drivers in the middle of the line-up and at the very top; and it’s one of a gradually dwindling number of cars in the class in which a frugal diesel engine can still be had if you want one.
Rather than trading on tough offroad capability or outright practicality, this is a car that seeks to mix distinguishing and sophisticated style both inside and out with a just-so blend of useful space, compactness and maneuverability. The more powerful plug-in hybrids adopt upgraded suspension as well as extra power in order to conjure a bit of dynamism into that equation, as we’ll explore shortly; and it was a ‘plug-in’ petrol-electric Hybrid 225, with lab-test carbon emission of just 31g/km, that we elected to test.