The 3008, and the RCZ coupe, will be the last Peugeots to wear the firm’s oversized rictus grinning grille up front, and we should probably be pleased with that. At least the 3008’s is squarer and less caricatured than others.
Peugeot’s crossover does convey a credible faux-SUV ruggedness, though, with its butch stance and its fake front and rear skidplates. The arrowhead-like taillights are interesting – as is the fact that, amazingly, the aerodynamic drag coefficient is just 0.296.
The 3008 uses a version of the PSA group’s familiar Platform Two, which also underpins the regular 308, the new 5008 MPV and their Citroen relatives. That means the rear suspension is by a simple torsion beam – Peugeot has long since abandoned the fully independent trailing arms that were once its chassis signature, on grounds of cost – but in the most powerful 3008s the rear suspension contains an extra, central damper designed to reduce body roll.
The system is neat and simple. It was developed by Japanese company Kayaba, whose KYB dampers are found in many new cars. Mounted on the torsion beam, a central hydraulic cylinder is linked to both rear dampers. It contains a floating piston, above which is gas pressurised to 20bar. On a straight road, the piston is free to move against the gas pressure so it can accommodate displacement of both dampers’ oil. During cornering, the valving in the piston is locked by the pressure difference between each damper so there’s no escape route for the pressure build-up in the outer damper. This stiffens the damper’s action and the 3008 stays level.
The cheapest 3008 is powered by PSA’s 1.6-litre, 118bhp petrol four-pot engine, and from there upwards there’s a choice of 154bhp turbo petrol power, or 110bhp, 148bhp or 161bhp turbodiesel engines.
The range-topping Hybrid4 model combines Peugeot’s 161bhp diesel combustion engine (driving the front wheels) with a 36bhp electric motor (driving the rears). Its combination of 197bhp of performance, with emissions of less than 100g/km, makes it unique in the hybrid market.