Practical Peugeot gets minor revisions for 2014 in an effort keep it competitive in the hotly contested crossover market

What is it?

The facelifted version of the Peugeot 3008, a crossover that's reputed to blend elements of MPV, hatchback and SUV.

Over 500,000 of Peugeot's practical crossovers have been sold since its launch in 2009, reputedly exceeding original estimates by some 50 per cent.

The manufacturer's range has seen many new additions however, such as the new Peugeot 308 and Peugeot 208 hatchback, and so the 3008 was looking a little dated.

Peugeot has consequently freshened the model up, in an effort to keep it appealing to buyers who may be tempted away by the likes of the recently launched second-generation Nissan Qashqai.

The primary revision is the adoption of the brand's most recent design language, with a pronounced front grille that echoes that of the company's new hatchbacks.

New headlights feature LED signature lighting and chrome elements for a more defined look. Likewise, sleek new rear clusters with a dark tint and LED detail lighting serve to sharpen up the styling further.

Peugeot says that the new car looks softer overall, and more streamlined, delivering a more contemporary feel. While the Peugeot 3008 could never be described as overly attractive or stylish, it's certainly presentable and the updates do give it a more refined and modern appearance.

Equipment levels have been improved, with Bluetooth connectivity now standard across the range. The Allure model, tested here, now features sat-nav and a reversing camera as standard.

Additionally, the Allure's head-up display now presents information to the driver in multiple colours, allowing for easier identification of the various warnings and readouts.

What's it like?

The Peugeot 3008 is a practical, comfortable and affable crossover that's easy to drive.

Power comes from Peugeot's tried-and-tested 1.6-litre turbocharged diesel engine. It produces 114bhp and 200lb ft, which is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.

Despite a relatively sluggish-sounding 0-62mph time of 13.6sec, the Peugeot 3008 feels suitably lively and its power is delivered in a smooth, consistent fashion.

The only bugbear with the powertrain is a somewhat obtrusive gearshift; the force required to select the next gear is quite high, and the throw quite long.

Many may find the Peugeot's ride slightly stiffer than they expect, and it can be a little harsh on rough surfaces. It never transpires to be uncomfortable however, and the positive tradeoff is reduced body roll in corners.

The Peugeot 3008's steering is precise and quick to act which, coupled with good all-round visibility, makes the car easy to manoeuvre. There's plenty of grip too, with the Peugeot having a reassured and composed feel even in inclement conditions.

Only a slight amount of kickback through the steering, and a larger-than-expected deadzone around the dead-ahead position, serve to count against the 3008 in the handling stakes.

Braking performance is good, with a well-judged pedal feel and a rapid, stable response. The overall impression is of an easily controlled and safe car - something reinforced by a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating.

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Inside you'll find a spacious cabin, with room for five adults and myriad cubby holes and storage points. The interior itself is presentable and smart, with some interesting touches like a bank of retro-looking toggle switches.

There's plenty of leg- and headroom all round which, coupled with comfortable seats and a generally airy feel, should ensure that long trips aren't too tiring - and many drivers will no doubt appreciate the substantial foot rest by the clutch pedal. Only some intrusive road noise blights the Peugeot's otherwise refined interior.

It's not all good news, however. The build quality is generally solid but the example we tested exhibited a few minor creaks and rattles. There was also some poorly fitting trim on the centre console; neither fault was befitting of a £20k-plus crossover.

Minor oversights like clearly obvious stereo removal tool slots, which leave unblanked holes in the head unit's fascia, may also prove mildly annoying.

A 512-litre boot should prove adequate; drop the rear seats and storage space increases to 1604 litres - that's more than offered in a Ford Focus estate, in both instances, for example. Practicality is further bolstered by the presence of a through-loading hatch, a three-position boot floor and myriad tie-down points.

During testing the Peugeot 3008 returned an indicated 45.5mpg without effort, suggesting you could easily cover 600 miles between refills.

One area the 3008 excels in is with regards to equipment. The 'Allure' model we tested features parking sensors, a reversing camera, sat-nav, tyre pressure sensors, a colour heads-up display, dual-zone climate control and cruise control.

Other neat touches include an interior-brightening panoramic glass roof, a self-dipping electrochromatic rear view mirror and automatic wipers and lights, all of which serve to improve the general feel and ease of use.

Should I buy one?

It certainly wouldn't be difficult to justify the purchase of a Peugeot 3008. After all, it's comfortable, practical, pleasant to drive and easy to live with.

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The real catch is that the 3008 occupies similar territory to that of the Nissan Qashqai. For just £495 more you could have a 1.5-litre dCi manual Qashqai, in the similarly specified 'Acenta Premium' trim level.

Besides being very competent and capable, the Nissan Qashqai is also an all-new car - rather than a five-year old model. It's also cleaner and more efficient, cutting the total cost of ownership.

Nevertheless, if you are in the market for a spacious and relatively frugal crossover, the Peugeot 3008 is worth trying.

Buyers intent on frequently carrying lots of passengers or equipment would be advised to opt for the more flexible 2.0-litre diesel model, however. It would most likely prove less tiresome to drive when laden, and may well prove more efficient.

The facelifted Peugeot 3008 is available to order now, with UK deliveries proceeding through January.

Peugeot 3008 Allure HDi 115

Price £22,195; 0-62mph 13.6sec; Top speed 112mph; Economy 57.6mpg; CO2 127g/km; Kerb weight 1590kg; Engine 4 cyls, 1560cc, turbocharged, diesel; Power 114bhp at 3600rpm; Torque 200lb ft at 1750rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual

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