Sales figures show that a lot of us like cars with a bit of visual toughness, lots of space and a high seating position. It’s not a true SUV we want, merely the outward trappings of one, and this is exactly what the Peugeot 3008 provides. It does so at a very competitive price, while proving lively, refined and economical.
The 3008 also handles surprisingly crisply, and its Dynamic Roll Control seems to help significantly here. A tall hatchback this may be, but Peugeot has succeeded in taming its body roll without hobbling it with a lumpen ride, and smooth, accurate and feelsome steering make the car pleasing to steer too. PSA sister brand Citroen could learn a great deal from this car when the time comes to update its similar but much less well-mannered DS4.
Elsewhere, the 3008’s interior is versatile, spacious, comfortable, well-equipped and even a little upmarket in its aura. That high seating position means you can slide in and out without bending down, and also enjoy an enhanced view of the road ahead from the driver’s seat. And experience tells us that it’s these attributes, and not the ruggedized looks or four driven wheels, that users really cherish about their full-on 4x4s.
There are snags: the 3008’s fidgety low-speed ride can be annoying and the view aft is poor. Few would call the car beautiful, either. But it’s a good car to drive, with promising signs that Peugeot is rediscovering its past chassis expertise. More importantly, although a couple of years late, it looks like the right car for these times.