Mid-life update for Peugeot’s compact SUV brings fresh look and new electrified hybrid derivatives

Find Peugeot 3008 (2016-2024) deals
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Used car deals
From £23,750
Sell your car
In partnership with
Powered by

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.

Most of the Japanese and Korean brands in this class no longer offer diesel engines, but - for now, at least - Peugeot is among the European firms that still do.

Now, with a new pair of plug-in hybrid models entering the range alongside regular petrol- and diesel options, the second-generation Peugeot  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.

Back to top

Peugeot 3008 design & styling

The 3008 is among the smaller, cheaper cars that adopts Peugeot’s big-car model architecture. Known as ‘EMP2’, this platform also serves under the Peugeot 5008 and Peugeot 508 saloon, as well as under bigger models from Citroen, Vauxhall and DS Automobiles. The use of the platform allows Peugeot to offer fully independent suspension and four-wheel drive (via an electric rear axle) in higher-end versions of the car; but it also rules out any pure electric derivative (move down a market segment and you can opt for an all-electric Peugeot e-2008 crossover hatchback, of course). 

Turbocharged combustion engines mount transversely under the car’s bonnet and drive the front axle. They range in size from 1.2 litres and three cylinders up to 1.6 litres and four-cylinders; they take in both petrol and diesel options; and they offer between 128- and 178bhp for those who want a conventionally-powered option.

The majority of 3008s combine strut-type front suspension with a space-efficient torsion beam arrangement at the rear but, partly because they can bring four-wheel drive into the equation, both plug-in hybrid derivatives swap that beam axle for a more sophisticated multi-link setup. In the Hybrid 225 (as tested) Peugeot’s 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine is combined with an electric drive motor upstream of the car’s eight-speed automatic gearbox, and up to 222bhp and 266lb ft of torque can find its way through to the front wheels. In the pricier Hybrid4 300, meanwhile, an extra electric motor is used to drive the rear axle directly, and ‘total system’ peak power rises to 296bhp. Both hybrid versions use the same lithium-ion drive battery, which has 13.2kWh of gross capacity (10.4kWh net/usable) and is carried under the car’s back seats. 

Peugeot claims significantly stronger performance for the Hybrid4, however: 6.1sec from 0-62mph plays 8.9-, with the Hybrid 225 being only 80kg the lighter of the pair. Our mid-spec test car weighed 1754kg on the proving ground scales, which is roughly what it ought to have weighed allowing for a full tank of fuel and some optional equipment. But simpler, non-electrified versions of the car are claimed to weigh as little as 1320kg.

Back to top

Peugeot’s mid-life update for the 3008 smartened the car’s exterior styling in places, most notably around the radiator grille and headlights where the new car gets a frameless grille and a distinctive straked look. UK buyers are offered a five-tiered derivative lineup, and if you go for one of the upper two you can have an optional ‘Black Pack’ styling theme which adds gloss black alloy wheels and matching body trim, and plenty of dark ‘smoked chrome’ body decorations.


13 Peugeot 3008 2021 RT dashboard

The 3008 has an interior that’s only averagely spacious for a compact SUV, but it’s decently versatile and easy to berth, and there’s a sense of style and material flourish about it up front that continues to distinguish it from its rivals even midway through the car’s life.

The driver sits at a small, low-mounted steering wheel and behind a high-set digital instrument display, the primary controls being orientated in the ‘i-Cockpit’ layout that Peugeot has been espousing for some time now, which is intended to move the instruments higher on the dashboard (closer to your natural line of sight) and to move the steering wheel in the opposite direction, closer to you. In other models the ergonomic layout can seem awkward and unintuitive - but, having a less recumbent seating position than some of its rangemate, the 3008 makes reasonable sense of the approach. As long as you’re above average height you’ll have little problem seeing the digital instruments over the top of the steering wheel rim; and while it feels strange for a while having that wheel set so low in your lap, familiarity makes you used to it before long.

Peugeot’s upgraded front seats (heaters, massagers, electric adjustment & cushion extensions) come as an option on ‘GT’ trim, or as standard on a ‘GT Premium’; but our test car’s standard chairs were comfortable, with plenty of lateral bolstering and adjustable lumbar support.

The car’s digital instruments do look a little contrived, especially in their primary display mode (which gives you a small, gyroscopic-style analogue speedo in addition to a digital one). Alternative modes with conventional instrument clocks can be selected, although in the case of the Hybrid 225 it takes a little bit of fiddling to make a rev counter replace the rather pointless power usage dial that is displayed by default.

The 3008’s infotainment system has a 10in screen in middle- and upper-trim level cars; and while it can be a little bit tricky to navigate by itself, the row of piano key-style menu shortcut buttons immediately underneath it do make a big difference to usability once you’ve discovered them. That the car’s air conditioning controls are on the screen itself can make for a lot of menu-flicking (we always prefer physical and permanent HVAC controls), and it does seem to take several inputs to achieve pretty simple tasks like finding a radio station or muting navigation instructions. There’s no seperate manual input device for the system, so you have to operate it by the fingertip (or can, in some cases, use voice commands). There is, at least, a small ledge at the base of the screen to anchor an outstretched hand on though, and so even the lengthier and more complicated processes aren’t as trying as they might be.

There is quite a bit of difference between the material feel of high-end and entry-level cars, with pricier 3008s getting the more ‘bedroomy’-feeling soft textile trims and cheaper ones sticking with more conventional materials. If you opt for a Hybrid 225 model, mid-level Allure trim is your de-facto entry point for ownership - our test car coming with plenty of satin chrome decoration and a rubberised ‘carbon-effect’ trim whose sensory appeal left a little bit to be desired. In truth, you can find just as many hard and cheap-feeling mouldings around the 3008’s cabin as there are glossier and expensive-feeling ones, but the car just about manages to aggregate a general ambience defined by the latter. On fully-loaded cars, equipment like massage seats and a night vision system would likely conjure their own sense of luxury and sophistication.

The Peugeot 3008 isn’t the most practical family SUV, but the same could be said about plenty of its compact-class rivals. It’s not a car that could comfortably take three adults across the back seats or three kids in childseats, and the boot is a reasonable size but not much bigger than a hatchback might provide. The latter offers eyes for retaining straps and cargo nets, though, as well as a 12-volt power outlet and enough underfloor storage for the car’s charging cable. Loadbay expansion is via 60:40 split-folding seatbacks (the smaller folding portion of which is on the driver’s side) and a separate ski hatch.


24 Peugeot 3008 2021 RT engine

The 3008 Hybrid 225 has a refined, assertive part-throttle mooch about it that ought to please most drivers. It will always start in ‘electric’ running mode provided there is charge in its drive batteries, and even when it flicks into ‘hybrid’ mode the combustion engine generally runs quietly enough, at low revs and higher prevailing speeds, that it’s often only the car’s rev-counter that really gives the game away.

The car has good urban drivability when running electrically. There is, on occasion, just a split-second of hesitation when it’s responding to throttle inputs, not because the electric motor isn’t quick-witted but the car’s eight-speed automatic gearbox sometimes needs to shift ratios to make the car ready (some PHEVs have directly driven motors, but this isn’t one of them). Once it’s off and running, though, the 3008 picks up speed with a relaxing assuredness, and can keep up with give-and-take performance demands without working hard.

European law makes it mandatory for BEV and PHEV cars sold after July 2021 to have a noise-emitting ‘AVAS’ pedestrian safety system. From inside the cabin, the 3008 Hybrid 225’s sounds less like a low-altitude flying saucer than a binding brake disc, though; and now I’m not sure which would be more annoying.

Peugeot doesn’t offer as much control over battery energy regeneration settings as other PHEV players. Aside from the gearbox’s regular ‘D’ position, there is only a ‘B’ setting (which blends in more regenerative braking on a trailing throttle) - but, while the car has shift paddles which can be used to change gear when the piston engine is running, they can’t be used to blend ‘regen’ up and down when you’re driving electrically. That’s a minor disappointment only, but it’s exacerbated slightly by the car’s slightly spongey brake pedal, through which it’s hard to judge exactly when the friction brakes are taking over from the electric motor under deceleration.

Select ‘sport’ running mode and the car accelerates fairly strongly. It outperformed Peugeot’s 8.9sec 0-62mph claim in our hands, hitting 0-60mph in just 8.6sec on a warm, dry day when it had more than enough front-drive traction. In electric mode the same trip takes a little over twelve seconds.

But when you do work the car hard, the subjective qualities of its performance no longer seem quite as assured. Despite having those shift paddles we mentioned earlier, the gearbox doesn’t have a proper manual mode, and it will downshift automatically in the lower reaches of the accelerator pedal’s travel even if you’ve tried to lock it in a higher ratio. It’s an annoying habit which makes the car feel a little unruly and disobedient.

The engine becomes slightly coarse when revving hard, and the gearbox isn’t always decisive or fast-shifting when it really needs to be, under big throttle applications. The 3008 Hybrid 225 is fast enough, then; but it’s probably not a car you’d enjoy driving quickly.


27 Peugeot 3008 2021 RT on road front

The 3008 Hybrid 225 plays the comfortable, classically loping Peugeot family car quite effectively at relaxed everyday speeds. On 18in wheels its ride can be slightly abrupt over sharper edges, but it’s generally pretty compliant and well-isolated, and the suspension deals with bigger inputs at urban speeds without throwing the cabin around too much.

That’s more than can be said of the top-of-the-line Hybrid4 300, wider test experience of which suggests it sacrifices quite a lot on rolling comfort in pursuit of a very marginal improvement on handling dynamism.

The 3008’s steering wheel isn’t big enough, or round enough, for my liking. You can tell by the over-assisted feel it has that it needs more basic mechanical advantage, too, which explains the fairly gentle gearing of the rack. Sometimes ‘different’ is better - but not in this case.

The lesser hybrid handles well enough, though. It’s secure and stable at ordinary motorway- and gentler cross-country speeds, and it’s reasonably wieldy around town - although the idea that a smaller steering wheel contributes to the car’s agility is very questionable. Small though that rim may be, the 3008’s steering wheel feeds onto a rack that’s only medium-paced; it has three full turns between locks, where 2.5- to 2.8-turns is becoming more typical of modern passenger cars. That means you do just as much with your wrists here when you’re negotiating a typical roundabout or junction as you would in any rival; you just do more ‘steering’ around a slightly smaller orbit. Feel is slightly woolly and over-assisted, though it doesn’t make the car too hard to place.

When you tackle a tighter turn, the Peugeot 3008 rolls quickly though not to pronounced angles. It grips moderately well on dry Tarmac, but it nudges into understeer without much provocation; and while the car’s stability control system is always pretty subtle and effective, it cannot be deactivated. 

A-road body control is reasonable up to just below the national speed limit, but the car begins to heave and loll quite a bit if hurried along on a tougher surface. The steering, meanwhile, loads up quite a lot under harder cornering loads, while the suspension can get a little crashy if you hit bumps or drains on the loaded side. 

These are all the dynamic hallmarks of a car that’s pretty softly sprung and only moderately damped, but that relies on lateral stiffness (its anti-roll bars) to rein it in and rotate it when cornering. The 3008 Hybrid 225 can therefore can begin to feel surprisingly heavy, and to run out of body control, when driven quickly; but it remains pretty comfortable and pleasant in day-to-day driving, which seems the right dynamic compromise for a car like this to strike.


1 Peugeot 3008 2021 RT hero front

There are a handful of plug-in hybrid SUVs of this kind that might qualify for a seven per cent benefit-in-kind company car tax rating - but if you want the Peugeot 3008 to, you’ll have to buy the most expensive Hybrid4 version and be disciplined with the options you put on it. 

The Hybrid 225 is rated for between 32- and 39 miles of electric range, and our test car averaged 31 miles over several electric trips taken in pretty clement weather. That’s not an outstanding showing in a market in which some PHEVs will now top 40 real-world electric miles, but it’s a respectable one allthesame, and it’s certainly good enough to allow you to make savings on fuel compared with running a conventional SUV provided you do plenty of short-range motoring and can charge at home.

Residual values should no longer be a particular concern for private buyers of PHEVs; even so, the 3008 Hybrid 225’s aren’t really a selling point. CAP suggests a like-for-like Cupra Formentor and Ford Kuga should both do better over three years.

This isn’t the short of plug-in hybrid that’ll punish you particularly if you don’t plug it in, either. ‘Range-extended’ touring can be done at an average 40mpg without the need for particular restraint, while hybrid-mode efficiency can creep up into the higher 40s in slower-moving traffic and around town.

Peugeot ’s pricing for the 3008 Hybrid 225 is a little high; equivalent PHEV versions of the Ford Kuga, Vauxhall Grandland, Kia Niro, VW Tiguan and Jeep Renegade can be had for less, and in some cases by thousands of pounds rather than hundreds.

As standard, the car comes with a 3.7kW onboard charger through which a full battery charge takes around four hours; a 7.4kW system is optional, and will cut that charging time in half when drawing from a sufficiently powerful wallbox.


28 Peugeot 3008 2021 RT static

Peugeot has acted decisively to keep its popular compact SUV, the Peugeot 3008, up-to-date in this facelifted form. The car isn’t among the most practical family options in its class, but the way it combines just-so space and versatility with competitive value and a notable dose of style makes it an enduringly appealing option. 

Although the 3008 offers little offroad capability and very limited four-wheel drive functionality, the customers shopping in this market segment for whom that’ll be a turn-off will be few.

The Hybrid 225 is a PHEV with a pretty ordinary flavour about it, but it’s dynamically versatile, slick and quiet enough to operate, and it’s largely free from compromise.

For those tempted by a plug-in hybrid, meanwhile, the Hybrid 225 is certainly a rounded, refined and agreeable one. It has plenty of performance and decently polished drivability, as well as creditable real-world electric range and respectable running economy once the battery’s run dry. Highish pricing, compared to both other 3008 derivatives and to rivals, will continue to be discouraging to some private buyers, although the car’s lowish benefit-in-kind tax classification might still make the numbers add up for company car drivers.

While cheaper engines and trims can be compared with volume-brand alternatives, upper-end versions of the Peugeot 3008 are definitely cars with rivals from Audi , BMW, Volvo, Land Rover and Mercedes in their sights. To some of those premium-brand rivals though perhaps not all, the 3008 should stand up pretty well.

Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders Autocar
Title: Road test editor

As Autocar’s chief car tester and reviewer, it’s Matt’s job to ensure the quality, objectivity, relevance and rigour of the entirety of Autocar’s reviews output, as well contributing a great many detailed road tests, group tests and drive reviews himself.

Matt has been an Autocar staffer since the autumn of 2003, and has been lucky enough to work alongside some of the magazine’s best-known writers and contributors over that time. He served as staff writer, features editor, assistant editor and digital editor, before joining the road test desk in 2011.

Since then he’s driven, measured, lap-timed, figured, and reported on cars as varied as the Bugatti Veyron, Rolls-Royce PhantomTesla RoadsterAriel Hipercar, Tata Nano, McLaren SennaRenault Twizy and Toyota Mirai. Among his wider personal highlights of the job have been covering Sebastien Loeb’s record-breaking run at Pikes Peak in 2013; doing 190mph on derestricted German autobahn in a Brabus Rocket; and driving McLaren’s legendary ‘XP5’ F1 prototype. His own car is a trusty Mazda CX-5.

Peugeot 3008 (2016-2024) First drives