What is it?
This flagship Peugeot 3008 is “an unknown entity”, according to the model’s product manager.
That statement makes it sound slightly more exciting than it is, given that we're dealing with a diesel-powered family SUV with 178bhp. The reason that it is still is a relative unknown for the French manufacturer is because an equivalent top-spec GT model wasn't offered in the 3008’s previous life.
It wasn’t a difficult decision to reinvent the vaguely crossover-like 3008 MPV into an SUV for this generation. With SUVs becoming less of a niche option and more of a booming mainstream preference, the PSA Group took the decision to let Citroën take care of the shrinking MPV market with its established C4 Picasso family, leaving Peugeot to reinvent the 3008.
The 1.2-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel variants we’ve driven already have shown that the 3008 has substance to match its style. This version's 2.0-litre diesel engine, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, is the only powerplant you can have in the new, range-topping GT spec. It’s the same engine found in the 308, 508 and DS 5, but it’s only expected to account for a small 5% slice of the 3008’s sales. Is it worth a look?
What's it like?
One of the 3008's most significant areas of improvement over its predecessor is the interior, and it remains a standout positive for this GT model. Every trim level gets a generous level of kit and a high-quality cabin, with a 12.3in digital instrument panel and an 8.0in touchscreen. GT adds adaptive cruise control and some styling upgrades over the equipment you get with GT Line, as well as a full leather interior and electric, massaging seats.
This 2.0-litre diesel is the most powerful in the range, but its 0-62mph time only squeaks in under nine seconds and on the road it doesn’t feel particularly brisk. There's plenty of low-end shove, though, and the drivetrain manages to cope with the power - unless you try a particularly aggressive standing start on greasy asphalt. Don't expect performance thrills from this engine, though. That could be saved for a potential GTi version, which has been mooted.
What you can expect is decent fuel economy. The 2.0-litre diesel is very competitive against its rivals in that respect, being faster and yet more fuel efficient than an equivalent Nissan Qashqai and Renault Kadjar. While it's the gruffest sounding of the 3008 range, it’s still quite refined, and especially so when cruising below 3000rpm, although heavy acceleration does bring some diesel boom.
A Sport mode adds weight to the steering but makes it a bit too heavy, so things are best left in the normal driving mode, in which the steering is accurate and feels much more naturally weighted. Body roll is decently controlled through corners and handling is generally good for an SUV, but the 3008 feels less engaging than a Seat Ateca. GT spec also adds 19in alloys which bring a harshness to the ride, although never to truly uncomfortable levels.
The six-speed automatic gearbox – available on all engines apart from the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel – is pretty good at judging shifts, but the changes aren't lightning fast. They're quick enough to cope with the gentle family drives this car will likely be subjected to, though, and the paddles on the steering wheel are responsive.