From £16,759
Not the best looker, but quality fittings and fine manners compensate
16 April 2009

What is it?

This is Peugeot’s 308 cross-over, a competitor to the Nissan Qashqai, and front-drive versions of SUVs such as the VW Tiguan and Ford Kuga, though in reality, Peugeot’s belief that this car will conquest buyers from all kinds of cars will probably be realised.

In effect it’s a longer, taller, roomier five-seat hatchback with a split tailgate, useful loadbay modularity and a four-wheel drive’s high seating position.

It’s also a slightly odd looking car. Its protuberant egg-crate grille resembles a child’s tooth-brace, it rides on a track slightly too narrow for its billowed wheelarches and from the rear it appears downright ordinary, but it certainly shouldn’t be dismissed for these mild aesthetic disappointments.

Engine options include a 109bhp 1.6 HDI diesel – expected to be the best-seller – 118bhp and 148bhp 1.6 petrols, and a 148bhp 2.0 HDI diesel, all with six-speed manuals. A conventional auto will be offered on a 161bhp 2.0 HDI, and a Co2-reducing automated-manual on the 1.6 HDI.

The 3008 is front-drive only, but available with a so-called Grip Control system that, rather like Land Rover’s Terrain Response facility, provides traction control software allowing it to get to grips with the friction properties of snow, wet grass and mud, though only if you order it on mud and snow tyres.

More useful to most UK buyers will be a panoramic glass roof, a head-up display that includes estimation of the time gap between you and the car in front (for safety reasons rather than road racing) and an infotainment system.

The most intriguing feature, however, is the dynamic roll control device fitted to the rear suspension of the 150bhp petrol, which pressurises the outboard shock absorber in corners to counter roll and understeer. And in 2011, there will be an all-wheel-drive diesel hybrid, Peugeot’s first.

What’s it like?

The 3008’s exterior might disappoint but its interior certainly doesn’t. This is the best finished, modern Peugeot cabin yet, its robustly crafted fittings fashioned from fine soft-feel materials and metallic trim. Stylish dashboard architecture that includes an expensive-looking padded passenger grab handle, plentiful stowage space and appealing instrument displays all make the 3008 a car you’ll be pleased to climb into.


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Its height provides the reassuring command view out, as well as generous room up front and decent space in the rear. The back-bench doesn’t slide, but its backrest can conveniently be flopped flat using levers in the loadbay, where there’s a false floor that can be repositioned on three-levels with ingenious single-handed ease. The split tailgate aids loading and can be sat on, the front passenger seat backrest folds forward for an extended load deck, while a torch and luggage-net are handy conveniences.

Some might want seven-seats, but the 308 SW and the five or seven-seat MPV arriving this autumn will cater to these needs, says Peugeot.

And the 3008 drives well. Supple suspension, strong refinement, clean-swivelling steering and tidy handling all make for a pleasing family bus. The 1.6 HDI’s 192lb ft of torque provides enough mid-range pull to convince, despite 1.6 litres and 110bhp looking inadequate to lug a load-carrier of this heft about. It’s not fast but it’s brisk, and turns in combined economy of 55.3mpg and Co2 emissions of 137g/km – not bad given its size.

Should I buy one?

If you need no more than five seats, crave high seating and need a big boot, then yes. Though Nissan’s Qashqai is more stylish, the 3008 offers more space, more sophistication and more room. The more economical diesel is the better pick money-wise, but if you often drive one-up, then the 150bhp petrol with the roll control system will provide more pleasure. All of which makes it a shame that it doesn’t look as sharp as a Kuga, a Qashqai or even a Tiguan.

Join the debate


16 April 2009

Interior looks very Audi, and is none the worse for that.

Shame the rest of it looks a little..........

16 April 2009

Not a looker?

That is horrendous!

What happend to French style?

Both Renault and Peugeot are designing awful looking cars right now

Who'd go in to a showroom and buy something that looks that bad??

16 April 2009

[quote Richard H]Who'd go in to a showroom and buy something that looks that bad??[/quote]


16 April 2009

[quote TegTypeR]Interior looks very Audi, and is none the worse for that.[/quote]

I thought Autocar had cocked up and used an interior picture from an R8 for a second - very Audi and very sports car style driver focused - as Teg says, pity about the exterior...

If the 3008 is just a taller 308, why does it not receive the same "pointless" treatment that the Golf Plus just got in its review?

16 April 2009

[quote Orangewheels]If the 3008 is just a taller 308, why does it not receive the same "pointless" treatment that the Golf Plus just got in its review?[/quote]

Think you answered your own question. It's patently not just a taller 308.

16 April 2009

Is it wise to put 'FAP' in the title of a car? Should go down as well as the name MR2 did in France.

16 April 2009

Why are Peugeot so rubbish at styling their cars and Citroen so much better. just look at the state of it!!! why are their grills so damn big they take up the whole front of the car.

16 April 2009

Quite a lot looks okay, but it is totally dominated by that THING on the front. Is grille really the right word for it? Reminds me of the thing mummy dear used to use to make chips out of "real" potatoes, before they came out of bags with McCain on the front.

16 April 2009

[quote icecreamwala]Why are Peugeot so rubbish at styling their cars and Citroen so much better[/quote]

What design classics can you point out to me in the current Citroen range then?

This car is very french looking and it appeals to me greatly, not beautiful I agree

But neither is it blingy (Kuga), or dull (Tiguan)

16 April 2009

[quote jonfortwo]

What design classics can you point out to me in the current Citroen range then?


C5, C6, C4 Picasso, C3 Picasso... Citroen are about the only mainstream manufacturer making interesting cars that don't look overly agressive (Germans) or boring euroboxes (Ford, Peugeot, Nissan, etc). There are one or two exceptions like the pretty Punto or 159 but even the Mito is Fugly.

It's hard to believe that the current Peugeots came from the same design studio as the C5 and C6.


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