In the main, the well-finished Ateca achieved that simply by being endowed with pleasing control weights, a balanced ride and the kind of dependable handling accuracy that makes everyday driving effortless and intuitive.
And while Peugeot’s response to the same brief is credible enough, it’s less accomplished in a number of key ways.
Foremost among them is the legacy of the i-Cockpit’s shrunken steering wheel. In smaller cars, Peugeot’s insistence on an unconventional, reduced-diameter steering wheel makes at least a bit of sense, but in a crossover the arrangement becomes even more off-putting than it has been hitherto. One tester likened using it to typing a 1000-word report on a mobile phone keypad.
Ergonomically, the impact of that wheel is subjective, and the car’s driving position will work for some and not for others.
But it’s hard to imagine the small wheel working particularly well for anyone on the road. The 3008 is a slightly capricious steer, the directness of its handling response increasing quite abruptly off-centre and coming without any helpful matching increase in control weight, and the steering feels over-assisted at all times.