What Car? Awards 2012 website
1.6 THP 156 Sport
List price £19,145 Target Price £17,943
Last year's overall Car of the Year takes the crossover crown for a second year in a row.
Few cars are so in tune with buyers’ needs. It all starts the moment you open the door. The sumptuous cabin – with its premium materials – feels built to cope with the most demanding of family lives, while the tall centre console makes front-seat occupants feel cocooned.
There’s enough space in the rear seats to keep squabbles to a minimum, while the big boot means there’ll be no tears because someone’s favourite toy had to be left behind.
In fact, the boot is one of the Peugeot 3008's best features. It has a floor that can be set to different heights, giving you the option of maximum space, a ‘secret’ covered area that’s ideal for stowing valuables or, if you tug two levers in the boot to drop the rear seatbacks, a long, virtually flat loadbay.
Meanwhile, the split tailgate allows you to open just the top half when you’re in a tight parking space or want to quickly put a couple of light bags into the boot, or the lower half to create a handy seat or make loading heavier items easier.
Of course, no one wants bus-like driving manners to go with the bus-like practicality. Fear not. Our favourite 1.6 THP model comes with Dynamic Roll Control, which provides a comfortable ride with composed handling.
The turbocharged petrol engine is the perfect accompaniment. It combines the low-rev shove of a diesel with the smoothness and free-revving character of a petrol. It’s also impressively economical considering the performance it offers.
Refinement is another 3008 strength.
There’s little engine-, wind- or road noise to disturb the calm – after all, when your family’s on board, you want a car that’s quiet enough to keep everyone sane.
You also want one that’ll keep all occupants safe. The 3008 has that covered, too. It has six airbags and stability control as standard, along with the reassurance of a maximum, five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating.
Add all the equipment a family would need – including air-conditioning, rear parking sensors and an electronic parking brake with hill-start assist – and the 3008 is utterly unbeatable for the money.