Peugeot 3008: driven

  • Bags of space
  • Light steering and pricey options
  • On sale now from Β£15,995
Words ByWhat Car? Staff

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So what is it? In reality it's a tall, small family hatchback, mixing the beefy styling of an SUV with a large slice of MPV flexibility. Its roots can be found in the not-so-great 308, but don't let that fool you that extra '0' adds a lot more than a number.

Okay, so its mixed-up identity hasn't done wonders for the looks, but scratch the surface and you'll find a very capable family car. In fact, the 3008 is good enough to make you think twice about the Nissan.

What's it like to drive?

Climb on to the lofty driver's seat and the first thing you notice is the quality of the interior. Most of the materials look and feel surprisingly posh, and everything seems well bolted together.

There's a good view of the road ahead and acres of airy cabin space. A bulky centre console robs some shoulder-room from front passengers, but there's more than enough head- and legroom in all five seats, and the boot is huge.

If you need an even bigger loadbay, the rear seats fold flat at the tug of a lever, and a split tailgate makes for easy access.

The thumbs up continue when you drive the 3008. It's comfortable and quiet, and the ride is remarkably supple. The light steering is a bonus around town, but it doesn't weight up on faster roads and feedback is poor. Shame, because Peugeot's dynamic roll control (fitted as standard to higher-end Sport and Exclusive models) does a good job of reducing body lean.

And the performance?

As for engines, we've yet to drive the entry-level 120bhp 1.6 petrol, but the 150bhp turbocharged version is a gem. There's plenty of pull though the mid-range and it revs sweetly. Fuel economy isn't bad, either.

If you want to minimise your fuel and tax bills, there are three diesel to choose from. The 110bhp 1.6 is no ball of fire, but it should average 55mpg and will certainly work out cheapest for company car drivers.

Both 2.0-litre diesels (a 150bhp manual and a 163bhp automatic) bump up the price considerably, so we'd stick with the 1.6 unless towing is on of the list of duties.

Whether you choose Active, Sport or Exclusive trim, you'll get six airbags, stability control and air-conditioning. Sport adds alloys, rear parking sensors and cruise control, while the bells-and-whistles Exclusive brings a 'Cielo' panoramic glass roof, a fancy head-up display, climate control, and automatic lights and wipers.

Our verdict

Fine family transport, and a welcome return to form for Peugeot