What Car? says...
It seems the consensus is in, and the striking looks of the Peugeot 3008 are a hit. And that's to be expected, because the French firm’s family SUV taps right into the current trend for bold styling.
The 3008 gained design cues from other models in the Peugeot range in a mid-life facelift, which added ‘sabre-toothed’ LED daytime running lights, a frameless front grille and smoked LED tail-lights. That helps lift it above the previous version style-wise.
Thankfully, the updates did nothing to diminish the car's swish interior. Indeed, it continues to echo the bigger Peugeot 5008 with an avant-garde dashboard that's akin to something you might see in a motor show concept car. Those eye-catching looks are backed up by plush materials and, in some versions, ambient interior lighting.
We're not here to judge the 3008 on its looks, though – we're here to look beyond the visual stimuli to find out whether it's practical, cheap to run and good enough to drive to thrive in an extremely competitive class. That's no mean feat, when rival family SUVs include the Nissan Qashqai, the Seat Ateca and the Skoda Karoq.
Thankfully, Peugeot has you covered with a range of engines, from a frugal 1.5-litre diesel or 1.2-litre petrol hybrid, through to three plug-in hybrid (PHEV) versions – the fastest of which has four-wheel drive.
The 3008's equipment levels have historically been pretty good, but there have been some revisions made to the line-up to simplify things and bring the model into line with the rest of the Peugeot range. They include ditching the manual gearbox in favour of an eight-speed automatic across the range.
Fortunately, if after reading the next few pages of this review you decide it's the car for you, we can help you pick your trim carefully. We'll also tell you how the Peugeot 3008 compares with rivals for performance, practicality, running costs and more.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
Our favourite engine in the Peugeot 3008 line-up was the 1.2-litre petrol, but that’s now been replaced with a 48V hybrid version of the same 1.2-litre petrol (badged 1.2 Hybrid 136). It gets 134bhp and a six-speed automatic gearbox as standard. You can’t plug it in, but it will run solely on electric power for brief low-speed stints – just like the ‘self-charging’ hybrid system in the Toyota C-HR. Acceleration is acceptable, and is quite a bit punchier than the 1.5 BlueHDI diesel engine manages, although you still need to work the 1.2 Hybrid 136 in the 3008 harder than the 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine in the Skoda Karoq.
There are also three plug-in hybrid (PHEV) versions aimed at company car drivers, all with eight-speed automatic gearboxes. The 178bhp 180 and the 223bhp 225 Hybrid come with front-wheel drive, while the 296bhp 300 Hybrid4 is four-wheel drive. The 300 Hybrid 4 is the quickest from 0-62mph, taking just 6.1sec, followed by the 180 Hybrid (8.0sec).
The 180 Hybrid has the smallest battery and can’t match the 40-mile range figures quoted for the 225 Hybrid and 360 Hybrid4 (they're more likely to manage 25 miles in real-world driving). That puts it at a disadvantage against our favourite PHEV, the Lexus NX 450h, which goes much further on a charge.
Suspension and ride comfort
The standard suspension is, on the whole, pretty good for comfort. It takes the edge off ridges and expansion joints that the firmer-riding Seat Ateca would tend to thump over, although you'll still get a hefty jolt if you strike a particularly vicious pothole. Overall, the Kia Sportage and the Karoq are more comfortable.
Big wheels often ruin ride comfort but that's not the case here: if you go for 19in alloys, the 3008 is still pretty agreeable. However, the Grip Control package does have an adverse impact on smoothness. It includes all-weather tyres with stiffer, less absorbent sidewalls that make the ride more restless.
The PHEV versions are considerably heavier than other 3008s, and although the extra weight is carried by a more sophisticated rear suspension set-up, passengers will find themselves swaying in their seats more over uneven road surfaces.
Although SUVs are never as agile as hatchbacks, some are surprisingly fun to drive. Unfortunately, the 3008 isn't one of them. There's noticeable body lean through tight twists and turns, and the nose pitches downwards under heavy braking. It's not a wallowy barge, though, and grips the road well enough.
The Ateca, the Sportage and the Karoq are more agile and enjoyable to drive along a winding road, with steering that provides more sensation and gives you more confidence. The 3008's light steering is great when you're manoeuvring, though.
The considerable extra weight of the PHEV versions' batteries is felt in increased body lean, which makes them feel less agile through quick changes of direction. The Hybrid4 has plenty of power and impressive traction out of tight bends thanks to its four-wheel-drive system, but you’re unlikely to have any more fun than you would in a regular 3008.
Noise and vibration
The 1.2 Hybrid petrol engine is smooth and quiet as long as you don’t accelerate too hard, when it sounds quite noisy and laboured. Much the same could be said of the 1.5 HDi diesel, although it does suffer a touch more grittiness and vibration.
The Hybrid and PHEV versions are, predictably, almost silent in electric mode, but the transition between electric and petrol power isn’t always seamless – especially when you ask for a quick burst of acceleration. When the petrol engine fires into life, it makes itself heard, sounding particularly gruff when worked hard.
You’ll also notice some wind noise from around the door mirrors at motorway speeds, along with some tyre noise, especially in versions with 19in alloys. Overall, the Ateca and Karoq are more refined.
The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
You’re supposed to view the Peugeot 3008's iCockpit digital instruments (the speedo, rev counter etc) by looking over – rather than through – the steering wheel. To make that possible, the wheel is mounted lower than you might expect and is barely the size of a dinner plate.
This unconventional arrangement works far better in the 3008 (and the bigger Peugeot 5008) than it does in lower-riding Peugeots. Most drivers will find it easy to get comfortable, but make sure you go for a test drive before buying to be sure because the steering wheel blocks some people's view of the instruments.
The driver's seat is supportive and comfortable, and if you choose Allure Premium+ trim or higher, you get adjustable lumbar support. Most controls are logically positioned, but the air conditioning ones are only accessible via the central touchscreen, which is more of a faff than the Kia Sportage set-up, which retains physical controls for its climate system. The cruise-control buttons of the 3008 are harder to use because they’re hidden behind the steering wheel.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
The windscreen pillars are not as wide as in some family SUVs and you get a good view out of junctions. The small rear screen doesn’t help much when you're reversing, but all versions of the 3008 get a rear-view camera and rear parking sensors. Front parking sensors appear on mid-range Allure Premium+ and above.
If you're particularly nervous about parking, it's worth considering the Visio Pack 2. It's optional on Allure Premium+ and GT, and adds a self-parking system as well as a 360-degree camera that shows obstacles all around the car.
All trims get basic LED headlights as standard, but GT trim has upgraded versions with fancier daytime running lights, additional lighting to illuminate corners better and a fog mode.
Sat nav and infotainment
Entry-level Active Premium+ models have an 8.0in touchscreen positioned high up in the middle of the dashboard. Frustratingly, there's often a delay between you pressing the screen and anything happening, and usability isn't helped by a slightly confusing operating system.
You get plenty of gadgets, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on all trims. If you go for Allure Premium+ or above, the 3008 comes with built-in sat-nav and a larger 10.0in touchscreen with sharper graphics, although part of the extra screen area is devoted to the temperature controls, which are permanently displayed. Neither system’s menus are particularly easy to navigate, and both are sluggish compared with the best rival systems.
The standard audio system is fine, and you can opt for a punchy Focal sound system on GT trim. Wireless phone-charging isn’t available at the moment.
Climb inside the 3008 and you're greeted by remarkably upmarket surroundings. Indeed, in the family SUV class at least, you'd need to go for a premium-badged alternative (which would inevitably mean spending more money) to get a classier interior. If you choose any trim except entry-level Active Premium+, you get ambient lighting that bathes the interior in a cultivated glow at night.
The 3008's interior isn't bolted together any better than its rivals', though. It's far from poorly assembled, but you do notice that some interior panel gaps are less precise and consistent than in the Sportage and the Skoda Karoq.
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
There’s plenty of head and legroom in the Peugeot 3008 to accommodate taller adults, and the interior is wide enough to put a comfortable distance between you and your front passenger.
Storage options are right up there with the best family SUVs too. Opening the central armrest reveals a vast air-conditioned cavern beneath, which is useful for keeping your packed lunch cool. Just in front of it sits a pair of cupholders, and there’s a tray for your mobile in front of the gear lever.
The glovebox could be bigger, but the door pockets are usefully large.
The optional panoramic glass sunroof (available as an option on plug-in hybrid Allure Premium+ and GT models only) severely restricts rear headroom, so avoid it if you plan to carry adults in the back more than just occasionally. Otherwise, even passengers well over six feet tall should be quite comfortable.
Legroom is reasonable, although not as generous as in the Kia Sportage, the Skoda Karoq or the VW Tiguan. The Karoq and Tiguan are slightly wider, so they're more accommodating when you need to carry three adults in the rear.
Map pockets on the backs of the front seats, and door bins – albeit relatively small ones – further boost practicality, as does a rear armrest, which conceals a ski flap.
Seat folding and flexibility
Folding rear seats come as standard, but the seatbacks are split 60/40 rather than in the more convenient 40/20/40 arrangement the Sportage offers. Handy quick-release levers just inside the boot opening make it easy to fold down the backrests, and they lie flat once lowered (this feature isn't available on plug-in hybrid versions). The ski flap fitted to Allure Premium+ trim and above makes it possible to fit four in comfortably while also carrying a long, narrow load.
Unlike in the Karoq and Tiguan, the 3008's rear seats can't slide back and forth or recline. However, Allure Premium+ trim and above adds a folding front passenger seat so you can use the full length of the car – from the boot to the dashboard – to accommodate really long loads. When folded flat, the front passenger seat backrest doubles as a picnic table.
While the 3008's boot isn’t quite the biggest in the family SUV class, it’s still impressive enough to swallow a buggy or a couple of large suitcases with ease. It's a useable space, too, with no awkward intrusions.
All non-plug-in hybrid models (including the Hybrid 136) come with a height-adjustable boot floor that you can raise to create a separate space beneath. When it's set at the highest level, there's no awkward lip at the boot entrance or step in the extended floor when the rear seats are folded down. Plug-in-hybrid (PHEV) models have a slightly smaller boot and no height-adjustable boot floor, although there is a small amount of storage space under the floor for the charging cables.
A powered tailgate isn’t available at the moment.
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
The Peugeot 3008 costs a bit more to buy than an equivalent Kia Sportage, Nissan Qashqai or Skoda Karoq – and that’s the case whether you're looking at the brochure price or the price you should pay after discounts (through our New Car Deals pages for example). However, it's cheaper than premium-badged alternatives such as the Volvo XC40 and should hold on to its value pretty well.
The pick of the range for most buyers is the PureTech 136 Hybrid. It's one of the cheaper options in the 3008 stable, and promises to return impressively thrifty fuel economy. Its official CO2 emissions are lower than those of the diesel versions, too.
The plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) are a little too expensive to recommend to private buyers, but if you’re a company car driver, the 225 Hybrid and Hybrid4 are worth looking at. Both have a higher all-electric range than the 180 Hybrid, putting them in a lower tax bracket. The difference between the 180 Hybrid and the rest of the range is so significant, it could end up costing you hundreds more per month (even more than the far pricier Lexus NX 450h). Fuel economy for all PHEV models will depend on how often you charge them up.
Equipment, options and extras
Entry-level Active Premium+ trim is certainly worth a look. It gets some good kit, including climate control, power-folding door mirrors, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers and 18in alloy wheels.
Mid-spec Allure Premium+ trim is worth paying extra for, though. It adds an upgraded infotainment system and a slightly posher interior.
GT trim adds even more luxuries, but they're a bit too expensive for us to recommend. If you have that much money to spend, we'd suggest looking at the Range Rover Evoque or the XC40 instead.
The news from the 2022 What Car? Reliability Survey really isn’t good here for the 3008, because diesel versions came bottom of the family SUV class – in 39th place – with petrol models only marginally better in 34th. Peugeot as a brand slipped down to 28th place out of 32 manufacturers.
You get a two-year manufacturer warranty followed by a one-year dealer warranty on all 3008s. The battery in PHEV versions is covered by a separate warranty lasting eight years or 100,000 miles, with a guarantee that it will retain at least 70% of its original capacity during that time.
Safety and security
You get loads of standard safety kit in the 3008, including automatic emergency braking (AEB) and lane-departure warning, with some automatic steering correction if you drift out of your lane. All models come with an SOS system to alert the emergency services if you're involved in an accident.
Enhanced adaptive cruise control, lane-positioning assist and an upgraded AEB system (which can detect pedestrians and cyclists, day or night) comes as standard on GT-level cars.
When the 3008 was tested back in 2016 by Euro NCAP it was awarded five stars out of five. It's important to note that this rating has now expired and the testing protocol has become significantly tougher today than it was then, and newer five-star models like the Sportage could well do a better job of protecting you from injuries in the event of a crash. Every version of the 3008 comes with an alarm and an immobiliser as standard to help keep thieves at bay.
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GT is the top of the trim tree, above mid-range Allure Premium and entry-level Active Premium. You can check the latest prices using our New Car Deals pages.
The 3008 is 1620mm in height (1624mm including roof rails), 4447mm in length, and 1841mm in width (2098mm including door mirrors).
|RRP price range||£32,830 - £44,840|
|Number of trims (see all)||3|
|Number of engines (see all)||5|
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)||hybrid, petrol, diesel|
|MPG range across all versions||221 - 54.3|
|Available doors options||5|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)||£571 / £2,403|
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)||£1,143 / £4,805|