Peugeot 3008 review

Our Rating: 
3
3.0/5.0
2009 model
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

The Peugeot 3008 offers 4x4 style with MPV practicality and low running costs

For: 
Punchy and efficient diesel engines, supple ride, spacious interior
Against: 
Sluggish petrol engines, jerky automatic, feels a little dated

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When the Peugeot 3008 crossover arrived in 2008, the Nissan Qashqai’s crown was under severe threat of being stolen. Since then, the 3008 has remained one of our favourite crossovers, despite a wide range of competition coming onto the market in the form of the Skoda Yeti, Kia Sportage and Mazda CX-5.

Best crossovers 

To keep it fresh, the 3008 was treated to a facelift at the very end of 2013, with tweaks to the exterior styling to bring it into line with the rest of the Peugeot range. It also received a few minor changes inside to make it feel more expensive.

With impressive diesel engines and a well-thought-out interior designed to accommodate family life, the competitively priced 3008 continues to be a worthwhile consideration in this sector of the market.

The problem is, the 3008 isn’t the most attractive crossover going and it’s beginning to feel dated now, even after that mid-life refresh. Coupled with a narrower range as the model reaches the end of its life cycle, you need to choose very carefully if you’re going to purchase the Peugeot instead of newer, more stylish alternatives.

Our Choice: 
Peugeot 3008 1.6 BlueHDi 120 S&S Allure manual

Launched in 2008 and using the same underlying architecture as the 308, the Peugeot 3008 offers the looks and high-riding stance of an SUV (without the option of four-wheel drive) and all the interior practicality of an MPV.

This wasn't Peugeot's first attempt at a crossover. That came in the form of the 4007, which was based on the Outlander and built by Mitsubishi in Japan. However, given the 4007 was not a sales success, it’s the 3008 that can be considered the firm’s first true, in-house crossover.

In light of its badging, the 3008 sits in a separate arm of crossovers/MPVs in the Peugeot line-up, being larger than the much newer, 208-based 2008 and smaller than the firm’s proper MPV, the 5008.

There used to be a wider selection of 3008 models. The four-wheel-drive Hybrid4, launched in 2012, was the world’s first full production diesel-electric hybrid. But it disappeared off the price lists during the latter part of 2015, along with an old 1.6 HDi engine, a more modern 2.0 BlueHDi unit and a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine.

The reduced range now consists of a solitary three-cylinder turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol and two BlueHDi diesels – a 1.6 with 118bhp and a 2.0 with 148bhp.

All 3008s are front-wheel drive and equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, although there is an option of the six-speed Efficient Automatic Transmission (EAT6) on the 1.6 diesel.

Trim levels have also been simplified, from four previously to just two now. Gone are the old Access base cars and the HYbrid4’s Limited Edition grade, leaving the entry point as Active and the Allure as the range-topper. Both specs are always available no matter which engine or gearbox you choose.

Active cars come with 17-inch ‘Aregia’ alloy wheels, colour-coded and scuff-plate equipped exterior styling, a leather steering wheel, cruise control, air conditioning, auto lights and wipers, front fog lights, dynamic roll control (on the 2.0-litre diesel only), tyre pressure sensors and more fitted as standard equipment.

Find another £1,950 and Allure specification throws in 18-inch ‘Icauna’ rims, sat-nav, dual-zone climate control and a panoramic glass roof.

Cloth upholstery is found in both cars as standard, although the Allure gets some leather-effect panels to lift it above an Active, meaning full-leather trim is a four-figure cost upgrade on either specification.

Rivals are many, given the variety of machines that qualify for the crossover tag, but the 3008 sits in a competitive segment including the likes of the Skoda Yeti, Nissan Qashqai, Renault Kadjar, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Ford Kuga and Vauxhall Mokka.

Engines, performance and drive

3
Stick to the manual diesel version of the Peugeot 3008, as neither the petrol nor automatic are great

The Peugeot 3008 performs well as a relaxing long-distance cruiser. It won’t provide an exciting driving experience through the corners, but the high-riding Peugeot feels smooth on bumpy British roads. 

The 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engine is a superb unit in smaller PSA cars, but it feels quite slow in 3008 thanks to this car's weight. It requires some effort to get decent performance, so we recommend looking to the diesels instead.

The 1.6 and 2.0 BlueHDi diesels are much livelier than the outdated units that the 3008 used before. The more powerful 2.0 is also the cleanest, if fitted with 17-inch wheels. However, the 1.6 is a quieter engine and because it’s almost as economical we’d buy this over the more expensive 2.0 BlueHDi.

Avoid the EAT6 automatic transmission, which is only available on the 1.6 BlueHDi at a cost of £1,000. It’s not a great unit by any stretch of the imagination, as it’s quite jerky and slow to react to driver inputs. Furthermore, it has a minor punitive effect on economy and emissions. Stick with Peugeot’s perfectly fine six-speed manual gearbox on the 1.6 and you’ll be happy.

Engines

There’s a solitary petrol offering and it’s the 1.2-litre PureTech three-cylinder turbo unit. This is one of the PSA Group’s gems when it’s used in smaller, lighter cars than the 3008. The problem is, 129bhp at a lofty 5,500rpm and 230Nm from 1,750rpm aren’t quite enough to propel the Peugeot crossover around easily; you need to work at it to maintain pace.

The torque-rich diesels are therefore the sensible choice, with the 1.6 BlueHDi delivering just 118bhp at 3,500rpm, but countering with a tasty 300Nm available from the same 1,750rpm as the petrol. The larger capacity BlueHDi increases output to 148bhp at 4,000rpm, with a massive 370Nm from 2,000rpm. 

Which 3008 is the quickest is debatable. Given its quicker 0-62mph time of 9.7 seconds and its huge torque advantage, logic says the 2.0 BlueHDi is the most rapid model. However, gearing dictates that it’s actually the otherwise lacklustre 1.2 petrol that takes the ‘fastest’ crown, as it goes 3mph higher than the 2.0 diesel with a 124mph top speed.

Nevertheless, as acceleration and mid-range torque are more relevant to owners than a top speed well in excess of the national speed limit, the 148bhp BlueHDi is the variant to pick if performance is your key motivator in buying a crossover.

Our choice, the lovely 1.6 BlueHDi engine, is actually the slowest 3008 in the range, with a 0-62mph time in our preferred manual guise of 12 seconds; opt for the EAT6 auto and that slips to 12.4 seconds as a result of longer gearing, although as a consequence the top speed increases from the manual’s 112mph to 114mph on the EAT6.

MPG, CO2 and running costs

4
Good fuel economy, low road tax costs and reasonable insurance make the 3008 appealing, while residual values are strong

Now that the diesel-electric HYbrid4 has been dropped from the range (which could return 85.6mpg combined and 85g/km), the eco-champion mantle falls onto the shoulders of the most economical diesel. However, there isn't a bad 3008 for emissions, even the petrol. 

Starting with the PureTech petrol engine, it offers a claimed 57.6mpg for fuel economy and 115g/km of carbon dioxide emissions. The manual 1.6 BlueHDi achieves 68.9mpg and 108g/km, while the automatic EAT6 version slips to 67.3mpg and 109g/km. The 2.0-litre matches the 1.6 manual for economy but actually emits less, at 106g/km.

As with other cars, larger wheels can affect the 3008’s economy and emissions.  The above figures are for Active models running on 17-inch wheels, but step up to Allure models with 18-inch wheels and the petrol drifts to 54.3mpg and 120g/km, the automatic version of the 1.6 diesel does 65.7mpg and 112g/km, and the 2.0 BlueHDi offers 67.3mpg and 109g/km.

The only exception is the manual 1.6 BlueHDi, whose economy and emissions remain the same no matter what wheels it has.

Smaller 16-inch wheels are an option for both trims, fitted with mud and snow tyres to maximise traction in poor conditions. However, they have the same detrimental effect on economy/emissions model-for-model as upgrading from 17-inch to 18-wheel wheels. The 16-inch wheels are only included if the Grip Control ASR+ traction control system (£470) is specified.

With a 60-litre (roughly 13-gallon) tank, even the least economical 3008 – the 1.2 in Allure specification – has a theoretical range in excess of 700 miles. At the other end of the scale, both the manual 118bhp BlueHDi and the 2.0 diesel on 17-inch wheels should be capable of around 910 miles on a tank, if driven exceedingly carefully. 

Insurance groups

An interesting quirk with the Peugeot 3008 range is that the higher-specification Allure models are actually one group lower for insurance than the Active cars. This is because stepping up in grade adds a Thatcham Category 1 alarm, front parking sensors, a reversing camera, a parking space measurement system and a colour head-up display to the Peugeot’s armoury, in theory making the car less likely to be nicked, involved in a crash or scraped during low-speed manoeuvring.

Thus, the Allure 1.2 is in group 19, while the same-spec versions of the 1.6 BlueHDi and 2.0 BlueHDi are in 20 and 24 respectively, comparing to 20, 21 and 25 for the Active versions.

Fitting the automatic gearbox to the 1.6 diesel does not affect the 3008’s insurance group. 

Depreciation 

Atypical of the brand’s historic performance, the 3008 has impressive residual values due to high demand; it is a crossover, after all, and these sorts of cars are wildly popular with new and used buyers alike.

Expect a 1.2 PureTech Allure to hold on to 40 per cent of its original purchase price after three years and 36,000 miles. This is a fine result, albeit behind the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, which gets very close to 44 per cent RV over the same period.

Interior, design and technology

3
While the Peugeot 3008 is a fine car with plenty of equipment, it certainly isn't pretty - and the interior is dated

To call the 3008 stylish would be a hard sell for almost anybody, as its quirky, two-box design appears awkward from nearly every angle. The mix of a raised ride height, gaping grille and bulging bodywork means it looks like no other car on sale, although in this instance that’s not necessarily a good thing.

The mid-life update in 2013 brought with it new lights with daytime running LED strips, while the line of the headlamps flows into the bonnet edges and along into the window line. The square grille has a yawning look and the small wheels and silver trim on the lower bumpers and side sills just add to the car’s slab-like appearance. At the rear, the hunched glass and split-opening tailgate complete the awkward mutation between a crossover and an MPV. 

Fortunately, matters improve considerably when you get behind the wheel. The 3008 was one of the first Peugeots to showcase the brand’s new upmarket cabin quality, and while the layout does without the latest touchscreen infotainment system, it still looks appealing. 

The interior offers lines similar to the Audi R8’s, courtesy of a shallow slope of the centre console and a large handle on the passenger side, while the pop-up screen and head-up display (a £320 option on the Active) add a bit of drama when you start the car and they whir into position.

Build quality is reasonable, but some of the plastics aren’t quite up to the standard found in most of Peugeot’s newer models. The rotary controls for the climate system feel dated, while the chrome-finished toggle switches on the centre console are a bit flimsy to use. At least the seat mechanisms feel robust, plus the hard plastics used in the boot should stand up to plenty of abuse.

Exterior colour choices are dull, although that might be to do with Peugeot not wishing to draw attention to the 3008’s challenging aesthetic. The standard, no-cost solid is Bianca White. There are six choices of metallic paint for £525, which are basically grey, another grey, silver, dark brown-grey and black. Oh, and Egyptian Blue, which is very subdued and safe. And there’s a solitary pearlescent, Pearl White, which costs £675. As long as you like monochrome, the Peugeot should have a colour that suits you.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

As standard, the Active 3008s come with an RD45 radio/CD player with MP3 compatibility – and there’s no capacity to upgrade that on the Allure, either, so while other manufacturers offer premium, high-watt sound systems in their options lists, the 3008 is sorely lacking.

Even though many rivals include DAB digital radio as standard, you have to pay extra for it with the 3008. Furthermore, it can only be fitted (for £115) if you also have the Peugeot Connect Navigation. This comes as standard with the Allure models, but it's a £785 option on the Active, so you'll need to find a total of £900 if you want DAB in the entry-level 3008.

The Peugeot Connect Navigation sat-nav includes five years of map updates and Bluetooth connectivity.

Rear-seat entertainment is surprisingly cheap on the 3008, Peugeot obviously realising that keeping the kids happy in the back is the key to contented parents in the front. For a reasonable £525 you get a couple of screens integrated into the front-seat headrests, complete with an aux-in port to connect DVD players or games consoles, and a pair of Bluetooth headsets.

Practicality, comfort and boot space

4
Bulky exterior styling leads to a capacious and cleverly thought-out interior, making the Peugeot 3008 a practical choice

Thanks to the shape of the 3008, practicality is a strong point for this crossover. Three passengers can sit comfortably in the back thanks to the long wheelbase and high roofline.

Up front, the glovebox is tiny but the huge door pockets and large storage compartment in the centre console make up for this. All models get the Family Pack, which brings in additional underfloor storage compartments beneath the rear carpet mats.

Both the 1.2 PureTech and the 2.0 BlueHDi can haul 1,500kg of braked trailer, while the 1.6 diesel – whether manual or automatic – can tow 1,300kg.

Size

It’s not a particularly long car, being less than 4.4 metres nose to tail, but including wing mirrors it’s very wide at 2,113mm. It's tall too, standing at 1,639mm. The Nissan Qashqai is about the same length, but slightly shorter and narrower.

Peugeot offers rear parking sensors on all 3008s, with more parking assist functions on Allure models, to make it easier to manoeuvre.

The 3008 is a fairly hefty conveyance, with kerb weights starting at 1,400kg for the petrol and rising to 1,530kg on the 2.0 BlueHDi. 

Leg room, head room & passenger space

The car’s height leads to plenty of headroom, with 918mm up front and 876mm in the rear. Elbow- and shoulder room are good too, with 1,476- and 1,451mm respectively up front and 1,480- and 1,403mm in the rear. With 824- and 866mm of legroom front and rear, the Peugeot is perfectly capable of carrying four adults easily, and even five in reasonable comfort.

Boot

The boot is a decent 512 litres, beating that of many of its rivals. With the rear seats folded, load space increases to 1,604 litres if loaded up to the ceiling.

By comparison, the Nissan Qashqai falls behind with 430 litres with the rear seats up and 1,585 litres down. The Skoda Yeti offers just 416 litres of boot space, but fold the seats down and you get a larger 1,760 litres.

The 3008's boot has a false floor that splits three ways, so there are plenty of combinations to suit a variety of loads. The floor is carpeted and features plastic trim finishers to prevent knocks and scrapes.

There's also a plastic cover that sits over the lower half of the tailgate when it’s dropped open, so that the hinges aren’t left exposed. This then doubles as a handy seat, much like in a Range Rover, which is a useful feature when you’re out and about.

Reliability and Safety

4
Peugeot's reputation for safety means the 3008 possesses a top Euro NCAP rating, but electrical niggles harm reliability

Middling is the best way to describe the Peugeot 3008’s performance in our 2015 Driver Power survey, as it came in 105th overall out of 200 cars. It didn’t score particularly badly in any one area, never coming lower than 134th in any chart. Unsurprisingly, owners rate its practicality as its best attribute, with the 3008 coming 57th.

Although dealer service and the Peugeot 3008’s build quality have improved, reported electrical faults mean it’s not as reliable as the Nissan Qashqai or Volkswagen Tiguan.

As for safety, the Peugeot 3008 scored a full five-star Euro NCAP rating when it was crash tested back in 2009, with 86 per cent for adult occupant protection and an impressive 97 per cent in the safety assist category. Six airbags, seatbelt reminders, an electronic parking brake, ESP stability control and ISOFIX mounting points for child seats are standard.

The 3008 can be specified with Grip Control, which adjusts the traction control to assist progress in trickier road and weather conditions. As stated earlier, Grip Control means that 16-inch wheels with specialised tyres must be fitted to the 3008. 

Warranty

The manufacturer offers a two-year, unlimited-mileage warranty on all new Peugeots, although here in the UK there’s a (free) optional 12 months of additional cover provided by the country’s dealer network, giving buyers three years’ peace of mind in total.

All new Peugeots also come with Peugeot Assistance, the company’s 24/7, 365-day breakdown assistance service, which is provided through the AA.

Servicing

The 1.6 BlueHDi requires servicing every 12 months or 12,500 miles, whichever is sooner, while the 1.2 PureTech and 2.0 BlueHDi cars can cover more miles per annum before needing maintenance – up to 20,000.

Peugeot offers a wide variety of service offers (including fixed price deals for older cars), while it provides service plans on new vehicles. These cover parts and labour at a set price for anything between three years and 35,000 miles (£12.99 a month), up to five years and 55,000 miles (for £13.99 per month, the same prices as four years and 45,000 miles). If you don’t order this when purchasing the car, you can still buy into the programme up to 12 months after first registration.

Last updated: 16 Feb, 2016