Long-term test review: Peugeot 3008

Final report: it’s been all smiles during our man’s 12 months with the brilliant Peugeot 3008 crossover

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

The Peugeot 3008 has proven why it’s an award-winning crossover over the past year. It’s practical, efficient and good to drive, while also being full of technology and French style.

Mileage: 22,987Economy: 48.9mpg

It’s time to say goodbye to our Peugeot 3008, and I’m gutted to see it go, because the French crossover has really left a lasting impression on me.

For me, it’s the best car the company makes, and deserved to pick up the Best Mid-Size SUV crown at our New Car Awards 2017: the 3008 brings some French chic to the crowded class.

Best family cars 2018

There are so many competitive models in this market that it can be difficult to work out which one is my favourite. In the past I’ve run a Renault Kadjar and SEAT Ateca – both great cars – but if I was spending my own money, I’d have to go for the Peugeot. The cool French styling means it’s handsome from the outside, but it’s the interior that really makes the 3008 stand out.

It’s not just that the materials give it a high-quality feel; it’s also the way they have been used. Rather than simply sticking in some more expensive-looking plastics, Peugeot has made the cabin design interesting to look at and it feels special. The i-Cockpit system is integrated really well, replacing the dials above the small steering wheel. In some Peugeots this set-up is a bit awkward, but in the 3008 you sit high enough that seeing the speedometer isn’t an issue.

That’s crucial here, because rather than just glancing at the dials I’ve taken to using the digital instrument display to follow sat-nav directions, instead of looking at the touchscreen display in the centre of the dash. It’s a great system, one of the best of its kind, and shows why the 3008 is at the top of its class.

We’ve encountered no issues with the car over our time with it, but one gripe I have had concerned that central display. When you start the car the system takes time to warm up; sometimes when I’ve wanted to get going, I’ve felt frustrated waiting for the sat-nav screen to come on.

But while the 3008 stands out on account of its superb interior and stylish looks, it doesn’t do away with anything that makes crossovers so popular. The car has a huge 591-litre boot, yet still offers plenty of legroom in the back, so my whole family can fit inside, even while the car is carrying a lot of luggage.

The cabin materials have proven hard-wearing over 12 months with my two children, so they should stand the test of time. However, stopping dust getting in and around the buttons and screen has been a pain. Likewise with cleaning the exterior: the intricate details such as the silver lines on the grille look great when they’re clean, but they catch all too easily on my valeting cloth.

The car has come into its element in the recent poor weather, however. Our 3008 is fitted with Advanced Grip Control (£470), which adds a snow mode – but much more importantly, all-season tyres. They allowed me to get to work even in very tough conditions, but had minimal impact on everyday driving when the weather was fine.

While I’ve had the keys, the 3008 has done plenty of motorway miles, because I spend a lot of time driving around the country to photograph many of the cars you see in Auto Express each week.

A few stonechips have appeared on the bonnet over those long trips. There was nothing too bad, until early this year when a large stone hit the windscreen. Still, it was no problem to fix: a mobile repair operator came out to my house and filled in the mark in no time.

All those motorway miles have meant we managed 48.9mpg in our last few months with the car. That’s down from our best figure of 56.5mpg earlier in the year, and is possibly a result of the poor weather conditions and a few more trips driving around town.

Even so, this is still strong enough economy for my needs, and the 1.6-litre diesel engine is punchy and reasonably refined as well. The overall experience is let down a bit by the Peugeot’s slightly vague, unpleasant gearshift, but the box isn’t enough to put a downer on my experience with this brilliant crossover.

Peugeot 3008: second report

It’s time for our Peugeot 3008 crossover’s first service

Mileage: 17,508Economy: 56.5mpg

Our Peugeot 3008 does more miles than most cars on the fleet, because I drive it all over the country to and from our road tests, as well as in and out of London to the Auto Express office.

So while many models leave us before they need servicing, the 3008 has already been in for its 16,000-mile maintenance.

I went to my local dealer, Robins & Day in Chelmsford, Essex, with the mileage reading 16,343, although an icon on the i-Cockpit display had been reminding me to take it in for a little while before that.

I booked the car in a week in advance, which was too short notice for a courtesy car to be available. So instead of leaving the 3008 there, I opted to go for an early drop-off and waited until everything was finished.

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That turned out to be a fine choice, because the free WiFi and coffee in the waiting area meant I could get on with some photo editing in comfort while the work was carried out.

I paid £247.62 for the service, including a pollen filter change (£35.70). That seems like acceptable value; the work was carried out quickly, and the staff were friendly and helpful.

The tyres were checked, and I’m happy to report that the all-weather mud and snow rubber fitted to our GT Line 3008 is holding up well. Plus, the car came back looking fresh, thanks to a free interior clean. The engine seems to be freeing up with miles, and we’re now averaging 56.5mpg after the service was carried out. That’s a big increase over the 44.9mpg we were returning a few thousand miles ago. Lots of motorway trips have no doubt helped improve this figure.

Peugeot 3008: first update

Peugeot 3008 SUV shapes up well against its 5008 big brother

Mileage: 13,021Economy: 44.9mpg

Spot the difference: one of these cars is the Peugeot 3008 we’re running on our fleet, and the other is its seven-seat brother, the 5008.

I had a chance to compare them side by side and the only real bonus the bigger model gives you is the addition of a third row of seats. It’s not as good to drive, nor as good looking as my 3008, so I’d definitely stick with the smaller car if I was choosing between the two of them.

Our 3008 is comfortable, with just enough stiffness in the suspension to keep the car feeling composed but without crashing into potholes. The 5008 is a bit more softly sprung, though, and doesn’t have as good a balance of ride and handling as the smaller Peugeot.

I don’t need the extra seats in the back, and the 3008’s 591-litre boot is much more useful for me: it’s big enough to carry my photography gear, but also family pets and a whole tree that recently needed to be taken to the dump.

The shape of the rear opening helps with access as well. There’s a fairly wide aperture, which helped me to get the individual pieces of wood in and out of the back of the car.

Plus, I’m happy with the proportions of the 3008. Manoeuvring is easy thanks to the reversing camera and parking sensors, and when you drive in town the elevated driving position helps with visibility.

The Peugeot is also proving itself as a car for all seasons; a recent spell of snowy and icy weather has seen us using our car’s Advanced Grip Control technology for the first time.

A rotary dial on the centre console adjusts the driving modes, and while there are settings for taking the car off road, it was the snow mode that came in handy here. It controls the engine and brakes when necessary to help improve grip in the slippery conditions. It worked really well and our front-wheel-drive 3008 handled the snow impressively well.

Peugeot 3008: first report

Peugeot’s hi-tech 3008 SUV lives up to the adverts with its wide range of talents

Mileage: 6,283Economy: 44.6mpg

Peugeot’s all-new 3008 has already impressed us, to the extent that we named it Best Mid-size SUV at our New Car Awards 2017. The brand’s virtual reality-based adverts hint at one of the reasons why we already love the 3008, and that’s the tech on board – although sadly you can’t quite drive it using a VR headset just yet.

The two cars I’ve most recently run on the Auto Express fleet were the 3008’s key rivals: the Renault Kadjar and SEAT Ateca. That puts me in a great position to see whether the slick new Peugeot can cope with real life.

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Unlike the awkwardly styled previous model, the 3008 now looks like a proper SUV, with a chunky design and sharp details. We’ve gone for GT Line trim, which adds chrome details, LED headlights and interior goodies such as special upholstery and some clever in-car tech.

Peugeot is pushing the i-Cockpit display that replaces traditional dials with its VR ads, and I can see why; it’s very slick as you scroll through functions, and having the sat-nav displayed right in front of you is really useful. The central touchscreen is also a vast improvement over the old car’s infotainment system, and features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, although it could be a bit more responsive overall.

I’ve never really been satisfied with the driving position in modern Peugeots, because I’ve found the steering wheel can obscure the dials – but the second-generation set-up in the 3008 is much better. The small wheel makes the car feel agile but it doesn’t affect the view of any screens. While the driving position still feels a bit high, you can forgive that in an SUV.

The rest of the interior also has a modern feel, with lots of nice touches, such as the brushed metal switches for all the main functions and a small volume knob. It’s neat and clean, and operating different features on the move is pretty easy.

If there’s one downside, it’s that there are no physical controls for the air-conditioning system, which can make changing the temperature fiddly on the move.

The Peugeot sits somewhere between the Ateca and Kadjar in terms of handling. It’s not as engaging as the SEAT and rolls more in corners, but it does ride more smoothly. It’s not quite as soft as the Renault, yet it’s still more comfortable.

The car is really at home on motorways and the 118bhp 1.6 diesel is punchy enough but still delivers respectable fuel economy; I’m getting 44.6mpg out of my car so far. The gearchange isn’t as satisfying as the SEAT’s, and the chunky gearlever might feel a bit oversized, but now that I’m used to it, I’m really enjoying my time with the 3008.

*Insurance quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a 42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three points.

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