Road tests

New Peugeot E-3008 2024 review: a premium feel, but at a premium price

The all-electric Peugeot E-3008 feels like another step in the right direction when it comes to quality, but this comes at a cost

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

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Verdict

Peugeot is taking another step towards the premium mainstream with the E-3008. Existing customers and those coming from rival brands will be wowed by the interior finish and quality, and while the drive isn’t full of involvement, there’s enough tech, comfort and refinement here for this model to make its mark. Prices look high, and there are some surprising omissions from the standard kit list, but the early signs are that Peugeot is prepared to offer keen finance rates to sweeten the deal.

The Peugeot 3008 has been a significant car for the French brand – but the latest, third generation ramps up the stakes to a new level. The outgoing version was the model, you may recall, that signified the introduction of an ‘almost premium’ approach from Peugeot, drawing many an admiring, jealous look from rivals thanks to its clever, smart interior and edgy styling.

But the new Mk3 model is another beast altogether, for it ushers in an entirely new generation of platform, not just for Peugeot but for the entire parent Stellantis Group. Called STLA, and available in Small, Medium and Large configurations (the 3008 uses the middle of this trio), this architecture has been designed from the ground up to support pure-electric cars. It can still accommodate mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid combustion-engined set-ups, and is going to support dozens of models by the second half of the decade – from Vauxhalls and Citroens to Alfa Romeos and Jeeps.

It starts here, though – and as if to mark the occasion, we’re presented with yet another take on what the 3008 should actually be. The Mk1 was more of an MPV; the outgoing generation morphed into an SUV; now we have something that’s more coupé-crossover, with a more rakish roofline and a rather abrupt, vertical tailgate. 

It certainly cuts a stylish shape – more so with Peugeot’s ultra-complex latest front grille and badge treatment – giving the 3008 a strong visual identity as it aims to take on the likes of the forthcoming Ford Explorer, big-selling Tesla Model Y, and bargain Renault Scenic.

Appropriately enough, for what is the thin end of the wedge, at launch there’s just a single spec of electric 3008, now called E-3008. This is the version we’re trying here on UK roads; it has a single front-mounted motor producing 201bhp and 345Nm of torque, and a 73kWh (usable) battery that’s good, Peugeot claims, for up to 327 miles of range. Rapid charging is rated at up to 160kW, so you should be able to take the battery from 20 to 80 per cent in half an hour.

A model with a little more power (227bhp) and a larger 98kWh battery is on the way, promising more than 400 miles of range. It will arrive in the second half of the year, and will be joined in the line-up by a dual-motor edition offering four-wheel drive and 316bhp.

The combustion-engined range is set to expand within the same timeframe; right now, there’s just a 1.2-litre three-cylinder mild-hybrid petrol available, but a plug-in hybrid 3008 with four-wheel drive should land in dealers in due course.

We’re the first to try the E-3008 on UK roads, and the good news is that the new arrival–- even in top spec and with larger wheels – feels at home on our typically atrocious surfaces. It’s not a light car, with a kerb weight north of 2.1 tonnes, and the primary ride feels pretty stiff. The engineers have no doubt fought to keep the 3008’s body control in check. 

By and large they’ve succeeded, though, and while the E-3008 resists body roll commendably, STLA also appears to allow enough sophistication in the secondary ride for the car to soothe out a fair percentage of road scars. It’s slightly better at low speeds than on faster roads, where sudden dips or camber changes still mean a bit of head toss, but in general this is not a car you’ll accuse of being uncomfortable. 

There are few thrills to be had here, but then, it’s an all-electric family SUV, so it’s probably unfair to expect much involvement. The roads were greasy and occasionally icy during our test and if we threw the E-3008’s front end towards a particularly slippery corner, it just washed wide into understeer. The steering is slightly heavier than in Peugeots of late, and a little short on feedback. But with the smaller wheel (yes folks, it’s yet another evolution of the i-Cockpit concept), it’s accurate and easy to place the E-3008 in corners.

The entry-level powertrain is modest in a car with this mass, and in fact, it feels remarkably like a combustion engine in its delivery; while it’s quick enough overall, there’s little ‘instant EV shove’ to speak of, and the throttle pedal modulation is such that it’s easy to accelerate smoothly. The same can’t quite be said of the brake, which felt a little sensitive and prone to grabbing at low speeds. We’d find ourselves using the paddles behind the steering wheel to play with the regenerative braking, in the hope of avoiding the left-hand pedal as much as possible around town.

Perhaps that’s one element that might be fixed with some fine-tuning, since our car was described as a ‘late pre-production model’. We can’t say we noticed any other major rough edges, though; indeed, we’d already say the E-3008 seems a refined cruiser, with minimal electric-motor whine and extremely well-suppressed wind noise. Only a bit of tyre roar lets the side down.

Just as the outgoing 3008 drew a line in the sand for Peugeot interiors, the front cabin of the new generation in particular is a world apart from the rest of the line-up. It’s dominated, completely, by a 21-inch curved display that sweeps around from above the steering wheel to the centre of the fascia. There are flashes of scratch-prone piano-black plastic, sadly, but swathes of natty fabric do lift the dashboard beyond the norm.

The digital element has multiple touch points – the central screen itself, but also a panel beneath on which you can swipe between configurable shortcuts – but if anything, the interface falls a little shy of the physical tech on which it’s presented. It’s almost as if the designers had a bit too much screen real estate to play with, so the design feels a bit disjointed and short on cohesion. No doubt you’d get used to it over time – and of course, smartphone hook-ups are available for those who want to bypass much of the system and allow Apple or Google to run the show. But ultimately, what it scores over the Renault Scenic on hardware, it cedes back on software – for now, at least.

The new take on the 3008’s profile hasn’t come at the cost of cabin space, thankfully; there are more spacious mid-sized SUVs, with either electric or petrol power, but four six-footers will have few complaints on shoulder, leg, knee or headroom. A third occupant in the middle rear seat would be a bit of a squeeze, perhaps, but would probably not find the accommodation unbearable for shorter journeys.

The boot follows the cabin’s positioning by being entirely acceptable for a family car, while not setting any benchmarks. There’s a variable-height floor so you can choose between minimising the load lip and maximising outright capacity – although we’d probably end up using the higher of the settings and keeping cables beneath it all (there’s no underbonnet storage, sadly). The official numbers are 520 litres with the rear seats in place, and up to 1,480 litres with them folded down; it’s fair to say it’s big enough for most uses, but there is slightly less focus on outright practicality here than you’ll find in a Scenic.

Regardless of whether you pick your Peugeot with electric or petrol power, you’ve two trim levels to choose from. Allure is the more modest of the versions; it brings that curved dashboard display, dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors with reversing camera, LED headlights, ambient cabin lighting, 19-inch alloy wheels and connected navigation with over-the-air updates, plus wireless Android and Apple connectivity. This costs from £34,650 in mild-hybrid form, or £45,850 as an E-3008.

Strangely, for a near-£46k EV, Allure does without front parking sensors or heated seats; they only come as standard on GT spec, which also brings 20-inch alloy wheels, a powered tailgate with gesture control, Alcantara seat trim, gloss-black styling details and pixel-LED headlights with adaptive beam assistance. 

Peugeot wants a fair premium for this trim over Allure, though, so a petrol-powered GT will cost you from £38,150, and an electric version will set you back a cool £49,650. Yes, you read that right: almost fifty grand. And even then, Peugeot demands a cheeky £700 for a heat pump, a feature we’d recommend on pretty much any EV. Throw in a nice shade of metallic paint (although the standard Obsession Blue is pretty fetching, admittedly) and you’ll end up with an E-3008 GT costing precisely £51,000.

Those prices look ambitious on paper, but Peugeot is already working hard to overcome hefty headline numbers with aggressive finance rates. The E-3008 is already available with 2.5% APR, so if you put down a deposit of just under £6,000 on an Allure, it’ll cost you £479 per month, based on a 37-month deal and 6,000 miles per year.

The most obvious new-generation rival for the E-3008 is, of course, the aforementioned Renault Scenic. But while Peugeot’s list prices are high, there’s not much to separate the two on a finance deal. On similar terms, and with the same deposit, the bigger, more spacious Scenic Techno would cost you around the same price the E-3008 Allure.

Model:Peugeot E-3008 GT 73kWh 210
Price:£49,650
Powertrain:73kWh battery, 1x e-motor
Power/torque:207bhp//345Nm
Transmission:Single-speed auto, front-wheel drive
0-62mph:8.8 seconds
Top speed:105mph
Range/charging:312-327 miles/160kW, 20-80% in 30 mins
L/W/H:4,542/1,895/1,641mm
On sale:Now
Editor-at-large

John started journalism reporting on motorsport – specifically rallying, which he had followed avidly since he was a boy. After a stint as editor of weekly motorsport bible Autosport, he moved across to testing road cars. He’s now been reviewing cars and writing news stories about them for almost 20 years.

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