The 3008’s load space isn’t quite as clever as it could be, either; where the Skoda Karoq (and indeed, the 3008’s bigger brother, the 5008) give you rear seats that slide and fold individually, the 3008’s bases are fixed in place, and the middle seat folds with the passenger-side one. There is at least a ski hatch, through which you can thread long, thin items while retaining the use of both outer seats.
The 3008 might come with a fairly generous slew of equipment, but even taking that into account, it’s still quite an expensive car. The version we’re testing here, for example, has the least powerful engine and a mid-range specification, yet it’ll still set you back more than £30,000 – a lot of money for an SUV of this size.
What’s more, while residual values are predicted to be reasonable, many of the 3008’s rivals will cost you less to start with, yet hold on to more of their value when resale time comes along.
This high cost is offset by the 3008’s efficiency; it’s particularly frugal on fuel, which means it should cost you less to run day-to-day. Affordable maintenance should also help with the running costs, too, though overall, the 3008 looks likely to wallop your wallet a little more over the course of your ownership than will most of its SUV rivals.
It’s worth noting, too, that the 3008 only comes with a three-year warranty, unlike some rivals which offer more; it put in an average showing in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, too, though Peugeot as a marque came top of the latest JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study.
Taking a chill pill
You aren’t going to win many traffic light derbies in the 1.2-litre 3008, though of course, if you’re even trying to, you’re almost certainly in the wrong car to start with. (On that note, Peugeot says it hasn’t counted out the possibility of a hot, Peugeot Sport Engineered version of the 3008, to rival cars like the Cupra Ateca and Volkswagen T-Roc R).
That said, this smaller engine does feel a little gutless even when you aren’t driving like a hooligan; climbing a hill feels like scaling Kilimanjaro as you find yourself mashing the throttle into the floor to get the engine spinning in search of some acceleration. By comparison, most rivals at the same sort of price will offer you 10-20bhp more to play with, which makes progress just that little bit more relaxing.
This is a shame, because ‘relaxing’ is a good way of describing the 3008’s demeanour in other areas. No, it isn’t quite as effortlessly smooth as the Citroen C5 Aircross, to which it’s closely related, but the 3008 strikes a good balance between tautness and pliance; yes, you’ll get a sense of sharper ruts and bumps passing beneath you, but crucially, they don’t become intrusive.
At speed, meanwhile, the 3008 feels smooth, yet secure and stable too. There’s relatively little wind or road noise, though the engine does make itself heard at high revs – and given its laggardliness, you do find yourself needing to thrash it from time to time.
Happily, because the suspension isn’t too soft and sloppy, the 3008 feels quite satisfying to drive. Granted, it doesn’t offer up quite the same zingy responses as the Seat Ateca nor the feel of a Ford Kuga, but the 3008 still provides you with enough confidence to make use of its reassuring grip and solid body control in an emergency manoeuvre. And that, really, as all you can ask of a family hauler like this one; we’re not talking about a GTI rival, after all.
The old razzle dazzle
There was a time when Peugeots looked very boring. Then, through the 1980s and ‘90s, they became rather stylish. Then they went back to being boring again. And now, happily, the pendulum has swung back the other way.
The 3008 was quite an eye-catching thing when it first came out, and while the changes made by this facelift are rather minimal, they’ve had an effect. Gone is the slightly wonky nose, arguably the 3008’s least successful angle, and it’s been replaced with a rakish affair with a wide grille that cleverly bleeds into the bodywork.
Elsewhere, slivers of burnished metal down the side and, at the rear, an all-black light bar, from which shine forth the crystalline LED lights, all combine to give a sense that this is somewhat more upmarket than your average mainstream SUV.
The same can be said inside, where the dashboard swoops around you, and most of the controls are via smart, piano key-style buttons. As with most modern Peugeots, though, there’s no climate control panel; instead, you have to use a menu screen within the entertainment system.
This becomes tiresome quickly, not only because you need to switch away from the sat nav display you’re using to work out where you’re going to adjust the fan speed, but also because the touchscreen itself is slow to respond and rather fiddly to use.
The Telegraph verdict
It’s a pain, undoubtedly, but the entertainment system is one of relatively few flaws with the 3008. It doesn’t quite sit at the top of its class, partly because it can’t match the best of these family SUVs in terms of versatility, and partly because it doesn’t come cheap. That said, low running costs will at least go some way towards mitigating that high initial outlay.
It isn’t the most exciting car of its type to drive either, and neither is it particularly fast, but then those won’t be criteria at the top of most buyers’ lists of wants and needs. What they will care about is space, comfort and a premium feel – all areas in which the 3008 excels. This facelift might not have changed much, but we’re not sure it needed to; the 3008 remains a class act.
Telegraph Rating: Four stars out of five
On test: Peugeot 308 1.2 Puretech 130 EAT8 Allure
How much? £30,360 on the road
How fast? 117mph, 0-62mph in 9.7sec
How economical? 46.0mpg (WLTP Combined)
Engine/gearbox: 1,199cc three-cylinder petrol engine, 128bhp, eight-speed automatic gearbox, front-wheel drive
The electric bits: N/A
Electric range: N/A
CO2 emissions: 139g/km
VED: £215 first year, then £150/year
Warranty: 3 years / 60,000 miles
Boot size: 591 litres
Spare wheel as standard: No (optional extra)
Seat Ateca 1.5 TSI 150 DSG Xperience
148bhp, 45.6mpg, £29,455 on the road
Seat’s sharp-handling Ateca has just had a facelift, and remains at or near the top of its class. This model gets a puncher engine and more equipment than the equivalent 3008, yet it costs less to buy and achieves similar fuel consumption. The catch? Well, both interior and exterior are a touch less stylish – but that’s about it.
Skoda Karoq 1.5 TSI 150 DSG SE L
148bhp, 42.9mpg, £28,610 on the road
The clever Karoq has rear seats that do all manner of things – slide, fold, tumble, and so on – as well as a plethora of neat storage solutions throughout. That makes it the smartest SUV on the block; that it’s also comfy and feels robustly built inside only adds to its appeal. Granted, it isn’t as chic as the Peugeot, but as sensible family transport it’s hard to beat.
Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi DCT GT-Line AWD
174bhp, 32.5mpg, £29,480 on the road
It isn’t all that much fun to drive, the Sportage, but look what you get for your cash: a potent petrol engine, four-wheel drive and a whopping seven-year warranty. Granted, it’s dour inside and not much fun to drive, but it is spacious and versatile. If you can live with its prodigious thirst, it looks like good value up against the Peugeot.
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