Peugeot 3008The Peugeot 3008 mid-sized SUV was unveiled in 2008 and sales began in April 2009 and since then it has regularly been renewed or upgraded and now we have the latest tweaks. Peugeot call it ‘new’ but I’d say revised.

When originally launched the 3008 was ahead of the game in terms of being a family affordable SUV and was instrumental in the growing popularity of such models. Now the compact SUV market sector has mushroomed during the last decade so now the 3008 has far more competitors – too many to fully mention but key models are the Ford Kuga, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, VW Tiguan SEAT Ateca, Skoda Karoq, Nissan Qashqai and if you want something posher - the Volvo XC40 or Range Rover Evoque. The 3008 SUV design concept and components also spawned similar models such as the Peugeot 2008 and 5008 plus SUV versions in the Citroen, DS and Vauxhall ranges.

Now the Peugeot 3008 in its latest guise is branded as new but let’s say revised. Peugeot lists changes as bringing new styling features, more technology and class-leading safety features to the compact SUV segment, not sure I agree with the last element of that PR statement though. What is accurate is there is now the choice of plug-in hybrid PHEV, petrol and diesel powertrains plus new trim and equipment levels.

Through just shy of 30 derivatives the on-the-road prices start at 27,160 and rise up to a huge £47,210 but that top price is for the new top spec Hybrid4 300e-EAT8 4WD version Like the lower powered Hybrid 225 e-EAT8 2WD version these two plug-in petrol electric models are also available with lower spec levels. The full range of spec levels for the new range are Active Premium, Allure, Allure Premium, GT and GT Premium.

In addition to the Hybrid powertrains Peugeot knows the vast majority of sales in the retail and fleet/business sectors will remain with the more affordable petrol and diesel engines. The engine line-up is widely available through the Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Vauxhall and shortly Fiat/Jeep/Chrysler brands. They are 1.2-litre PureTech 130hp 3-cylinder turbo petrol, manual and auto, 1.6-litre PureTech 180hp 4-cylinder turbo petrol auto, 1.5-litre BlueHDi 130hp 4-cylinder turbodiesel manual and auto and 2.0-litre BlueHDi 180hp auto. All auto transmissions are 8-speed units and have Normal, Sport and Eco driving mode selection. Manual gearboxes have 6-speeds. All are 2WD models except for the Hybrid4 300e variant which has two electric motors, one driving the rear wheels for extra traction.

The sweet spot model in the range will be the 1.2-litre 130hp with Allure trim and a manual gearbox priced at £29,460 but there is a significant proportion of UK retail buyers who enjoy this now long-serving widely used engine with the excellent EAT8, 8-speed automatic transmission priced at £30,360 and that is the version I have been trying.

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For the record the new spec level equipment highlights are: Active Premium has 17-inch ‘Chicago’ alloy wheels, Safety Pack, Visibility Pack, keyless start, dual zone air-conditioning, front and rear parking aid, Mirror Screen, electrically folding mirrors. Allure adds 18-inch ‘Detroit’ storm grey alloy wheels, tinted windows, Safety Plus Pack, connected 3D navigation with 10-inch display, new ‘Colyn’ fabric upholstery. Allure Premium spec levels adds Open & Go keyless entry, aluminium roof rails, folding front passenger seat, ambient lighting pack and textile door cards. The sportier GT spec level adds 18-inch ‘Detroit’ gloss black alloy wheels, Black Diamond roof paint, Adaptive Cruise Control, full LED headlights, Mistral Alcantara and leather effect seat trim. The top of the range GT Premium has 19-inch ‘San Francisco’ alloy wheels, hands-free tailgate, Visio Park 2: 360º colour camera system, Focal HiFi, heated front seats with massaging function and electrically adjustable driver's seat.

What else is new about the latest Peugeot 3008? On the outside there is a frameless attractive front grille and gloss black air intakes while the headlights, daytime running lights and indicators all use advanced LED technology across the range. At the rear Peugeot’s trademark three-claw taillights and new sequential indicators provide a contemporary look.

Inside, the latest 3008 SUV features Peugeot’s latest generation digital i-Cockpit technology with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, a compact flat bottomed steering wheel and from Allure spec level upwards a 10-inch high definition colour touchscreen.

From the Active Premium level upwards all models come as standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Mirror Screen connectivity. There are also two new USB sockets installed for rear passengers to use.

The latest driving aids from Peugeot, depending on the spec grade include, Night Vision which they claim is unique for the compact SUV segment and it allows drivers to see pedestrians and animals on the 12.3-inch digital instrument panel up to 200m beyond the scope of the headlights. The Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go is available on models with the 8-speed automatic transmission. Lane Positioning Assist as part of the Adaptive Cruise Control ensures the vehicle stays within its driving lane and the latest-Generation Automatic Emergency Braking is capable of detecting both pedestrians and cyclists at night at speeds from 3mph to 86mph.

Other than that the latest Peugeot 3008 remains largely the same it has the widely used mid-sized modular platform designed by PSA Group, now known as Stellantis since Fiat/Chrysler/Jeep combined with PSA. It has five doors, seating for five, the boot and load space is from 520 to 1,482-litres, its 4,447mm long, 1,841mm wide, 1,624mm high with a wheelbase of 2,675mm which is a shade shorter than some of its more recently designed mid-sized SUV competitors. Whereas the early 3008 models set the standard for the SUV interior design and space, I feel that other models in this sector offer a bit more front and rear roominess. The front space now feels a bit restrictive due to its twin cockpit design, it’s very nicely done and finished but knee room width is limited for us long legged people and in the driver’s footwell space is in short supply for a left clutch foot so I was pleased to be driving an automatic model.

The most recent changes keep the fascia panel and controls up-to-date but still Peugeot persists in including some main controls, like the heating temperature adjustment function, operated via the touchscreen. I wouldn’t say the sat-nav was the easiest or fastest to use or the graphics the easiest to read but the TomTom traffic live alerts were excellent. As in the past the interior looks smarts, it is seemingly well built and easy to live with but it now follows the competition and isn’t any longer the leader of the SUV pack. I missed having heated front seats even at the Allure lower spec level as most of the competition now includes them in all but base models.

The ride comfort with the Allure spec 18-inch wheels was as compliant and comfortable as ever and I still liked the small sized steering wheel which does sharpen up the steering response making the 3008 feel neat and nimble in the handling department.

Where I still think Peugeot has an edge over most of the competition outside the Stellantis group brands, is with its multi-award winning 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder turbo petrol engine. It has been in use in many models and has always impressed us media types hence the number of awards it’s received. It’s lively, responsive and the 230Nm of torque availability from 1,750rpm is ideal with the latest 8-speed auto transmission. It is a match to be praised because the 8-speeds offer the right ratio for optimum performance whether in Eco, Normal or Sport driving modes. Matched with a 6-speed manual gearbox this engine is not as easy to live with as it requires lots of gearchanging to keep it in its ideal and most responsive torque band. With the 8-speed auto on winding country open roads the gear-shit indicator will tell you it’s in 5th or 6th gear and only gets into the long-legged 7th or 8th gears whilst cruising on much more open roads, all seemingly without detriment to the fuel economy. Around town or tighter country lanes, the auto gearbox shuffled between ratios seamlessly. Only during hard acceleration did the 3-cylinder engine partially emit a slight growl which sounded characterfull.

During the Covid lockdown period with no motoring events to attend, although being Journalists we can legally travel, my driving mileage was only one longer run without motorway travel and lots of short runs but still the overall fuel economy returned 43.4mpg. The official WLTP Combined Cycle figures are 38.7 to 46mpg. Not so good however are the CO2 figures of 146g/km, which is not class leading. First Year VED road tax is £215 followed by £150 Standard rate and the BiK company car tax rate is a high 32%. Insurance is Group 21E and warranty 3-years/60,000-miles which is ungenerous.

Having now driven in recent months lots of similar models with hybrid systems of various types including plug-ins, I feel this 1.3 non-hybrid petrol engine could now benefit from having a belt driven mild-hybrid motor/generator unit fitted to it. It would assist performance and help fuel economy and potentially lower CO2 emissions. There are so many mild-hybrid powertrains being used on almost all brands these days so I expect PSA and Stellantis to follow that trend as the CO2 emission rules get even tougher.

As for performance top speed the top sped of the 3008 1.2 auto is 117mpg and the zero to 62mph acceleration time is 9.7-seconds, all perfectly acceptable for most users. When mainstream motorists are allowed to legally go anywhere what will the point be in rushing anywhere, just enjoy the freedom.

MILESTONES: Peugeot 3008 Allure 1.2L PureTech 130, EAT8 auto, 2WD. Price: £30,360. Engine/transmission: 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder, turbo petrol 130hp, 230Nm from 1,750rpm, 8-speed auto, 2WD with driving mode selection. Performance: 117mph, 0-62mph 9.7-seconds, WLTP Combined Cycle range 38.7 to 46mpg, CO2 146g/km, VED First Year road tax £215, Standard rate £150, BiK company car tax 32%. Insurance group: 21E. Warranty: 3-years/60,000-miles. Dimensions/capacities: L 4,447mm, W1,841mm, H 1,624mm, wheelbase 2,675mm, boot/load space 520 to 1,482-litres, braked towing capacity 1,400kg, 5-doors/5-seats. For: Revised smart styling inside and out to keep its market-fresh, more driving support and safety equipment, good real-life fuel economy, engine and auto gearbox are an ideal marriage, compliant ride, neat and nimble handling. Against: Younger mid-sized SUVs have more interior passenger space, heating/ventilation/radio controls operated via the touchscreen, the engine would benefit from the now common-place mild-hybrid starter/generator systems to reduce the CO2 emissions and lower tax costs, ungenerous warranty.Miles Better News Agency 

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