Peugeot 3008: review and road test of the front-wheel drive SUV

The success of the Peugeot 3008 is incredible: car of the year in 2017, always among the best-selling SUVs of last year and also in the first four months of 2019 it proved to be the cornerstone of the success of the Casa del Leone, registering a + 20% and also taking second place among the best-selling SUVs in the C segment in Italy.

Peugeot 3008: review and road test of the front-wheel drive SUV
Peugeot 3008: review and road test of the front-wheel drive SUV

We wanted to understand why they like it so much and what are the secrets of its success: for this, we tried it in the exclusive GT version, the one equipped only with the 2.0 BlueHDi 180 HP engine combined with the 8-speed automatic transmission.
For some months now, the new added value of the transalpine bestseller is the new EAT8 automatic transmission, combined with the latest Euro 6.2 engines.

The choice of model and engine is not by chance: we Italians treat each other well. The French SUV in the over 80% of cases, numbers in hand, is sold in the top outfits, for over 90% with diesel engines, and for almost 60% with the automatic transmission.

Will it have any defects?

Well, all-wheel drive is not available, it is not there, it is the only front, and if you live in the mountains, so you find the snow more easily, or you go there often.

In any case, frequently faced with dirt and muddy surfaces, it is better to order it with the Advanced Grip Control system, with five driving modes, downhill speed control, and M + S tires, those "four seasons."

Among its strengths, there is undoubtedly its design: captivating and sophisticated, enhanced by the mother-of-pearl color of our test sample, combined with the "Black Diamond" roof of this version.

Taut lines and the characteristic features of the French brand interpreted to adapt to the proportions of an SUV. The front is its strong point, with even sharp eyes when there are full LED headlights.

Even today in Italy, as well as in Europe, the style continues to be fundamental in the choice of a car, and 3008 also proves it.

Although it has been on the market for a while, the interior of the 3008 continues to have a specific effect, with that somewhat futuristic, strange and fascinating style of the second generation i-Cockpit, even more ergonomic. It is a style that divides: with that formula that has broken the patterns, and that obviously has a decisive influence on the guiding approach.

The steering wheel is small with the crown flattened even at the top, so the instrumentation looks good, but it's too low: the gentlemen of Peugeot have not thought about who is tall like me. The only way to remedy the problem was to provide the driver's seat with more travel, allowing him to go lower and it would have been much better already. Then, to make matters worse, on this model, there is also a sunroof, which steals a few more centimeters.

But if you are of average stature there is no problem: you will undoubtedly find the ideal position (on this version for the driver's seat there are also electric adjustments with memories), and you will only have to get used to this compact solution, with the picture 12.3 "digital instruments at the top, what they call the Head-up Digital Display.

Acting on the wheel on the left side of the multifunction steering wheel, the digital instrumentation changes in a rather scenographic way; it can take the form of a double instrument or a simple digital speedometer. It can be customized with the monitor menu to control tachometer, a trip computer, and navigator. Of the latter, if you wish, it displays the map in large, in the center.

The environment, especially on this GT version, is pleasant and refined, there are quality materials, quality finishes, and assemblies, and overall it is original and innovative. A real added value.
It is undeniable the attention to details as well as the perceived quality, for this dashboard, modern, well finished and enveloping; there are sophisticated solutions, but some do not agree with the practicality: for example for different controls and other adjustments (such as climate control) you have to rely on the central 8 "display.
Despite the series of keys below, it is necessary to navigate through the infotainment menus and submenus: everything becomes not very immediate, you lose time, but above all, you are no longer focused on driving.

In the central tunnel, there is the electric pulse selector that manages the new automatic transmission: a kind of joystick with a high aesthetic impact, which has also proved to be comfortable.

Among the defects, visibility: for those who are tall, the front pillar prevents seeing who arrives or anything else, which comes from your right. Even the rear one: thick upright and small rear window reduce the view. Luckily, on our 3008 there are the sensors, the rearview camera and the 360 ​​° one.

Given the external dimensions, perhaps inside, you would expect something more. However, the transalpine SUV is comfortable for four people, traveling with great comfort, as long as they are not too high. Otherwise, the space for the legs of those sitting behind is reduced a little too much.

Even the trunk is not rotten: 520 liters of capacity, which can become 1482. It turns out to be practical, with the folding sofa that creates a flat boot floor. And then you can fold the front passenger seat for an incredible load length.

From the first few kilometers, you immediately have the impression of being at the wheel of a car in the upper segment. In the city you realize that the steering is light, that it gets along well in the maneuvers, perhaps with the help of the Visiopark 360, optional from 400 euros with the Front room 180˚e also seen from above.

The combination of engine and gearbox is excellent, not just two more ratios, but a technology that cannot be seen but makes a big difference: lighter, more compact, and efficient. This automatic transmission with torque converter, developed together with the Japanese Aisin, dramatically improves the already good 3008, enhancing the driving qualities of its new Euro6.2 petrol and diesel engines. They say it can reduce consumption by up to 7% compared to the previous six-speed automatic: it seems to have improved performance with the extension of the Stop & Start system already operating at 20 km / h. Today it allows you to change at relatively high rpm with little loss of revs, plus the move to the eighth ratio reduces the speed jump with each gear change. The torque converter offers excellent comfort even on departure and during parking maneuvers.

If you are in automatic the standard paddles on the steering wheel, allow you to change the ratios manually without losing the automatic function: the drive does not involve having to act on the gear selector, or on the vanes themselves, to return automatically. The change does so a few seconds after the paddles are operated, in time to perform the maneuver for which gear has been called, for example for overtaking.

To continue driving in manual mode, just press the "M" button on the selector and the gearshifts are managed only by the paddles. When you stop, for safety, the Parking function is automatically activated when the engine is switched off, and the electric handbrake is also automatically applied. If it is not included as standard, as in this top of the range version, you will have to add about 2000 euros, but if you like automatic transmissions here are well spent.

In traffic, it moves with ease and all in all, it has a size that still allows it: less than four and a half meters long, it handles well. In the city, it boasts excellent comfort, and you hardly notice the changes, and as soon as you push a little, however, the thrust becomes firm and devoid of any hesitation. With this 2.0 turbodiesel of 180 bhp and 400 Newton per meter of torque, the performances are not lacking: the torque is felt since the 1,500 rpm, and the cue is always at the height of about 1,700 kilos under test conditions.

As soon as you reach an extra-urban road, you can, first of all, appreciate the smooth and sweet progression, marked by almost imperceptible changes. But also the dynamism that the new automatic is capable of conferring on the French SUV, with an always ready answer. The progression is also good, but shortly after 4,000 laps, it is not worth pulling more.

Considering that we are talking about an SUV about 22 centimeters high from the ground, it boasts a safe and rather reactive dynamic behavior: the agility in the mixed or in the change of direction is certainly not its forte, but at the wheel, it can also become fun. In agreement, it will never be a sports car, but on the road, it can become pleasant.

However, its dynamic behavior privileges its ease of control in all conditions. Forcing a little, you feel that on the front end there is a great couple: if you have a minimum of driving sensitivity, you will also notice that when you push, the nose tends to widen. In short, it's a front-wheel drive, and you can hear it but, quietly, the 3008 is safe, always.

The trim is soft but not too much, in the balance between ride comfort and composure: in fact, the suspension gives it a compound trim but also absorbs the holes well, also because the 19 "wheels, which are standard, still have a shoulder not too low. The 3008 is stable, finds support quickly, and even holds fast.

On the motorway, it offers the best of itself but an eye for bends: you need to get a little used to the small steering wheel. On long journeys, he does not tire you out: one of his strengths is the very effective soundproofing, and the cruise octave does the rest.

If you ask him he also knows how to go healthy, and there is also the Sport mode: press the button in the center console, and the engine becomes more reactive, as well as the gearbox, the harder and more responsive steering. However, 3008 can offer you a sincere, relaxed, and never too hard driving feeling.

Consumption does not disappoint: in the city, you can do almost 14 km with a liter of diesel and, in all, on average you can touch the 15.

And then it's safe: Full LED headlights, standard here, such as adaptive cruise control with STOP function, and other active safety and driving assistance systems, such as automatic emergency braking. By the way: brakes usually show good effectiveness, but a little less in the wet.

Peugeot 3008 is offered in 5 settings. The entry level is the Active, combined with the 1200 turbo 130 hp petrol and a 6-speed manual gearbox (this too has improved, now more precise and silent) and starts at 27.480 euros; with 2000 more you will have the new automatic transmission. And if you grind kilometers, you can choose the 1.5 turbodiesels with 130 hp with the manual gearbox starting from 29.280.
The 3008 stands out for its high-quality standard equipment, and in fact, there are already: front and rear LED daytime running lights, 17 "alloy wheels," Full Grain "leather steering wheel and dual-zone automatic climate control. "Capacitive and Head-up Digital Display, electric parking brake and Hill Assist, rear parking sensors, cruise control and programmable speed limiter, Lane Departure Warning, visibility pack, and much more.
For those who use it mainly for work, the Business version is designed, starting from 30.580 Euro and offered only with the 1.5 BlueHDi of 130 hp.
If you want the most potent two thousand diesel engine with 180 horsepower, you have to opt for this top-of-the-range GT set-up that starts at 39.980.

If you like to spoil yourself, like we did: Nappa leather seats with massage function (2,500 euro), panoramic sunroof (950 euros), Focal hi-fi system with 10 loudspeakers, subwoofer and 515 Watts (850) with DAB Radio (another 100), wireless charging for the smartphone (150) and the useful hatchback rear opening without hands (450). Add another couple of "capricci" and to get it so rich, you get to 46.160.

Personal design, a lot of technology and, in this case, a powerful turbodiesel engine: this is the winning recipe of this Peugeot 3008. It can count on all the qualities that make it easy to use an SUV, suitable for everyday trips, weekend trips, and long holiday trips. With the 2-liter 180 HP turbodiesel combined with the 8-speed automatic transmission, it is genuinely a great traveler.
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