Peugeot dominated the family market for decades, then became a hatchback heavyweight in the Nineties and Noughties. Since then, the lion has appeared on very few cars we've actually liked. The company's recent output has been excellent, though, and the 3008 demonstrates a true return to form. Ed Wiseman is finding out what it's like to live with.
Our car: Peugeot 3008 GT Line BlueHDi 120 M6 List price when new: £27,485 Price as tested: £28,395 Official fuel economy: 70.6mpg
May 2nd, 2017
As predicted, the 3008's various novelties have started to wear off. In particular, the relentlessly cheerful notifications that erupt on that instrument binnacle are growing wearisome, like the faux-jocularity of a charity fundraiser asking how you're feeling. The centre-mounted touchscreen is far from the worst system I've used, but I've started to resent how frequently I'm forced to wrestle with it: turning the stop-start system off should require the touch of a button, not several jabs at a ponderous computer interface. And perhaps most annoyingly, there are grammatical errors on at least one of the dialogue boxes.
What remains brilliant is the overall design of the cabin (including the ergonomics) and the eyecatching exterior. It's probably the best-looking car in its category, and manages to turn more heads on my street than cars worth twice as much. Even in this deeply unsexy family SUV market segment, the French cars have a certain je ne sais quoi.
The only physical fault I've encountered so far is a strange, very gentle snatching of the brakes at low speed. I'm not sure what's causing it, or whether it's some side-effect of a safety mechanism, but it manifests as a very gentle brake pressure that lasts for half a second when my foot isn't anywhere near the pedal. It's only happened three times – and only in Camberwell, weirdly – but I plan to get to the bottom of it before undertaking any long journeys.
April 18th, 2017
Economy this week: 50mpg (though a little early to tell)
The Peugeot 3008 was crowned European Car of the Year around a month before this example was dropped off at Telegraph HQ, ready for its new life on our long-term fleet. It’s a handsome machine, seems practical, and was perfectly amenable on the ten-mile journey from the office to my house last night. But it still puts me under a lot of pressure.
What if I don’t like it? It’s been given its prestigious title by the continent’s most respected car critics, our own Andrew English included, who chose it from a list of other excellent models. If I disagree, is it me or the European car industry that is wrong?
During my first hour of ownership, I’ve had no real reason to disagree with them. The position of the wheel within the cockpit-style cabin only momentarily distracted me from the charming interior of the GT Line. The environment that Peugeot has created inside the 3008 is a real treat, punching well above its price-point in terms of looks and all-round interestingness.
There’s a slight disconnect between the innovative interior design and the chuntery grumble of this diesel engine. Certain road imperfections seem to find their way into the cabin, tearing through an otherwise silky ride, but these were few and far between on my initial drive on the South Circular. A crunchy six-speed manual also feels anachronistic in what could at first glance be mistaken for a space ship.
My favourite feature so far (after an hour or two of ownership) is the central cubby box, softly lit with white LEDs and accessed via a button-activated, split-folding hatch. It’s the perfect width and depth for secure, secret stowage of a McDonalds bag, which I suspect may have been the clincher during COTY assessment in February.
I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I like this big French SUV. I have two big trips planned in it, as well as several smaller ones – let’s see if I’m still as delighted with it by this time next week.
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