Peugeot 3008 (2008 - 2016)
By any means
Both the Swiss pocket knife and the mobile phone owe their success to the same thing. Both products started life as ordinary household items and were therefore immediately accepted by the general public. The Swiss pocket knife was in essence no more than a knife. Although the mobile phone is now almost a portable computer, in name it is still just a phone.
In the same way the Peugeot 3008 is a well known car: the 308. However the 3008 is taller, wider, longer and features a bold look.
This daring combination does take some time to get used to. The extra ground clearance and clearly visible underbody protection give the 3008 a strong personality and stance. At the same time the slim headlights and elegant lines that are so typical for Peugeot seem to clash with the general design.
As stated in the introduction, the 3008 is part airplane. The dashboard is built around the driver, like the cockpit of an airplane. Although the driving position is very high (which also means easy entry), the dashboard is mounted even higher. The centre console is just as tall, almost wrapping around both the driver and passenger.
Regrettably this special set-up means that not everybody can find an ideal sitting position. Yours truly kept adjusting the seat all the way during the test drive, never finding an ideal position. However, others feel right at home in the 3008 and regard the special set-up as a great improvement over regular cars.
To enhance the cockpit feeling, the 3008 is fitted with a "head up" display. A transparent panel that automatically slides out of the dashboard to project current speed. In this way the information is right in the driver's view, which is much easier to concentrate on than traditional dials positioned behind the steering wheel.
The display is also used to show other relevant information. Next to the speed, the distance to the car in front is also displayed (expressed in seconds). The "head up" display is very pleasant to drive with and one wonders why Peugeot still bothers to fit traditional dials as well.
While the 3008 gives a special cockpit feeling in the front, the car offers the space of a mid-sized MPV in the back. The head and legroom on the backseat is remarkably good for a car this size. Also the interior is fitted with many storage spaces.
The boot is accessible via a split tailgate. To load small luggage it's sufficient to open just the top half, which takes less effort. The bottom part of the boot lid pivots down, so one can also sit on it.
The loading floor can be installed at three different heights. In this way the luggage space can be utilised fully: easily fragile goods can easily be separated from the rest of the luggage on their own level.
The 3008 is available with the strongest engines from the 308. This ensures that the 3008 performs with ease. On top of that the 3008 is exceptionally quiet. It's not just the unusual design, but also the superior engines which give the feeling that the 3008 is a special car.
For this test drive both the 1.6 litre turbo petrol engine (150 PS / 240 Nm) and the 1.6 litre diesel engine (110 PS / 240 Nm) were tried. When put in to numbers these engines differ a lot, but in real life, performance is almost equal. In both cases the fuel economy, as promised by Peugeot is, easy to realise.
The problem with almost every tall car is the high centre of gravity. One of Peugeot's solutions is "Dynamic Rolling Control". This system cleverly utilises the force pressing on one wheel, to press the other extra hard to the tarmac.
To achieve low mileage and a ditto price the 3008 is not fitted with four-wheel drive. But Peugeot does offer a very smart alternative: the electronic stability programme and traction control can be adjusted for several road conditions ("Grip Control"). Special modes for sand, mud and snow are available (only when the car is fitted with "Mud & Snow" tyres) so this versatile car can still go where most ordinary front-wheel drives cannot.
Peugeot promised that the 3008 offers everything in one car. This vehicle supposedly combines the power of an off-roader, the handling of a compact hatchback and the cockpit of an airplane. And up to a certain level Peugeot does indeed live up to that claim.
The space in the back is remarkably good. In the front the 3008 gives a very special feeling, but it is not possible for everybody to find a suitable driving position. Roadholding is great; handling of this tall 3008 can be compared to that of a normal car. The engines are powerful yet economical.
Despite its tough looks the 3008 does not have four-wheel drive. Thanks to a smart electronic solution the car does perform better off-road than any other two-wheel drive car. In short: the 3008 lives up to its expectation and does indeed offer everything in one car!