Motoring writer KEITH WARD finds that Peugeot’s latest 3008 model makes his lady passengers drool with delight.
IT was partly due to the lavish extras fitted to this particular Peugeot. But the two elderly lady neighbours, car owners both, we took on an outing in the 3008 were cooing from the back seat like a couple of kids opening Christmas prezzies.
Oo, sinking back into the plump black leather; and the sunshade curtains for the side windows; and the view through the full-length panoramic glass roof; and the armrest with built-in cupholders and look at that – glimpsing forward the driver’s head-up display of the speedo in the windscreen.
This, indeed stylish, Peugeot proved during a week’s use more than just a pretty face. Practical features included the split rear tailgate to ease loading of the ladies’ shopping, and a choice of three different levels of the boot floor on which to rest it, according to bulk and fragility.
In this unusual arrangement, the floor at bottom basement level gives a huge hip-bath of a well, 600 mm deep. Raising it by 120 mm to slot in mid-position allows it to form an almost-flat through-floor with the folded rear seats. Raising it by a further 170 mm gives a solid, high-level shelf, in effect doubling the floor area of the boot in normal mode. Clever.
Launched in the UK 15 months ago, the 3008 has notched up well over 10,000 sales here, picking up a brace of major awards. Introduced relatively recently, a powerful 163 bhp, 2.0-lire diesel engine, tried here allied to the top Exclusive body trim, forms a £23,000-plus combination. It now tops a 17-strong range starting at around £17,000.
A development of the former 136 bhp unit fitted to other Peugeot models, this engine comes only when mated to a smooth, six-speed automatic gearbox to optimise fuel consumption – just under 43 mpg in our hands – and CO2 emissions. It is dual mode, allowing active selection as well as fully automatic. Standard with this combination is Peugeot’s “dynamic roll control” rear suspension, which no doubt helps the car’s impressive handling and comfortable ride, despite what can be adverse effects from energy-saving tyres.
Previously sceptical about head-up displays, I found I quickly got used to this one, coming to positively value the ghostly read-out of the speedo in my line of vision, and not at all distracting. It would be a boon on the many cars these days with fussy, dark and difficult-to-read instruments.
Recently, the Exclusive model has gained further appeal with standard fitting of USB and Bluetooth, a flat-folding front passenger seat, electric folding mirrors and exterior courtesy lights.
They join such goodies as dual-zone climate control with air quality sensors, that enormous sunshine roof, auto headlights and wipers, chrome exterior bits, parking alerts and exterior courtesy lights.
“What a lovely car”, drooled the ladies.
THE VITAL STATISTICS
Model: Peugeot 3008 Exclusive HDi 163
Body: Five-door, high-stance Crossover; split rear tailgate; triple boot floor
Engine: Diesel; 1,997 cc; turbo; high pressure injection; 6-speed automatic
Power: 163 bhp @ 3,750 rpm; max torque 340 Nm @ 2,000 rpm
Pace: 127 mph; 0-62 in 10.2 secs
Fuel: On test 42.9 mpg at average 40 mph; official combined 42.1 mpg
CO2: 176 g/km; annual tax disc £300 first year
Insurance: Group 22E
Safety: NCAP 5-star maximum rating
PRICE: £23,095; with options as tested £25,145