THE PEUGEOT 3008 was first introduced at the 2008 Paris Motor Show and to the British press in Croatia whereupon initial reports were almost universally praiseworthy, but many seemed a little unsure about exactly what they’d been driving.
It looks like a conventional mini-MPV but its manufacturers seemed keen to position it as one of the trendy crossover vehicles popularised by the Nissan Qashqai.
When the 3008 went on sale in the UK it sold in steady if not spectacular numbers, buoyed by press reviews and word of mouth from owners. Sized halfway between a 308 hatch and estate car, the 3008 is built on Peugeot’s Platform Two chassis, which is the basis for the 308 and the bigger 5008 MPV.
One of the more tantalising show cars was a diesel electric hybrid model, dubbed the Hybrid4. This was revealed as a production model in late 2011, with a 2.0-litre diesel engine powering the front wheels and a tiny electric motor powering the rears. It also featured a new grille which reduced the 3008’s rictus-like grin a little. The 3008 is certainly an interestingly designed car. The rear tailgate is split like that of the 4007 SUV, so while the top section lifts up like a hatch, the bottom one drops down to form a convenient loading platform that can hold 200kg.
Total boot space is a very large 512-litres, up to 1,604 litres when the rear seats are folded down.
The seating is raised up higher than that of a normal hatchback, mimicking one of the traits that’s most popular with buyers choosing compact 4x4 vehicles. There’s also a large glazed area to assist further with visibility. An optional glass roof like the one found on the 308 SW estate can further increase the amount of light making its way into the cabin.
Peugeot is particularly proud of the airconditioning system on the 3008. It features an air-quality sensor that closes off the inflow of air from outside the car if high levels of pollution are detected, recalculating the air that’s already inside. The 3008 should be a reasonably reliable proposition. There have been a few reports of issues with the automatic handbrake and the rear parking sensors but otherwise it seems a solid purchase.
Check for the usual urban scars of kerbed alloys and parking dints and make sure the servicing record is in check and the basic fluids are in range and the tyres aren’t unevenly worn as the 3008 is susceptible to front suspension misalignment if it’s banged up and
down kerbs. Peugeot put the best of its engine range from the 2009 to 2014 period to work in the 3008. That means 2.0-litre and 1.6-litre HDi diesels plus 1.6-litre VTi and THP petrols.
If we take the diesel options first, there’s a 112bhp Euro5 1.6-litre unit at the base of the range that’s available with the standard sixspeed manual gearbox or Peugeot’s clever electronically-controlled clutchless system.
Next come the 2.0-litre options packing 150bhp and 163bhp. The more powerful of these comes with a conventional sixspeed automatic.
Petrol buyers can take either the 120bhp 1.6-litre VTi engine and its fivespeed manual transmission or step on to the turbocharged 1.6-litre THP which develops 150bhp. The Peugeot 3008 works extremely well. The longer you spend with the car, the more you’ll respect its qualities.
The problem is putting bums on seats in the first place, as the styling certainly divides opinions and has less SUV cues about it than Peugeot perhaps realises.
As a used buy it makes a good deal of sense, because residual values are a little soft, especially in the face of discounting from new, so you should be able to turn up a bargain.
A well looked after car that hasn’t been ravaged by prolonged kids-justwanna-have-fun exposure should make a very smart purchase.