Piling the plaudits on brilliant SUV
The latest version of the 3008 has been winning awards all over the place and rightfully so, writes Steve Teale
I don’t always give a lot of credence to the European Car of the Year award.
I mean, some cars have been worthy winners such as Ford Mondeo (1994) and Fiat 500 (2008), but others have mystified car enthusiasts down the years.
How did Autobianchi Pri mu la( runner up in 1965) and Toyota iQ (runner up in 2010) take honours?
Auto bi an chi has been lost in the mists of time and the quirky iQ was interesting and pleasant but it was hardly a gamechanger.
And how come the most significantcar in the last couple of decades, the MINI, didn’t feature? When it was launched in 2001, the Alfa Romeo 147 was somehow declared more significant. The 147 was impressive and gave new hope to Alfa but it wasn’t in the same class as MINI.
Yet sometimes the Car of the Year award hits the nail right on the head. The current winner is just such an example, the Peugeot 3008.
On the one hand it is a conventional SUV and there is little revolutionary about such a model. But on the other it is such a hi-tech piece of technology that it is quite staggering. It is simply the best car in its class by a mile with some ingenious features.
Take the cabin, or as Peugeot calls it, the i-cockpit. It has a fantastic layout which is designed to offer an ‘intuitive and engaging driving experience’ and it is the key behind this car’ s success.
But it also has more style than most mini-SUVs and excellent performance, in this case from a three-cylinder 1.2- litre engine. These compact engines are becoming more popular but it is still stunning to feel the power and sportiness from such a tiny unit in such a big car.
So, how does the 3008 shape up? It is claimed to be the most advanced Peugeot ever. At just 4,450mm long it is one of the most compact models in its class but thanks to clever design it is also one of the most spacious.
It has a longer wheelbase than the outgoing version and much more cabin space, especially for rear-seat passengers. The boot is huge and has a automatic door with more storage concealed.
The car is the same width as the old model but there is more elbow room, and the car is 19 mm lower which improves ride and handling.
While the range costs from £22,495, the test model is the mid-range GT Line, which is sporty. At £25,980 it is not cheap but it does offer a lot of car for the money.
It is not as sporty as the GT, but the GT Line still impressive.
Standard kit includes power steering, stability control, central locking, alloy wheels, automatic climate control, radar and camera parking aids, satellite navigation and powered door mirrors which illuminate a Peugeot symbol when the door is opened at night.
The 3008 has won a number of awards including Auto
Express’s mid-sized SUV of the year beating SEAT Ateca and Mazda CX-5 among others. T he 3008 has sold more than 10,000 models since January and has been praised for its design and upmarket feel plus its range of efficient engines.