3008 Sport HDi 150
of the best cars to enter the
market over the last six months was
Peugeots 3008 crossover, a finalist
in the International Car of the Year
2010 competition and What Car?
magazines 2010 Car of the Year...
IT WAS PROBABLY my car of the year as well although it was a close run thing
with the new Volkswagen Polo. I've driven and written about the five-door,
five-seater 3008 before, both at its press launch and subsequently at the end
of last year where it got a real-life workout on a pre-Christmas visit to France.
Now I needed to look at it again because this time the 3008 was fitted with
Peugeot's Grip Control system.
The 3008 successfully crosses over the segment boundaries between an SUV, a
five-door family hatch and a flexible seating MPV and although it has all the
hallmarks of a C-segment SUV 4x4, the 3008 actually only comes with front-wheel
However, Peugeot's Grip Control (a £460 option) is a halfway house between all-wheel
drive and two-wheel drive. This on-demand, intelligent function easily
and simply operated by a rotary switch optimises the traction control
of both front wheels for improved grip on poor road surfaces or off-road. A
clever electronic differential optimises the traction of both front wheels and
can send all the power to just one wheel if that wheel has the best grip. The
driver operates the system by means of a control switch with five settings:
Standard, Snow, Off-Road (Mud/Dirt/Wet Grass), Sand and ESP-off. Grip Control-equipped
3008s come with 16-inch M+S (mud/snow) tyres.
This option so far has only had around a five per cent take-up from 3008 customers
but this is mainly due to the fact that the first cars ordered by dealers for
its November introduction last year didn't have this cost-effective function.
Now, orders for Grip Control are much stronger and so is demand for the new
3008 with demand already ahead of this year's 10,500 sales target.
Unless our memories are short I can see the experience of the recent Winter
weather creating much more demand for Grip Control and I suspect that in the
longer term used 3008s with it will be worth more than those without it. For
just an extra £460 why wouldn't any customer opt for it? I've tried it and it
works seamlessly. It might not be a 'proper' four-wheel drive system but for
most people it will bring added margins of secure driving in bad conditions
or when towing.
four-wheel drive is really what you need, then 3008 customers will have to wait
until 2011 when the range will get a Hybrid4 option. Basically a 2.0-litre 163bhp
diesel engine will power the front wheels and when drive from the rear wheels
is needed this will be supplied by a 37bhp electric motor. Around 74.3mpg is
promised with CO2 emissions of just 99g/km.
Control can be specified on all engines except the latest addition to the range,
the 2.0-litre HDi 163 diesel with automatic transmission. That said, there is
still plenty of choice of engine power to go with Grip Control: the 1.6-litre
120 and 156bhp petrol units, the 1.6 HDi 110 diesel (the best selling model)
and the 2.0-litre HDi 150 diesel. Plus there is the choice of Active, Sport
and Exclusive trim and equipment levels and so far there has been a high demand
for the Exclusive versions.
the rear is a very neat
split tailgate. The top
section hinges upwards
and provides the
usual tailgate entrance
but a lower section
hinges downwards to
give even better access
for bulky loads...
On the road prices start at £16,595 and go up to £22,495 but may vary slightly
following the 1 April VED changes.
The 3008 is full of what I think are good features and a distinct improvement
over other Peugeot models, except the new 5008 MPV range. I prefer its rounded
new front which is said to be the new 'face' for Peugeot a vast improvement
over the exaggerated 'drooping nose' of the existing 308 family models.
The forward-positioned windscreen gives a swept-back aerodynamic look and the
rising side waistline and curved roof provides a coupe side elevation. At the
rear are wide sculptured flanks which make the car appear chunky and perhaps
it is not its best view. The side B-pillars and rear-quarter C-pillars are quite
wide so visibility for the driver and subsequent blind spots can be an issue.
At the rear is a very neat split tailgate. The top section hinges upwards and
provides the usual tailgate entrance but a lower section hinges downwards to
give even better access for bulky loads or even the family dog.
In the large uncluttered load area there is what Peugeot calls a 'Multiflex'
system a three-position load floor that is easy to use so the load can
be positioned at the best height and more items can be stored under the floor.
The three rear seats also fold down easily and provide a large flat load floor.
Boot space is 512 litres with the rear seats in use; 1,604 litres with them
folded. This is what I call a family-friendly car and even if you have no children
it is great for carrying loads of whatever size.
the passenger compartment the front area is laid out with a twin cockpit arrangement
and the driving position and positioning of all the controls and switches is
first class. I found getting just the right position for me between the seat
and the steering column virtually perfect and the high-up command position the
seats offer is also first class. Some might find the seats on the soft side
but I liked them. With its very compliant and controlled ride the 3008 is a
very comfortable car.
with the front seats moved right back there is still ample legroom for rear
seat passengers. Even more impressive was the apparent quality of the interior,
much improved and something existing Peugeot customers will find heartening.
the 3008 offers a very
compliant and controlled
ride and also
a comfortable one...
All models have air conditioning, electric front windows, front fog lights,
energy saving tyres (not with the Grip Control option), Multiflex load carrying
system, automatic electric parking brake, electronic stability programme and
a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
Active versions have 17-inch steel wheels whilst Sport and Exclusive have 17-inch
alloys. The Sport models have added specification over Active in the form of
rear parking sensors, cruise control, upgraded sound system, interior lighting
pack, Dynamic Roll Control for the more powerful models and a leather-bound
Exclusive versions gain a huge panoramic sunroof, head-up display, distance
alert, second row sun visor side curtains, alarm, additional interior storage
boxes, climate control, tyre pressure sensors and added exterior brightwork
Another clever new technical innovation to be found on sportier 1.6 THP petrol
and 2.0 HDi FAP diesel models is Dynamic Roll Control. As the name suggests,
this function controls and limits body roll normally experienced by tall vehicles
during fast cornering. Essentially, this system employs a third shock absorber
in the rear suspension system fitted horizontally and linked to the two vertical
shock absorbers. This third element reduces roll side-to-side by stiffening
the suspension and reduces fore and aft pitching during acceleration and braking.
Without it the 3008 is still a sharp handling vehicle; with it, it is even better.
In all forms the 3008 offers a very compliant and controlled ride and also a
comfortable one. The steering is on the light side but at least it is precise
and the feedback is good.
About the only niggles are the lethargic operation of the electronic parking
brake and, as already mentioned, side and rear-quarter blind spots. The plusses
include the practical user-friendly design, roomy versatile interior, large
load space, comfortable, well equipped, excellent handling control for a tall
vehicle and the impressive Grip Control function. It's also economical to run
and a car for all seasons. David Miles
Peugeot 3008 Sport HDi 150 (with Grip Control) | £20,555
Maximum speed: 121mph | 0-62mph: 9.7 seconds | Overall test MPG: 46mpg
Power: 150bhp | Torque: 250lb ft | CO2 149g/km