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Peugeot goes after Tiguan with updated 3008

It took more than four years for the Peugeot 3008 to be facelifted and when the changes came a few months ago, they were far from major. Those tweaks have been clearly more than enough to build on the model’s already strong reputation, which saw it end 2020 third in segment behind the Qashqai and Tiguan: this year, the 3008 is doing even better, becoming the European market’s number two model in its segment behind the Volkswagen.

The comparison with the Tiguan isn’t strictly fair, given that there are two versions of the VW grouped into the model’s registrations data. Merging the numbers for the 3008 and its 5008 seven-seat derivative, the gap to the Tiguan/Tiguan Allspace narrows markedly. Perhaps by year-end, the Peugeots will have taken the lead, particularly if electrification in this segment continues to gain favour: there is no VW equivalent to the 3008 plug-in hybrid.

Curiously, Volkswagen has fallen behind many other brands when it comes to PHEVs, or even just mild hybrids, instead throwing everything into EVs, whereas Stellantis’ EMEA region brands are becoming ever stronger in all forms of electrification.

Due in part to a philosophy of developing models that have relatively low weight compared to those with which they compete, the former Groupe PSA’s vehicles tend to have first rate economy and low CO2 averages. This is enhanced by small capacity engines which nonetheless have ample power and torque, along with high-efficiency automatic transmission in many models. The latest 3008 is a case in point.

I’ve driven various 3008s over the years and recently tried one from the newly updated range. This came with a 96 kW/130 PS and 230 Nm 1.2-litre petrol turbo linked to an eight-ratio automatic gearbox driving the front axle (all-wheel drive is exclusive to the top-spec PHEV).

As with many other Peugeots, this family-oriented crossover has been engineered to show off some inherently sports-biased credentials, such is the precise nature of the steering and relative lack of lean on meandering roads.

Even if many owners never explore their 3008’s dynamic abilities, all will appreciate how comfortable the ride is. That’s helped by a 2,675 mm wheelbase in a vehicle that’s only 4,447 mm long. The short overhangs at either end aid the proportions too, meaning that this is one crossover/SUV which manages to have not only good but individual looks.

The facelift appears to be mild, although the update includes not only a new grille but reshaped headlights, fresh and vertically arranged DRL/indicators, a 3008 badge now positioned on the leading edge of the bonnet, and at the back, redesigned tail lights. It’s more then enough to both attract new prospects to the car and give existing owners reason to strongly consider another 3008 if theirs is approaching the end of a lease.

I’d also suggest that like other Peugeots, repeat business will likely be strong with this newly updated one due to how appealing the interior is. No other brand (yet) offers an SUV with such a small diameter steering wheel. Once you get used to it – and that includes the flat top and bottom which feel odd at first – it can be hard to switch back to alternatives. There’s also a pleasing mix of fabric and plastic on the dashboard, and the usual Peugeot combination of buttons and dials for essential controls rather than an all-digital matrix.

In the UK, trim levels are called Active Premium, Allure, Allure Premium, GT and GT Premium. Engine choice consists of not only the 96 kW (130 PS) 1.2-litre turbo but also a 1.5-litre diesel with the same amount of power and 300 Nm of torque. Six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions are available for both engines. And as for the PHEV, this is a 1.6-litre petrol which can have either 165 kW (225 PS) or 221 kW (300 PS), the more powerful of the pair having a second motor (mounted on the rear axle) plus all-wheel drive.

Conclusion

The revisions to what was already one of the best vehicles in its class have made the 3008 even better. Specifically, the snug driving position and small steering wheel greatly help with the sensation of driving a family SUV which breaks from the norm. And while even Peugeot acknowledges that the i-Cockpit concept isn’t for everyone, the decision to continue offering something so novel in a class of same-same interiors is paying off, looking at how popular the model continues to be.

The new 3008 costs from GBP31,060 in as-tested Allure Premium 1.2-litre petrol automatic form. Top speed is 117 mph, 0-62 mph takes 9.7 seconds, Combined consumption is 38.7-46.0 mpg and the CO2 average is 146 g/km WLTP.

Project P64

The next 3008 probably won’t arrive until either late 2022 or early 2023. Engines will likely include today’s small capacity turbocharged petrol unit with several power and torque outputs, while the diesel alternative could be dropped. The big news for propulsion systems though will be the debut of the e-3008, an EV which will have eVMP (Electric Vehicle Modular Platform) as its basis. This new architecture, an evolution of Groupe PSA’s EMP2, will be shared with multiple Stellantis divisions, including those from the former FCA.

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