OUR FAMILY SCENIC has a fellow countryperson to share nights with in the garage in the form of a Peugeot 3008. And while I’m truly delighted to have this surprisingly talented vehicle at my disposal, I also have to say up front that the 3008 is not a pretty car. And it’s not just the industrial kitchen utensil of a front grille. The stance isn’t great, like it’s too big for its wheels… in all directions, kinda like a potato on wheels. I suppose the brown tint in the paint doesn’t help here either. That said, the styling does tend more towards crossover than regular MPV which is a good thing.
But just what did the other Batty people think of the giant potato and its built-in chip-cutting grille?
Let’s just say the reaction was strangely positive. It seems my aversion to some of the 3008’s styling quirks is not that universal. Then they got inside and liked it even more. But then what’s not to like? Our top-line Executive model has heated leather seats, a panoramic glass roof as big as the sky itself and a really useful head-up display reminiscent of the windscreen on a 1930s Grand Prix car. The rest of the interior looks just as posh, with piano black surfaces, loads of chrome highlights and even a row of toggle switches; the purpose of one or two of them I have yet to fathom. Naturally, being French, there are a few quirks; the main audio controls are tiny, forcing you to use the remote buttons hidden behind the steering wheel, with hidden being the operative word. It took me a few days to realise the car has cruise control, again hidden, but on the opposite side. Oh, and another thing about the radio, I can’t find an aux-in jack or the ‘USB box’ that Peugeot’s spec sheet says is standard, but promise to keep looking.
As for how the 3008 drives, I have nothing but praise for the typically French fluency to the ride and handling.
Anyone who has driven a manual Peugeot will know that most of them are dire. Happily, this one has a six-speed automatic, which changes gears as quickly and as smoothly as you could hope for. It appears to have ratios well-matched to the engine too, with little evidence of the constant gear ‘hunting’ that can ruin a good mountain road. The 2.0-litre turbodiesel is one of the quietest we’ve yet come across, not short on power and pleasingly light on fuel.
So far, life viewed through Peugeot’s double-0 glasses looks rosy.