Peugeot 3008 MPV

£20,045 - £24,295

The Peugeot 3008 is a cross between a hatchback, a compact people carrier and an SUV, which, in carmakers’ language, makes it a crossover. Although it sits higher than a normal hatchback, it's lower and sleeker than an SUV, while its compact people carrier looks mean it has good headroom, a decent-sized boot and generous storage spaces. There's even a four-wheel-drive version, although it's expensive. In short, the 3008 aims to provide the best of all worlds and manages to – just.

Peugeot has taken a knife to the range recently, so there are now just two trim levels and four engines: a 1.2-litre petrol plus 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesels in the standard two-wheel-drive model and, in the top-of-the-range 3008 HYbrid4, a more powerful 2.0-litre diesel with an electric motor. We recommend the 1.6-litre for its blend of good performance and fuel economy (almost 70mpg). That said, if your budget can stretch to it, the 2.0-litre diesel is much faster and, when riding on energy-saving 17-inch wheels, just as economical. It costs the same £20 a year to tax, as well.

The HYbrid4 does a claimed 10mpg more than the 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesels and is slightly quicker, but its considerably higher price means you’d have to do a lot of miles to justify buying one.

For a tall, high-riding car, the Peugeot 3008 is actually surprisingly good fun to drive. Quick, direct steering with plenty of feel, good body control (it resists leaning too badly in corners) and firm suspension see to that. However, that firm suspension also means it can be a bit uncomfortable on uneven surfaces.

Choosing which trim to buy is simple, as there are only two: Active and Allure. Even the ‘basic’ Active model has 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, underfloor storage, electric windows all round, air-conditioning, rear parking sensors and foglights.

PHowever, although it's around £2,000 more expensive, the Allure is our pick of the range for its useful extra features. They include front parking sensors, a reversing camera, sat nav and dual-zone climate control. It also has a panoramic glass sunroof. This roof is a relatively cheap option on Active trim, though. Surprisingly, it's an option on the top-of the range HYbrid4 Allure, too.

The 3008 doesn’t have the best record for reliability, but it's a safe car, scoring five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests. Standard safety kit includes multiple airbags, electronic stability control and tyre-pressure sensors. Allure trim adds a front distance alert and an alarm. Grip Control, a system that improves traction in slippery conditions, is an option on both trims. The HYbrid4, of course, has four-wheel drive for even greater security.