In-depth Reviews

Peugeot 3008 SUV - Engines, drive & performance

The Peugeot 3008 is competent, comfortable and enjoyable to drive

Carbuyer Rating

4.6 out of 5

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Owners Rating

3.7 out of 5

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Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.5 out of 5

What do you want your SUV to do? If the answer to that question is ‘be easy to drive while providing a high ride height for good visibility and access along with plenty of space for my family’, buy the Peugeot 3008.

If the first thing that sprang into your mind was ‘be great to drive’, you might think you’d be better off looking at the more expensive BMW X3 SUV, or a conventional hatchback like the SEAT Leon.

We've found the 3008 to be impressively engaging on the open road, so keen drivers would do well to pick the Peugeot. There’s little body lean to speak of, yet this doesn’t come at the expense of comfort, as the suspension makes a decent fist of softening pitted tarmac and soaking up potholes. The 3008 is also easy to drive around town, while it’s impressively quiet and civilised on the motorway.

The SEAT Ateca may have slightly sharper steering and stiffer suspension, but the trade off is it’s less comfortable than the 3008, which is well rounded in every aspect of its driving characteristics. It has the Nissan Qashqai and Renault Kadjar soundly beaten in the enjoyment stakes, coming off well in comparison to the sharp-handling Volkswagen Tiguan and Mazda CX-5.

There’s no four-wheel-drive option with the 3008, but Peugeot’s ‘Grip Control’ setup (which is essentially a sophisticated traction-control system) costs between £450 and £800, as it requires 18-inch alloy wheels, which aren’t standard on all trims. It should help you out when the going gets tough, particularly if it’s paired with the optional winter tyres.

Some of what you’ve just read doesn’t apply to the plug-in hybrid Peugeot 3008 models. With an electric motor on each axle, the 296bhp Hybrid4 model has four-wheel drive and it’ll tackle reasonably challenging off-road terrain without needing to start the petrol engine. Both hybrids are much heavier than the petrol models and, while they offer great straight-line acceleration, the extra weight makes them feel much more cumbersome through corners.

Peugeot 3008 petrol engines

The 128bhp 1.2-litre and 179bhp 1.6-litre petrol engines in the 3008 use turbocharging to help keep performance up and running costs down, and they’re familiar Peugeot fare. Our recent drive of the more powerful of these revealed it to provide the 3008 with pretty swift performance, taking eight seconds to go from 0-62mph. The standard automatic gearbox that comes with this engine also impressed us, as it changes gear smoothly, quickly and with minimal fuss.

The 1.2-litre petrol engine is also a smooth operator. This will probably need to be worked hard to shift the 3008’s heft, but it’s certainly worth taking for a test drive, as it offers the cheapest route to 3008 ownership. With this engine fitted, 0-62mph takes 10.8 seconds, although that time is likely to increase if you load the 3008 with passengers and luggage.

Diesel engines

Many buyers after an SUV want a diesel engine, so Peugeot offers the same number of these as it does petrols. Again, they’re staple Peugeot products, and we’ve driven the 128bhp 1.5-litre version, which is likely to be a big seller. It’s a little raucous when being revved, but once in a high-gear cruise it’s admirably quiet. It takes 10.8 seconds to go from 0-62mph, or 11.5 seconds if you choose the eight-speed automatic gearbox.

The 99bhp diesel is no longer available, and it was the only model to come with a five-speed rather than six-speed manual gearbox, with no automatic option. We'd recommend avoiding this engine if you're looking on the used market.

The more powerful diesel engine grows in capacity to 2.0 litres. The 175bhp engine is also automatic-only and, assuming you’re happy with this, will be a sensible option if you want some extra grunt, particularly for towing. It's exclusively offered in GT trim and costs almost £34,000. For that reason, it’s likely to be a rare choice. Doing 0-62mph takes 9 seconds with this engine.

Hybrid engines

Not every family car is offered with a plug-in hybrid version but Peugeot has offered 3008 buyers two to choose from. Both combine a 1.6-litre petrol engine with a 13.2kWh battery and an electric motor, and both use Peugeot’s eight-speed automatic transmission.

The front-wheel-drive ‘Hybrid’ is the less expensive and less powerful of the two, with one electric motor, 222bhp and a 0-62mph time of around eight seconds. Above that is the ‘Hybrid4’ with two electric motors (one on each axle), four-wheel drive and a peak power output of 296bhp. Zero to 62mph takes just 5.9 seconds - quicker than the Peugeot 308 GTi hot hatchback - although the Hybrid4 is uncomfortably expensive as it’s reserved for the range-topping GT model.

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