Peugeot cuts a dash with reworked grille and party tricks

The new 3008 is more roomy and has an array of impressive touches

The next-generation Peugeot 3008 has been revealed in Paris. When launched in 2009 the five-seat crossover was impressive, comfortable and practical. The 3008 was never a pretty car, it had a front end that divided opinion with a grille that was at best challenging to admire. The new 3008 gets a much more acceptable face and the car looks smarter.

The original 3008 had a practical and clever split tailgate but it is gone and is replaced by a cost and weight-saving one-piece tailgate. The good news is its opening and closing can be automated, plus there is an optional pull-out boot floor that you can sit on.

The boot floor is still split level and the load sill is low for ease of cargo loading. Peugeot’s party trick with the new 3008 is the ability to stow and recharge an electric push scooter or foldable electric bicycle (specific to the car) while you are driving, perfect for eco- commuting . . . if there is such a thing.

Folding bicycle

Irishman and DIT graduate

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Cathal Loughnane

from the Peugeot Design Lab is the brains behind this clever and quirky element of the 3008. The scooter was demonstrated to us, but the bike is still in development. Loughnane promises that unlike most folding bikes that fold in a specific way Peugeot’s bike can be folded in any sequence and stored easily in the 3008’s boot. The boot is bigger at 520 litres (+90). With the split rear seats folded there is up to 1,580 litres of space. The passenger seat can fold flat to allow load lengths of up to three metres.

The SUV sector is growing at an impressive rate. Peugeot says one in 10 cars sold in Europe is an SUV with one of the main reasons being that an SUV gives stature to passengers and driver. The appeal of today's crossover SUVs is simple to understand with drivers enjoying the high life but with much lower running costs than that of traditional off-roaders. Gilles Vidal, Peugeot's chief design officer, told us he is very proud of the ergonomics and info graphics created by his in-house team.

Inside the new 3008 is an impressive place to be. There are premium touches such as a bank of six dash-mounted toggle switches. Overall the quality of materials used delivers an impressive cabin ambience. Rear headroom is excellent and a full-length glass roof is available to make the cabin brighter.

The standard-fit new generation Peugeot i-Cockpit is striking and sets it apart from the competition. Large dials, screens and other digital displays sit high up and closer to the driver’s eyeline. A 12-inch screen now sits where the head-up display was positioned, plus there is an 8-inch screen high in the centre of the dash also. The displays can be customised. The steering wheel is smaller than on rivals.

The 3008 now sits on the firm’s so-called EMP2 platform. The car is 80mm longer yet weighs 100kgs less. Should you need to mount a high kerb, ground clearance is up from 160mm to 220mm. The roof is lower by 10mm and with the optional black paint finish it looks even lower still. The 3008’s width is unchanged. Peugeot told us it wanted to give 3008 a more rugged SUV look so the body will feature some chunky styling touches and plastic features. It has a more upright stance at the front plus there are new headlights. Peugeot will also offers the option of full LED headlights.

Street presence

Peugeot’s new claw signature tail lights help deliver more street presence. Full-length doors help the ease of access and will also help keep legs clean as they won’t have to brush off a dirty door sill. Should you wish to go further offroad, the 3008 will be available with the optional advanced grip control that uses clever electronics coupled with mud and snow tyres to deliver almost all-wheel drive ability. It has five selectable settings: normal, snow, mud, sand and ESP Off. New to this system is the inclusion of hill descent control.

The new 3008 will feature a new entry point 100hp diesel as well as stop/start engine technology across the range and manual and automatic gearbox options too. The engine range will include a 1.2 PureTech petrol with 130hp and a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox, CO2 emission go from 115g CO2/km. The 1.6-litre THP (petrol turbo) delivers 165hp and has a six-speed automatic that produces 129 g/km of CO2.

The 1.6 BlueHDi with 120bhp is the step up from entry diesel and comes with a six -speed manual or auto, an evolution of the original 110hp engine. A 2-litre BlueHDi with 150hp and a six-speed manual and a 2.0 BlueHDi 180bhp with a six-speed automatic complete the new car’s engine line-up. A plug-in petrol hybrid will be along later in 2017.

It will be later in the year before we get to test new 3008 after the Paris motor show. It will land in dealerships nearer the end of the year for 171 registrations. There is an existing 3008 customer base of close to 5,500 owners in Ireland.

Peugeot Ireland will announce prices and grades closer to market launch. In Paris all cars on display were in level 3 “Allure” specification. We expect the same trim levels to continue with the addition of a new GT line as the top specification.