We spend a week to review and road test the Peugeot 3008 Sport HDi 150 Crossover. Can a crossover offer the best of all worlds, or is it just too much of a compromise?
We’ve long wondered if the whole Crossover fad – for a Crossover is what the Peugeot 3008 Sport HDi 150 we have to play with this week is – is just a secret campaign by big car makers to cut down the number of styles of each model they need to offer. After all, why bother with a hatchback, an estate, a saloon, a soft roader SUV and an MPV when you can claim that you have one model that can cover all the bases.
And although that might sound a bit far fetched, it looks like Nissan has given up on the idea of a conventional hatchback now the Qashqai has turned in to a huge success, and the smaller Juke is bringing up the rear threatening conventional superminis like the Fiesta. But we very much doubt that Peugeot will go the same route – it has too much at stake – even though this 3008 is very much a move in the ‘One size fits all’ game.
Let’s start with the negatives. It’s not pretty. It won’t frighten small children, but you won’t stand gazing at it on your drive in awe. It seems a little ungainly and its wheel arches are just plain odd. It still carries the Peugeot big gob front end and the high waistline – although it gives the 3008 purpose – doesn’t make for great visibility. Oh, and the seat squabs are a bit short.
So we accept that the 3008 isn’t going to win any beauty competitions, but despite that it does have a certain stance. It has styling cues from the world of the SUV – such as the front and rear skid plates – and they do work to bring a sense of purpose to the 3008. Despite being FWD the 3008 looks able to get stuck in to some rough stuff.
But even though the exterior is no oil painting, the 3008’s interior shines. Peugeot calls it a ‘Multiflex’ interior, which basically means it moves around to suit. That doesn’t mean the back seats slide, leave and recline, but it does mean you can fold them down with a touch of a lever in the boot.
And talking of the boot, that’s a work of art. The floor can be moved to three heights and even removed altogether (there is a floor under the floor – it’s not Fred Flintsone in the boot time). But from it’s lowest position it can be hiked up – one handed – to create a covered storage area beneath.
In the centre position the floor is level with the seat backs and the top of the drop-down lower tailgate, a very substantial affair that could double as a handy seat at outdoor events (it can deal with 200kg). With the back seats down you have a pretty decent flat area and even the front passenger seat joins in the game by folding flat.
The cabin itself is a high quality affair; well built and with some very decent quality materials. There’s loads of storage spots including underfloor bins and a box under the front centre armrest that looks like small children could get lost in.
There’s a huge (optional) panoramic roof to make the 3008’s cabin light and airy and everything looks good and feels good. Except the glovebox, which is about 3 inches square despite a full sized lid. But it’s a small gripe.
All of which makes the 3008 a good place to be. But what about the drive? Does it fall over on corners because it sits up high, or wallow down the road like a jelly mould on wheels?
Actually, it doesn’t.
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