We drove the Peugeot 3008 2.0 BHDI 180 EAT6 GT: “en marche” with style and space…

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This car bearing the proud lion has already reached the summit, as it has been applauded car of the year 2017. Deservedly so. It not only looks stunningly good, it also drives and handles masterfully. We put the posh GT version through its paces, and we were spoiled by the 180 HP Diesel and smooth auto box and superb drivetrain and chassis. Just read on…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

French style

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“La France est en marche”, the new French president says. He vows to take its citizens on the higher path of success. Indeed, when looking at this four wheeled beauty created in the “Hexagone”, the French are well on their way. The designers put together a very well proportioned SUV, combining fluent lines with rakish, pure angles, which give the car a timeless elegance. The dual tone color combinations are also well chosen and enhance the appeal of this 3008.

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Stepping in the car, modernity continues, and one is overwhelmed by the bold, self assured, gallic good taste. Indeed, “vive la modernité”, the French would say, and one can only agree.

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The cluster with its virtual instrumentation sits right in your line of vision, the small, formula 1 style steering wheel fits your hands like the proverbial glove.

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Everything is ergonomically well thought out, and your hands slide instinctively to the right knobs and handles. The gear selector is ideally placed, the large touchscreen with the row of switches underneath it, commanding the most important functions, too. One has the choice between not less than five different display modes on the high resolution 12.3 inch panel.

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Of course the 3008 truly cares for the urban driver. How would it be otherwise in a country where Paris is its capital. So treat yourself to a feast of visibility. Select reverse and you have a panoramic bird’s eye view of your car, allowing you to steer confidently close to the curb without any risk of damaging your nice alloy wheels.

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Of course, a further rearview camera and sensors in front inform you clearly about the situation fore and aft. All this takes the stress out of parking in tight spaces, and it proves again that the French put practicality very much in front when they design their cars.

Smooth and powerful engine, refined drivetrain.

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PSA has always built very fine engines, which have proven their worth on the road and all the rally and racing tracks in the world. Also the diesel engines have always made their mark. Nowadays they have honed these engines to a very high power level, marrying this with smoothness, frugality and reliability.

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The engine is barely audible in normal driving conditions, only when you touch the “sport”lever on the centre console, a subdued growl sets in, with of course throttle response and gearchange behavior of the transmission adapted accordingly.

The 3008 is quite entertaining to drive in this “sport”mode, the whole car feels and is quite alert, and combined with the excellent suspension delivering surefooted handling, lots of pleasure is to be had behind the wheel.

Performance is brisk, to say the least. 0 to 100 is reached in around 8,9 seconds, and top speed is a whopping 131 mph or 211 kmh. Average consumption is still only 4,9 l/km, we clocked during the whole test an average of 5,7 liters, which is still quite extraordinary given the performance, size and weight of the car.

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But also in the normal mode, this 3008 is a fast, long legged grand tourer. Long legged, because the gearing is quite high, and at cruising  speeds of 120 km/h the engine merely turns at 1700 rpm. You can easily imagine that this makes fast cruising quite relaxing indeed.

Comfort and straight line stability enhance the pleasant GT experience.

So does the refined transmission, which we tested here for the first time. It is smooth, with hardly any jerkiness noticed, adapts itself to your driving style and is ideally mated to the torque characteristics of the engine.

Of course this transmission is also the ideal companion in city driving, and actually we wouldn’t like to be without it.

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When it comes to performance and consumption, the 3008 earns very high marks indeed, and the actual figures tell the whole story, as we said above. It cranks out not less than 400 Nm of torque at 2000 rpm, maximum power is reached at 3750 rpm. Emissions are 124 g/km, which is also excellent for a 2 liter engine. Again this modern diesel engine truly impresses, and as we pointed out in our test of the BMW 520D, politicians are slowly coming to their senses, and  reserve a proper place of combustion and diesel engines in their future “green” urban mobility programs. PSA also responds admirably to the allegations with respect to rigged emissions software in their cars.

A true Gran Turismo

Peugeot donned the test car we drove a GT badge, and rightly so, as we said above. Again we were impressed by the way PSA suspension engineers succeed in marrying comfort with very good handling, and not only that.

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Also the seats are excellent, you can of course memorize their adjustment, and an ideal position behind the wheel guarantees effortless driving for hours on end. The 3008 is roomy and comfortable also in the back, luggage volume is one of the biggest in its class, so this car will be a star favorite in many families.

Conclusion

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PSA has with this 3008 put on wheels a quite formidable mid size SUV and its nomination as “car of the year” is fully justified indeed. It scores top levels in style, roominess, practicality, and is donned with an excellent engine and transmission, with a suspension to match. Just book it for a test drive, and you will convince yourself that PSA is “en marche”, and is with this 3008 admirably geared for the future.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

 

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