What is it?
This is the most powerful version of Peugeot’s 3008 cross-over, equipped with the same 148bhp 1.6 litre petrol turbo engine that propels the 207 GT, the 308 Sport and in more potent form, the Mini Cooper S.
It’s based on a 308 platform, but it’s taller, roomier and more versatile, provides the command driving position of an SUV and unusually, a split tailgate. But unlike the Nissan Qasqai that is its closest conceptual rival, four-wheel drive is not even offered as an option, although you can have an enhanced traction control system called Grip Control, which adjusts its electronic interventions to suit wet grass, mud or snow.
The 3008 comes only as a five seater, unlike the Nissan, Peugeot planning to cover the seven-seater market with an MPV out this autumn.
Further high tech features include an optional head-up display that reveals the time gap between you and the car in front, and on this higher performance version, an intriguing roll control device. Mounted in unit with the back axle, this hydraulic system pressurises the rear shock absorbers to counter body lean in corners.
What’s it like?
The 3008 is not the most beauteous vehicle, what with its jutting grille, slightly too-narrow track and ordinary-looking rear end, but your spirits will lift when you climb inside, where you’ll be impressed by an interior of a quality to challenge plenty of premium-class machines for fit, finish, quality of materials and tactility. The dashboard is pretty pleasing piece of architecture too.