There is something undeniably sexy about French car design. It is not that it is radical, left of centre or even innovatively new. Rather, it lies in the way in which the lines are drawn, the body sculpting done and the clever use of light and shade.
This all rings very true for the new Peugeot 3008 and my test unit, the top-of-the-line GT version, that has a fresh new design, reworked front and full LED rear lights.
The front of the new Peugeot 3008 has evolved now featuring a frameless grille that extends into the fluid lines, which extend with fins under the headlamps to connect all the elements. Lastly, in line with the entire Peugeot range, the bonnet nose now proudly displays the model’s monogram.
The front headlamps have also been redesigned to be more aggressive and include LED technology extended by hook-shaped Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) with chrome tips.
Full LED headlamps on the GT create an extended light signature optimised by the bend lighting function (EVS), which enhances visibility at speeds of up to 90 km/h.
The new ‘Foggy Mode’ function replaces the fog lights and is integrated into the LED headlamps – the system switches on the low beam headlamps with reduced intensity when the rear fog lamps are activated.
The rear of the vehicle features new, upgraded headlamps with full LED technology (including reversing light), and displays the 3D claws for a punchy light signature.
Inside, the 3008 GT offers a have of comfort and ambience with the intriguing stitching pattern on the multi-adjustable electrically powered seats adding to the upmarket feel.
In the new Peugeot 3008 the Peugeot i-Cockpit is more modern than ever and the 12,3-inch digital headset, which is fully customisable and configurable, features a digital panel with ‘Normally Black’ technology for high quality rendering with better readability and contrasts.
The new central touch screen is 10 inches in size. The screen is high definition and comes with a series of seven elegant piano keys – the ‘toggle switches’ – allowing direct and permanent access to the main comfort functions: radio, air-conditioning, navigation with voice command, vehicle settings, telephone, mobile applications and hazard warning lights.
On the centre console, all internal combustion engines equipped with automatic gearboxes are now fitted with the driving mode selector as standard, allowing the driver to choose between Normal, Sport and Eco.
For me, the central touch screen was not as intuitive or manageable as I would have liked but that is very much a subjective observation.
The new Peugeot 3008 includes all the latest generation driving aids as part of its range of on-board technologies including Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go function on the GT that automatically restarts the vehicle if the stop is less than three seconds. Otherwise, a simple press action by the driver will restart the function. This forms part of the Drive Assist package.
There is Lane Keep assist and the latest-generation automatic emergency braking (detects pedestrians and cyclists, day and night, from 5 km/h to 140 km/h depending on version) with collision risk warning and extended recognition of traffic signs (stop, one-way, no overtaking, etc.).
This is on top of the usual array of driver assistance that includes a rear-view camera, park assist, driver warning alert that analyses micro-steering movement to suggest taking a break and auto switching from low to high beam.
In short, it is comprehensively kitted out with little in the way of optional add-ons so, what you see is what you get – and that includes the Peugeot signature small steering wheel that I find an absolute delight to work with.
The GT badging is, perhaps, a misnomer as this is not a go faster derivative and it runs the same 1,6-litre THP petrol engine as the other two derivatives in the range. Complying with Euro 6 regulations and approved according to the WLTP protocol (Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Text Procedures), this turbo-charged engine produces just 156 g/km of CO2.
Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission across the range, the four-cylinder engine develops 121 kW at 6 000 r/min and 240 Nm of torque at just 1 400 r/min, allowing the 3008 to accelerate to 100 km/h in 9,1 seconds with overall economy of 7,4 l/100 km on the combined cycle.
It has three driving modes – Eco, Normal and Sport – with the latter adjusting the gearing and steering wheel taughtness to provide a throatier engine note and swifter response through the gears.
It is a SUV and will always remain one, so there is some body lean and ‘push’ when pressed hard through the bends but it remains predicatable and largely well planted on the road with steering accuracy and hard braking performance in the above average sector.
The 5-seater has a load capacity ranging from 591-litres to 1 670-litres with the rear seats folded flat and it boasts a 10,7-metre turning circle with enough leg and headroom within the 4 447 mm length to provide confrtable long-haul comfort for adult occupants.
With a 53-litre fuel tank, the cruising range is around 700 kilometres.
Smartphone integration is via the the central screen thanks to Mirror Screen compatibility including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connection protocols. To recharge the devices, in addition to the wireless smartphone recharge, there is a USB socket in row 1 and on GT there are two new USB sockets in row 2.
The new Peugeot 3008 GT is equipped with a 515 Watt FOCAL high-end Hifi system, with French-style high-fidelity sound for the enjoyment of the passengers and stylized new loud speaker grilles (tweeters and centre channel), that now come in Belem bronze.
Warranty and Service Plan are 5-years/100 000 km.