Peugeot 3008 GT

BlueHDi 180

Peugeot 3008 GT, 2017, front, static
Peugeot 3008 GT, 2017, front, action
Peugeot 3008 GT, 2017, rear
Peugeot 3008, 2017, boot
Peugeot 3008 GT, 2017, interior
Peugeot 3008, 2017, side, action

DO you believe in fairytales? I'm convinced someone within Peugeot does. How else can you explain the swan-like evolution of the new 3008 from the ugly duckling that was its former incarnation?

Since evolving from the dowdy MPV in mid-2016, the new sleek and sexy SUV has won boot-loads of awards - at least 25 - and its sales have been transformed. Hans Christian Andersen, eat your heart out.

Several models are available but top of the roost is the GT, which is exclusively equipped with a 2.0-litre BlueHDi 180 engine matched to a fluent six-speed automatic transmission. It develops a handy 178bhp and there's a hefty 400Nm of torque available from 2,000rpm, which is all you would ever need.

The new 3008 offers greater passenger and luggage space than the outgoing model. With lower height, a longer wheelbase and an overall length just 80mm longer than its predecessor, interior space is improved, most notably for rear occupants but there's also more room in the front too.

With a luggage capacity of 250 litres - under the luggage cover - it is almost 90 litres bigger than the previous model. Like its previous incarnation, owners can remove the luggage cover and fold the second row of seats flat to gain a total capacity of 1,580 litres - one of the largest and most versatile in the segment.

Thanks to the use of materials such as high strength steels and aluminium, the new 3008 is around 100kg lighter than its predecessor. But, despite the relatively light kerb weight of 1,465kg, the GT is no hot hatch on steroids. To reach 62mph from standstill takes 8.9 seconds and the top speed is 131mph - again, more than you'll need.

All that torque combined with its lightness makes the 3008 feel quick off the mark even if it never quite lives up to the dynamic GT tag. That said, there's a light, sporty feel to the steering, its handling is extremely tidy and there's little noticeable body roll through corners.

Responsiveness of the six-speed automatic is improved by punching the Sport mode button and using the paddleshifts behind the small, almost hexagonal steering wheel.

Under hard acceleration, the 2.0-litre turbodiesel can be a little noisy but when cruising the major roads it is quiet and refined. The driving position is excellent, the front seat comfortable and supportive. It officially returns nearly 60mpg though I managed 38.6mpg. A little disappointing but I was pushing it hard.

It's worth pointing out here that, despite its SUV credentials, there's no 4x4 version of the 3008 though Peugeot's intelligent ‘Grip Control' traction system is very effective.

The GT, and its lesser sibling, the GT Line, is a key part of the Peugeot's brand's move up-market. Both come with the optional £1,300 Peugeot Sport ‘Coupe Franche' two-tone paint job which, like Marmite, you're either going to love or hate. The model I was driving came in Nimbus Grey and Nera Black and looked very smart though it did have to grow on me.

Standard equipment includes full LED headlamps including sequential scrolling LED front indicators, a smartphone charging plate, 3D satnav including three-year subscription to TomTom Live updates, and safety features including Active Blind Spot Detection, Lane Keeping Assistance, an advanced Driver Attention Alert system and adaptive cruise control. It has a 5 Star EuroNCAP safety rating.

There's also 19-inch two-tone finish diamond-cut alloy wheels, Nappa leather trimmed seating with copper double-stitch trim and driver's seat massage function, a panoramic opening glass roof with electric blind and blue ambient lighting, and a smart electric tailgate.

The double-stitching is also on the dashboard trim, door trim panels and the centre armrest. The copper theme continues on the steering wheel, floor mats, gear lever gaiter and also as the colour of the virtual dials on the 12.3-inch digital instrument panel.

As part of the 'virtual' Peugeot i-Cockpit there's also an eight-inch capacitive touchscreen with Mirror Screen functionality for Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Mirror Link. Both screens are easy to use and read in whatever configuration you might choose.

Once behind the wheel, the driver not only benefits from the massaging seat, it is also heated and has eight-way electric adjustment. The steering wheel could do with a little more adjustability though.

Fittingly for its high-end status, genuine aged-oak trim decorates the dashboard fascia and door cards. It looks, and feels, high quality. The cockpit is an extremely impressive place to be.

FAST FACTS

Peugeot 3008 GT BlueHDi 180

Price: £33,695

Mechanical:178bhp, 1,997cc, 4cyl disel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 131mph

0-62mph: 8.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 58.9

Insurance Group: 24

C02 emissions:124g/km

Bik rating:29%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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