IT'S not easy to stand out in the bustling and somewhat overcrowded SUV market these days, but the Peugeot 3008 is an attention-grabber thanks to its modern, muscular and athletic styling and futuristic interior.
But with the looks luring in the customers, the car also needs to be practical, affordable, economical to run and be able to cater with modern day demands especially on the connectivity front - the 3008 scores highly on all fronts.
First impressions mean a lot and the 3008 looks dynamic from any angle thanks to its athletic stance, rising waist line, long bonnet and sweeping light clusters.
Our GT Line Premium model featured a black roof, twin exhaust effect trim, black door mirrors, a chequered radiator grille with black PEUGEOT lettering, lots of chrome edging, 19-inch alloys and a panoramic sunroof.
Move inside and the interior is beautifully styled with a wealth of on-board technology to explore.
The car features Peugeot's i-Cockpit design which is very driver focused. The 12.3-inch digital instrument panel behind the steering wheel displays all the car's vital signs and can be configured according to taste and the steering wheel has a flat top and bottom which looks very sporty.
There is also an easy-to-navigate eight-inch colour touchscreen with piano keys for shortcuts.
It's quick and easy to connect a smartphone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and the car's inbuilt sat nav system is impressive too.
The piano keys offer quick links to functions such as the climate control, but it does rather overcomplicate things - sometimes a dial to reduce or increase the heating is preferable especially on the move.
But that was my only real gripe in an otherwise fabulous week behind that compact steering wheel.
Our test car, priced at £29,205, was powered by a punchy 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
It could sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 10.8 seconds, maxed out at 117mph and, according to official figures, delivers combined fuel economy of 55.4mpg with carbon emissions of 117g/km.
The Peugeot 3008 is a car that's easy to feel at home with. The seats look stunning with high quality fabric combined with leather-effect trim and they can be adjusted to find the perfect driving position. The massage function is another little luxury within the impressive cabin.
The acceleration through the gears is both smooth and responsive and that little three-pot engine copes well with long climbs and fast motorway driving.
There is a little wind and road surface noise at higher speeds, but that is the norm with compact SUVs. There is also a little body sway if driven particularly enthusiastically into bends, but generally the all-round performance impresses.
There is a Sport mode to sharpen up the car's handling and the road holding is most confident when being pushed along long sweeping country lanes.
The all-round visibility is excellent and with light flooding the cabin through the sunroof and large windows, it's a bright and cheery environment for all occupants.
In busy town centres, the great visibility is a plus factor and that compact steering wheel makes light work of weaving through the congested traffic. And it's worth mentioning that the car's effective suspension set-up deals well with uneven road surfaces.
Obviously, a family car needs to be practical and the 3008 is just that. There is room in the back for two adults to stretch out with ample leg, head and shoulder space. A third can fit in, but it all becomes a little cosy.
There are lots of handy storage areas including a glovebox, door bins, cup holders and a chilled central cubby box. The cup holders will keep a drink safe and sound, but if there are two small water bottles they get in the way of the gear lever.
The powered boot is generously-sized with a capacity of 591 litres, which is increased to 1,670 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat.
The 3008 secured a maximum five stars when it was tested for its Euro NCAP safety rating and it features the likes of anti-lock brakes, dynamic stability control, lane departure warning, blind spot alert, driver attention alert, automatic emergency braking, numerous airbags and lots more besides.