Peugeot 3008 1.2

PureTech Allure

Peugeot 3008, front static 3
Peugeot 3008, front static 2
Peugeot 3008, front static
Peugeot 3008, side static
Peugeot 3008, rear static
Peugeot 3008 GT, interior

IT'S a challenging task to turn a tiny car into a spacious one. And it's even trickier giving a roomy, upright SUV sexy lines and pretty looks.

But that's exactly what Peugeot managed to achieve when the 3008 was unveiled almost three years ago.

With a massive boot, generous passenger space and a wide choice of engines together with drop-dead gorgeous looks - at least in most people's eyes - the mid-size crossover has been a big hit for the PSA empire.

Possible sweet spot of the range as far as engines are concerned is the baby of the line-up, the 1.2-litre PureTech 130 which manages to combine punchy acceleration with ample torque alongside miserly economy.

Unusually for an SUV range, there's no four wheel drive option. As an alternative, Peugeot offers Grip Control together with Hill Assist Descent Control for around £500. While it won't allow the 3008 to scale a mountain, the two systems are more than enough to help it traverse a muddy field or climb most icy gradients.

And it's true that the majority of SUV buyers rarely take advantage of four wheel drive even if it's a no cost option.

The flowing curves and purposeful stance of the current 3008 may grab potential buyers' initial attention.

But it's the cabin which soon takes over as the star of the show. Known as the i-Cockpit, it is dominated by an eight-inch tablet-like screen beneath which are a row of tactile toggle switches which act as short cuts to the various touch screen activities - an innovative concept which works well in practice.

The tiny steering wheel is flattened both top and bottom and is set low to give a clear view of the dials directly in front of the driver. Door trims wrap round to neatly join the fascia and dash giving the cabin a distinctly upmarket appearance. Materials used are high quality and touch-friendly.

Space in the front is generous but there's a stylish cosyness. Headroom in the rear is enough for most people and legroom is more than adequate because passengers sit high and there's little need to stretch out their legs.

The boot holds a massive 591 litres of luggage and up to 1,670 litres when the back seats are folded down - more than most competitors. A sliding floor is fitted allowing awkward items easier loading and it's strong enough for an adult to use as a picnic seat.

In Allure trim, one up for entry level, you get plenty of kit - it's probably the best value in the range including folding power mirrors, sat nav, active blind-spot detection, lane keeping assistance and auto headlight full beam.

You also get dual climate control, rear privacy glass and bigger 18-inch alloys plus extra chrome exterior trim.

Despite the relatively small three-cylinder engine which knocks out an impressive 128bhp, it is a nifty performer disposing of the 62mph sprint in less than 10 seconds. Mid-range power is better than most thanks to generous torque.

The six-speed manual gearbox is smooth and pleasing to use with light clutch action. Most owners will easily average 40mpg-plus.

FAST FACTS

Peugeot 3008 1.2 PureTech Allure

Price: £25,280

Mechanical:128bhp, 1,198cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 117mph

0-62mph: 9.5 seconds

Combined MPG: 53.3

Insurance Group: 16

C02 emissions: 120g/km

Bik rating: 25%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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