The Peugeot 3008 is getting on quite a bit now, having been around for seven years. It is defined as a compact crossover and is made for families.
You can tell this is the target market the French manufacturer is aiming at - just look outside any school and you will see more than one 3008 with kids tumbling out of it.
The car has one purpose - to carry people from A to B. And it does it well, albeit without much style. The model comes with a bunch of petrol and diesel engines.
The petrols are virtuous but the diesels are far better for serving just the right blend of economy and power. The 2.0 diesel is the one to go for, and there are loads available on used car forecourts.
The model will fly down motorways and it will tootle around town just as happily, while returning around 50mpg. CO2 emissions are reasonable at 146g/km, too – so VED tax won’t cost the earth for this size of diesel.
Ride and handling
This French car actually handles with more zeal than the average people-carrying machine. This is because the 3008 is compact and therefore more car-like when tossed around bends or when bowling down dual-carriageways.
That’s not to say it’s thrilling. It’s far from it. But it is capable in most situations. And the children won’t be throwing up in the back, because the 3008 doesn’t suffer from too much body roll.
The car is also nicely sprung – brushing away potholed road surfaces with ease. Road and wind noise are minimal, too. The Peugeot 3008 has the top five-star safety award from Euro NCAP. You can see why the model is chosen by many mums and dads. After all, carrying the most precious cargo of all – your own children – should come above all else.
The Peugeot is extremely comfy, due to good seats, liberal legroom and oodles of headroom. Three children will have bags of space in the rear – and so will three adults, due to the car’s generous width.
Up front is just as roomie and there are loads of places to store odds and ends in the cabin, as well as deep door pockets big enough to hold a bottle of water.
The boot is the cleverest part of the car. It splits in two, so the lower part is just the right height for loading items on to it, or even changing a baby’s nappy. The load space is 512 litres, which is more than enough to get shopping or pushchairs or even a family of five’s holiday luggage in.
Things get better when the rear seats are folded, with a van-like length of 2.5 metres. Drop the kids off somewhere and the 3008 literally turns into a load lugging monster. So, it’s a handy car to have about if there’s a need to transport long, unwieldy items around.
The basic “Access” trim will do the trick for most people. It comes with six airbags, electric windows and air conditioning. The only reason to splash more cash by going up the trim level is if parking sensors are needed. These are on the “Active” model. Then there are luxury features such as a glass sunroof and sat-nav on the top “Allure” trim.
What to know before you buy
It’s a shame Peugeot has a hit and miss record for reliability, because this is actually a good car. It just doesn’t have a very cool badge. But the glass is half full here, because this reputation means the 3008 is a bargain on used car forecourts.
The French firm has actually gone to town to improve dependability in recent years, so there is very little wrong with this model. Only a handful of 3008s were recalled for minor issues such as wiper motor failures. However, it’s hardly worth worrying about as there were only 12 models affected back in 2009.
The Seat Altea XL and Nissan Qashqai rival the Peugeot. All cars are aimed at families but out of the three, the Seat has the largest boot at 532 litres. The Nissan is the most expensive to buy secondhand, yet it has a small boot in comparison – only 410 litres.
However, the Qashqai is the most satisfying to drive and has the most cachet out of the three. The Nissan comes with excellent reliability, too. The same goes for the Altea XL, but it stopped being made in 2015, and that means it is starting to become a secondhand bargain.
The Peugeot 3008 is one of the wisest family cars to buy secondhand. Not only is it spacious for five people, it’s cheap, frugal and the diesel engines pull well in and out of town. But more than that - it is a very safe car to travel in.
Sure, it doesn’t have the kerbside appeal of a Qashqai, but it’s a comfortable machine with a massive load area and a practical split tailgate. It’s a car for the masses, one that will head out onto the school run as naturally as pigeons coming home to roost.