Driving the Car of the Year

    By David Murray

    It looks the part – especially in ‘ultimate red’ and with the black roof and other GT Line features. And it certainly is a car for all seasons, and all surfaces – of which more later.

    But the main reason the Peugeot 3008 SUV was named European Car of the Year 2017 has more to do with its interior rather than exterior looks, and its spaciousness rather than stability programme.

    The inside of the 3008 SUV is truly wonderful to behold. Its attractive touchscreen, compact steering wheel, sensible instrumentation and comfortable seating make this one of the better interiors available.

    The inside looks very upmarket too. The plush materials and stylish design combine to elevate the 3008 over many of its rivals in the mid-size SUV sector. In terms of comfort, this car is class-leading, and a delight to drive or be a passenger in, whether on a country lane or the motorway.

    I drove the GT Line version with a 1560cc four-cylinder diesel. This produced 120 horsepower and takes 11.2 seconds from 0-62mph, so it won’t win any drag race, but since it is not designed to compete on pace, there’s no worry there. Personally, I would always opt for a petrol version, but the diesel does have the benefit of 70.6mpg against 48.7mpg for the petrol.

    Peugeot’s big USP with this car is Advanced Grip Control. The system works with the vehicle’s ESP (electronic stability programme) to maintain the best possible traction for both front wheels. There are five different modes – and since it wasn’t snowing and I didn’t drive on sand (yes, there’s even a sand mode for when you decide to take the 3008 across the Sahara), I kept it in standard mode.

    In truth, the Grip Control is designed as an alternative to four-wheel drive. You get the all-round ability in mud, snow or across fields, without the increased weight and emissions of a standard 4×4 system. So, well done, Peugeot.

    How does the 3008 drive? The suspension is designed to glide over our ‘third-world’ UK roads, so there’s no teeth-rattling bumps; and the steering is light and direct, so that the car feels smaller than it is. The six-speed manual gearbox is smooth and effortless and the overall feeling is of a safe, sure-footed SUV.

    Very attractive pricing too: from £22,495 – although my version, with a lots of extras, retails at £28,025.