The Peugeot 3008 has sleek, long lines in the body, then an abruptly curtailed snout, as if it’s been punched in the face. Inevitably, then, I started to wonder why someone might want to punch it in the face. This ridiculous Peugeot fascination with vista, a huge great windscreen delivering less-than-brilliant visibility, thanks to its very shallow angle and hefty A-frame? I could live without that. The highly effective fragrance diffuser that gave the eerie impression of having swapped one’s regular family for aliens or furniture? That was a bit prissy. But overall, no: it would be fanciful to bear ill will towards this car. It is trying its best, goddammit. Its face looks like that only to reduce its dimensions and kerb weight while keeping its boot capacity.
Over the years, I’ve noticed I rarely ask passengers how comfortable they are, preferring instead to stare at them now and then, and observe how comfortable they look. This is a spacious back row, with a lot of headroom and a high seat, so they look rather regal. The driver and front passenger, likewise, have a lot of space, most noticeably in the area of the elbows. Highly gesticulate-prone people, who both like an array of drinks and always arrive in a car bursting with oddments, will find almost nothing to argue about, which – vexingly for this superior cabin – they won’t even notice until they’re in a smaller car and start knocking over each other’s coffees again.
It’s a six-speed automatic, which moves through the gears with a sod-you languor: you can buzz through them if you stamp on the gas, but drive in a regular fashion and there is a slight pullback before each surge, as if to say, well, I can get you to 128mph no problem, but wouldn’t you rather enjoy the scenery? Did nobody ever tell you it’s vulgar to rush? The steering is headstrong, but in a good way: so willing, it seems to be endorsing your decision.
The boot configuration is versatile and inventive, with flatbed potential, part flatbed if you have one particularly long thing and two inconvenient passengers; even with no adjustments, it is pretty vast. This is mainly convenient in one of those seasons where you might leave the house with a fancy teapot and return with a guitar. By the end of the festive season, I was using it as an on-street cupboard. I miss it for that.
For the price, everything is (at least) 10% better than you expect. For that alone, you would learn to love its funny-looking phizog.