On the road: Peugeot 3008 Active | Technology | The Guardian

26 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on On the road: Peugeot 3008 Active | Technology | The Guardian
Peugeot 3008

On the road: Peugeot 3008 Active

What do you get if you put an SUV, an MPV and a hatchback together? An SUVMPV hatchback, obviously. But the motor industry is a capricious beast, so for reasons best known to itself, it hasn’t taken to that perfectly useful title.

Peugeot 3008 Active HDi 110

Price £18,203

Top speed 112mph

Acceleration 0-62mph in 12.2 seconds

Average consumption 55.3mpg

CO2 emissions 137g/km

Eco rating 7/10

Bound for Wherever you’re going

In a word Motley

Peugeot 3008

Instead, a CUV seems to be the preferred term for such a melange of auto genres. Depending on opinion, the CUV is a smart utilitarian compromise or a motorised crisis of identity.

In case you’re wondering, CUV stands for crossover utility vehicle, a phrase that certainly sets the heart pumping and the imagination racing, at least when combined with a hefty cocktail of dangerous recreational drugs. But that sort of thing is not recommended when driving, so let’s consider the Peugeot 3008, which is indeed a CUV, in a sober and sedate frame of mind.

With its bland shape, reminiscent of any typical urban family vehicle, and its chunky wheels and heightened position, the 3008 looks a bit like everything else and nothing in particular. Unlike its most obvious competitor, the Nissan Qashqai. it stops a notable way short of off-road styling and opts, instead, for something more reassuringly on-road. The one concession to distinctiveness is the grille, a sort of ugly wide mesh that is surely a homage to Richard Kiel ‘s dental arrangements as Jaws in Bond films of the late 70s.

If nothing else, the grille can prove helpful in car parks, when you can’t remember where you parked. However, this is not the sort of car that anyone buys to look at. It will be bought to look out.

Up front, the 3008 affords a clear and commanding view of the road. It’s comfortable and easy to drive, conveying a sense of security without feeling cumbersome or heavy. One minor but not insignificant criticism, though, is the lack of a manual handbrake.

Why does it need an electronic button when there are few pieces of machinery more satisfying or reliable than a good old-fashioned handbrake? After all, there is a sensible reason why it’s called a handbrake. Never mind the hill start, what about the handbrake turn?

What self-respecting getaway driver would attempt that most skilled of manoeuvres with a flimsy electronic button?

Peugeot says the car is the result of a process of hybridisation, a word that, if it exists, should be used only by deranged genii in inferior sci-fis. Nevertheless, we live in an increasingly hybrid world in which innovation is rapidly cannibalised, regurgitated and reconsumed. Perhaps the 3008 is proof that the car industry will ultimately eat itself.

But then, in its own oddly amorphous way, it’s a CUV that’s really rather tasty.

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