The styling changes brought along with the big mid-life facelift for Peugeot’s smart-looking 3008 compact SUV – European Car of the Year back in 2017, as they casually remind us – have wisely been kept quite few in number and minimal in impact. New headlights, a new front bumper, and a new radiator grille with an extra-streaky plastic surround is your lot really.
On a higher-end ‘GT’ or ‘GT Premium’ model you can now order a suspiciously fashionable ‘black pack’ dressing-up kit too, which replaces much of the car’s exterior brightwork with dark chrome and glossy black bits. I’m not sure you would; but the good news is that those who do will immediately make the ‘murdered out’ look (which has become an annoyingly popular trope of premium car design) laughably uncool now that even French compact SUVs can have it straight out of the showroom. Thank heaven, and small ‘merci’s, for that.
There’s just enough styling content included here that owners of the pre-facelift 3008 might spot the difference and feel inclined to get their wallets out; not so much, though, that it’ll make the old version instantly look dated to the wider public. It’s pretty well-judged, then. I don’t go a bundle on the fussy streaky bits around the aforementioned grille, but even with them the car still looks neat and distinctive, as a Peugeot should.
On the inside there are a couple of fresh seat upholstery schemes (our test car had the new ‘Mistral Colyn’ part-leather seats) and some new decorative trims (which our test car didn’t have). Although the architecture of the dashboard remains unchanged, there’s an enlarged touchscreen infotainment system, as well as an updated set of digital instruments, and some new driver aids.
The ‘meat’ of the facelift is to be found amid the car’s engine lineup, which now includes two plug-in hybrid options. Just like the related Vauxhall Grandland X, the 3008 can now be had as a ‘Hybrid 225’ – or as a ‘Hybrid4 300’ if either you or your employer is feeling particularly ‘riche’. The latter combines Peugeot’s 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine with two electric motors and four driven wheels, and narrowly squeezes into the UK’s six per cent company car tax band at least until April this year.
The former, however, gets only one of those electric motors and front-drive, scoring a ten per cent ‘BIK’ rating on account of its marginally reduced electric-only range, but coming to market from just over £37,000. Still not exactly a song, though, is it? To me it makes a £35k Skoda Superb iV Estate look like the bargain of the year – although exactly how manufacturer list prices on any given new car may change as of January 1st 2021 is anyone’s guess.