IT MIGHT sound like a cliché, but the school run is set to be overrun with SUVs, after Peugeot revealed a new 3008. Formerly an odd-looking people carrier, the 3008 has undergone a radical transformation as Peugeot chases after sales of SUVs — the most popular type of new car in Europe.
However, the UK division of Peugeot faces an agonisingly long wait before it can jump aboard the gravy train, as sales won’t start until November. Prices are expected to be competitive with the Qashqai, which means a range from around £20,000 to £28,000.
Drivers can expect to find a more spacious car than the last 3008, with Peugeot claiming that the cabin and boot (up by 90 litres, to 520), are larger than before. That’s good news, as it was already a practical, if not pretty, car.
Inside, the 3008’s cabin shows off a new generation of dashboard, which the French car maker calls i-Cockpit. It continues the maker’s relentless march towards an all-digital driving environment, which is likely to give some drivers a reason to grumble and grouse.
Like the children it is likely to ferry around, the cockpit has mood swings. It features two “ambiances” to choose from: “Relax” is said to make for a more calming driving environment, and “Boost” gives a more energised experience. Peugeot doesn’t say whether its designers considered a specific setting for harassed parents who are close to blowing a fuse with their squabbling children.
Naturally, connectivity is the name of the game with the i-Cockpit. Features such as MirrorScreen, which gives easier control of an Android or Apple smartphone, and induction charging for phones, mean that – in Peugeot’s words – drivers can: “Make calls, choose music, read and send text messages, get route information, in other words, permanent connectivity while in operation.”
Whether that leaves any time for the minor matter of driving is a moot point.
Back seats that fold flush with the boot floor and a front passenger seat that lowers forwards are neat touches for DIY enthusiasts, and mums or dads who want to rock out when the children aren’t aboard are likely to appreciate the 10 speaker audio system by Focal.
In a twist from the school run norm, specially designed folding bikes and scooters which feature electric motors can be docked in the boot and charged on the go.
The engine range features 1.2 and 1.6-litre turbo petrol motors, and 1.6 and 2-litre turbo diesels, and the most frugal will return over 70mpg.
To give the car some off-road capability, Peugeot has fitted the 3008 with Grip Control, system that helps tackle driving in snow, mud and sand, as well as off-road tyres and hill descent control. A four-wheel drive, plug-in hybrid model will join the SUV range in 2019.