Peugeot, Citroen, DS and now Vauxhall/Opel are not only retesting new vehicles, they are introducing revised engines and new transmissions to provide more realistic fuel economy and CO2 emissions. One such model is the Peugeot’s hugely popular, award winning and best selling 3008 SUV and one I have just driven with the new 2018.5 model year, 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine mated with a new 8-speed automatic gearbox.
Other current models in the award winning 3008 five door, five seater SUV range have engines ranging from the award winning 1.2-litre PureTech 130hp petrol manual and auto, the 1.6 THP turbo petrol 165hp with auto transmission, the new 1.5 BlueHDi 130hp turbodiesel, manual and auto and the 2.0 BlueHDi 180hp auto. The automatic gearboxes for the new EU 6.2 BlueHDi diesel models use the new 8-speed unit whilst the EU 6 rated 1.2 and 1.6 petrol units still use the previous 6-speed auto gearbox.
Under the move to WLTP compliancy the EU 6.2 PureTech 130hp turbo petrol engine with a manual gearbox sees production start in July. That engine with the new 8-speed auto gearbox, together with a new 1.6 PureTech 180hp petrol engine, which replaces the current 1.6 THP 165hp unit.
It will be available with the new 8-speed auto transmission from October production. So although leading the way with WLTP compliancy the PSA Group of brands will still see a delay in supplying some of the new cleaner powered models.
Specification levels, depending on the engine chosen are, Active, Allure, GT Line, GT Line Premium and GT.
Currently prices for the 2018.5 model year Peugeot 3008 range start at £22,870 for the 1.2 PureTech 130hp petrol manual with Active spec and go up to £35,470 for the 2.0 BlueHDi 180hp turbodiesel with the new 8-speed automatic gearbox with GT spec and that is the subject of this brief review.
I’m not going to dwell too much on the hugely successful 3008 overall, in terms of sales in the UK and Europe, as I have written about it before with different engine options and my favourite version to date has been the 1.2-litre PureTech 130hp three cylinder turbo petrol engine but mated with now outgoing 6-speed auto gearbox. This has CO2 emissions of 120g/km and has a Combined Cycle fuel economy figure of 54.3mpg and with the well equipped Allure spec level costs a very competitive £26,070. By comparison the new 1.5-litre 130hp BlueHDi turbodiesel with the new 8-speed auto gearbox has CO2 emissions of 108g/km, with 68.9mpg and with the same Allure spec level costs £28,520.
The new 2.0-litre 180hp BlueHDi turbodiesel unit with the new 8-speed auto gearbox has CO2 emissions of 129g/km, returns an official 57.6mpg and with the same Allure spec costs £30,320 but with the GT high spec level I have just tried, the only engine available is this 2.0 BlueHDi unit and 8-speed auto and it costs a hefty £35,470.
All the elements we know from other 3008 models are included, its pleasing exterior styling with good kerb appeal whilst inside is the familiar i-Cockpit with its multi-layered dashboard layout and central touchscreen. The downside is that many of the vehicle’s driving functions have to be operated via the touchscreen.
These include the heating, ventilation and air-con controls and have been criticised for not being very user-friendly. It also retains the small diameter steering wheel with instruments viewed over the top of the wheel which isn’t to everybody’s liking but it works well enough for me and I like the fact that the smaller steering wheel sharpens up steering response.
The GT spec also includes full leather upholstery, adaptive cruise control with auto braking, keyless entry, 8-way electric adjustment for the driver’s seat, heated front seats, panoramic opening glass sunroof, aluminium roof rails, GT badging, wheelarch extensions, electrically operated tailgate and rides on 19-inch alloy wheels. Missing from the high spec level is the PSA Group’s very useful Grip Control function which is available as a £260 option. This clever electronic front differential function provides Normal, Snow, Mud and Sand driving modes, ideal for an SUV.
Despite having larger 19-inch alloy wheels the ride compliancy was surprisingly good and our potholed roads didn’t upset the handling to any great extent or transmit too much in the way of impact shocks into the cabin. With this 2.0-litre diesel engine and the new auto gearbox the vehicle easily ate up the miles in a relaxed way. With 180hp and a good amount of torque, 400Nm from 2,000rpm, these matched well with the new 8-speed auto transmission.
Top gear is very much an overdrive ratio allowing just 1,700rpm to provide an effortless 70mph motorway cruising speed. Seventh gear is also erring towards an overdrive ratio so having so many closely related ratios with a wide spread of torque proved to be an ideal combination with barely noticeable changes in gear with a flick of the rev-counter needle the most noticeable indication that a ratio had been changed. There is also a Sport mode for more enthusiastic performance and the gearchanges can be made manually either by using the gearlever or the steering column mounted shift paddles.
The Official fuel Combined Cycle figure is 57.6mpg but my 10 days of driving, covering all types of conditions, returned an average 45.5mpg, good given the performance and refinement but still not close to the official WLTP compliancy figure. So despite new fuel economy legislation are we any closer to getting accurate real-life mpg figures?
It appears not in this case but that shouldn’t detract from the driving enjoyment and refinement the new 8-speed auto gearbox has brought to the impressive Peugeot 3008 range. We cannot blame manufacturers for their vehicles not matching the official WLTP figures, it’s the testing system procedure that still doesn’t match real-life driving conditions.
2018 Peugeot 3008 GT SUV, 2.0-litre, BlueHDi 180hp, 8-speed automatic £35,470
Engine/transmission: EU 6.2, 2 compliant 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder BlueHDi turbodiesel, 180hp, 400Nm of torque from 2,000rpm, new 8-speed automatic transmission
Performance: 134mph, 0-62mph 9.0-seconds, WLTP Combined Cycle 57.6mpg (45.5mpg on test)
CO2 129g/km, VED First Year diesel rate road tax £205 and then £140 Standard rate, BiK company car tax 30%
Insurance group: 24E Warranty: 3-years/unlimited mileage
Dimensions/capacities: L 4,447mm, W 1,841mm, H 1,624, boot/load space 591 to 1,670-litres, braked towing weight, 2,000kg, 5-doors/5-seats.
For: Multi award winner mid-sized SUV, good looks, desirable kerb appeal, smart looking interior, well equipped, smooth changing and responsive new 8-speed auto gearbox, strong engine, good performance with acceptable realistic real-life fuel economy
Against: Real-life fuel economy figure still couldn’t match or get close to the new official WLTP figures which come into force for all new cars from September this year, fiddly touchscreen operation, Grip Control not fitted as standard.