Dive wagon: Peugeot 3008

Clever family car with flat tailgate makes ideal diving transportation

Author: Pat
24th May 2012

Peugeot’s 3008 is mid-sized family transportation with a particularly handy rear load space.

For lugging gear around most divers would, I suspect, opt to drive either a sporty estate car or a 4×4. That’s assuming they want a relatively comfortable driving experience: personally, I have a bit of a thing about pickup trucks, which are hose-able but not known for driving dynamics.

we talk about visibility… boy, does this car have it in spades

Interestingly though I took a phone call from Peugeot, who suggested their family-friendly 3008 might make ideal dive transport.

The priority for us divers (who the industry refers to as “those with active lifestyles”) is always of course the boot: is a car like this really going to have space for cylinders, rebreathers, bags and all the tat of a typical dive weekend?

Fortunately, the answer to that is yes. Opening the boot reveals a moderately sized load space. But flipping a catch on the lower boot lid drops the tailgate to reveal the real secret: like some mini-Millennium Falcon, there’s a hidden sub-floor. There are compartments within compartments, space aplenty for your gear and a two-tier shelf to separate wet from dry. Best of all, the split rear tailgate doubles up as a handy kitting up bench.

It doesn’t have to be for diving either, and proved very welcome after a day in the hills for changing out of wet hiking boots.

So what exactly is the 3008 all about? Peugeot says it’s a blend of hatchback, SUV and MPV (multi purpose vehicle, or family people mover.) Hard to argue with that: 4×4 versions are available, although this one’s front wheel drive. It has the high roofline of a family car, meaning lots of space on the inside.

Power comes from a 150bhp 2-litre HDI diesel engine, with an impressive 340Nm of torque at your disposal. CO2 emissions of 142 g/km mean it’s pretty cheap to tax, and the average fuel consumption is more than 52 miles per gallon – although driven carefully, I managed closer to 65. Peugeot also offers the 3008 Hybrid4, in which guise it is the world’s first mass-produced diesel hybrid car.

Some cars are super comfy but have irritating quirks. Others are great for housemoving but are rough as hangovers. If you’re seeking a successful fusion of practicality with luxury, the 3008 is a worthy contender. The boot has been carefully designed to hold large and small items in tandem, but up front it’s about comfort and ergonomics. There’s leather upholstery, chrome touches and a veneer of quality throughout.

We divers harp on about visibility, well boy does this car have it in spades: the glasshouse is huge and there’s a panoramic roof above your head too, which bathes the cabin in light. Even on a rainy day you get an open air feeling – and that includes being sat in the back. Should there be too much sun, use the built-in blinds.

Rear seat passengers also get their own air con, and more secret storage beneath their feet. In the interests of fairness, I tried storing loose bits of dive gear all over the 3008 and it just lapped them up. There are two cubbyholes beneath the steering wheel area, one in each door, a large one in the centre tunnel, the glovebox, and the two in the passenger footwells. In fact I’m now wondering if I recovered all my kit before giving the car back…

If you’re a ‘technical’ diver – or at least a technophile – you’ll be well catered for. Turn the key, the sat nav pops up, and a transparent pane slides out from the dash – this is the driver’s head up display. You can drive with this off, but it’s strange how quickly the HUD becomes second nature: looking down to read a speedo now seems strangely unintuitive.

There’s also an electronic parking brake and aircraft-style switchgear, and there are multiple driving modes, too: a selector on the centre tunnel rotates through Snow, All Terrain, Sand, and ESP Off, depending on the conditions underfoot. Could prove handy if you plan to tow something like the club RIB.

On the road and having driven plenty of firmly sprung vehicles lately, to my backside at least this Peugeot felt refreshingly cushioned. True it’s higher-sided than some, but engineers have fettled any ‘wobble’ out and created a comfortable long distance cruiser. The 2.0-litre is well suited and the vehicle lapped up the 800-odd miles covered during the week.

In Allure trim the 3008 costs £22,795 on the road, although you can buy into Peugeot’s take on the “active lifestyle” from a shade over 17k. It certainly makes a good case for itself as all the car you’ll ever need.

Peugeot 3008: video

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