With the 3008, Peugeot faced the perennial challenge of making a tall car both handle and ride. Lots of roll stiffness can sort out the handling part, but often the ride goes to pieces as a result. The 3008’s rear axle Dynamic Roll Control system seeks to cure the conundrum. Does it work? Up to a point, yes.
First impressions are of an unusually agile car for one so tall and SUV-shaped, with quick, precise steering, surprising front-end bite and plentiful grip. The steering is light and self-centres easily but not overly quickly, and it has a natural feel, because it’s a hydraulic system assisted by an electric pump rather than a full electric arrangement. There’s a touch of torque steer on a slippery or uneven surface, but seldom more than a gentle tug.
The low degree of body roll feels almost uncanny at first, and the way the outside rear wheel is loaded up by the levelling effect of the roll control system certainly helps the 3008 to point keenly into a corner. But the scope for amusement is ultimately curtailed by an ESP system that can’t be switched off once you’re past 37mph, so if you push too hard the Peugeot slows itself down.
Even without the artificial stiffening at the back brought about by the roll control, the 3008’s ride is quite firm, although small bumps are soaked up well. Uneven surfaces set up a rock-rolling motion at low speeds, which causes occupants’ upper bodies to be jerked side to side in a way typical of cars which seat their occupants well above the roll axis, but this effect reduces as speed rises. On balance the suspension settings are a good compromise, given the unpromising starting point of a tall vehicle.