The 3008’s cabin neatly encapsulates both the finesse and the folly of Peugeot’s established i-Cockpit architecture.

For the most part, the fascia is conspicuously handsome – especially the centre console and piano-keyed centre stack, which look and feel like they’ve been carved out of the side of a polypropylene cliff.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
The boudoir-style cloth interior decorations are certainly eye-catching but attract as much criticism as praise

Previous i-Cockpit-equipped Peugeots have swept traditional buttons off the fascia entirely and onto the infotainment screen, but the 3008’s piano key-style shortcut switches return them to the dash, with selected air-con controls lined up beneath.

With cloth inserts on the fascia (redolent of the clever trim choices BMW made for the i3), the palm-filling heft of the gearknob and a well-proportioned 8.0in capacitive touchscreen, the material richness and perceived quality are more convincing than those of any mainstream crossover you might compare it with – and more overtly stylish than the crisp, clean dashboard design associated with Volkswagen Group products.

Then there are its weaknesses. Primary among them is the downsized steering wheel jutting out frustratingly low in front of you and the 12.3in digital instrument cluster it is prone to obscuring.

Top 5 Crossover hatchbacks

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

These quirks of the i-Cockpit are familiar by now, yet even the advantage of a slightly more vaunted driving position hasn’t improved our regard for the philosophy.

Aside from the functional issues the arrangement looks ungainly – especially as part of an otherwise sophisticated, well-organised cabin.

Control layout aside, however, the interior does engender a pleasing sense of well-being that extends well enough to the rear, where, thankfully, the 3008 doesn’t suffer from quite as much of a shortage of space as the 308.

Peugeot claims 24mm and 36mm improvements in rear leg and head room respectively over the old model; that’s enough to afford most passengers a respectable amount of space – as long as you avoid the panoramic roof, which utterly sabotages the car’s usability for anyone of above average height.

That said, plenty of rival compact SUVs offer much better rear accommodation, and if Peugeot really wanted to convince us that its crossover hatch had graduated with flying colours to the SUV class above, it might have done a better job.

Likewise, the 3008’s boot isn’t quite as capacious as that of a Volkswagen Tiguan, for example, but with 520 litres (1580 litres seats down) of easily accessible space, it is big enough to escape criticism.

The 3008 adopts the latest version of Peugeot’s Connect infotainment system. Its 8.0in touchscreen is standard even on the base model, although it lacks the sat-nav available on more expensive trims.

However, thanks to its Mirror Screen function (compatible with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink), Active buyers can reproduce their smartphone’s display and access any number of web-based alternatives.

In some ways this is preferable, because Peugeot’s home-brewed sat-nav, while dramatically improved, is still slow on the uptake and not as satisfying to behold as others, even with its new 3D mapping.

Elsewhere, the Connect system offers decent usability. A DAB tuner and Bluetooth connectivity are on board, alongside — in the GT Line model — a plethora of high-end features clustered around the Amplify system, including multi-point massage seats and a fragrance dispenser.

Slightly more conventionally, there’s the likeable option of a 10-speaker hi-fi from Focal, a French specialist, for £590.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week