For this month’s motoring reviews, Sussex Business Times got behind the wheels of the Peugeot 3008 GT Line and the Nissan X-Trail. Here, we share our thoughts…

Peugeot 3008 GT Line

The Peugeot 3008 is now better than ever, and is up there with the best cars in the crossover class. That’s thanks to its top-notch interior, up-to-date in-car tech, refined drive and competitive engine range.

So let’s start with the fact that this car won Car of the Year this year and after spending a week crusing around, it’s clear to see why! If you take the price away from the car, what you’re left with is really quite remarkable. As the monster company has almost rebranded itself, as with the GTi we reviewed in last month’s issue, Peugeot are doing a sterling job, providing buyers with a huge amount of car and great driving experiences at affordable prices.

The Peugeot 3008 is generally well-built, is incredibly aesthetically pleasing on the eye and offers the driver a large amount of space. The new model is a lot more stylish than its predecessor, with a front end inspired by the 308 hatch and 2008 small crossover that came before it, while the high sides and small window area give it a sportier look than some rival crossovers.

While the new Peugeot 3008 has a somewhat disruptive design, with the upright grille and chunky bodywork giving it a unique look, it’s certainly a big step forward from the previous model. The old car was an MPV-style crossover, where this new car is a genuine SUV. The detailed headlight and taillight designs are a stand-out feature, and the steep windscreen, raised ride height and hidden C-pillar all add to the new look.

With regards to the interior, the attention to detail in the cockpit and the rest of the cabin was sublime. With full cross stitch leather seats and an unexpected, amost denim lining in the dash, Peugeot have really hit the nail on the head. The 3008 also boasts heating and massaging seats, offering the utmost comfort, while the overall drive itself is smooth and unassuming – it glides around corners effortlessly and holds well.

The Peugeot 3008 features the impressive 12.3-inch i-Cockpit set-up that ditches traditional dials in favour of a fully configurable TFT screen ahead of the driver. This is linked to an eight-inch tablet-style capacitive touchscreen that sits on top of the dashboard and controls settings for the hi-fi, phone connection, car preferences, climate control and, on Allure models and above, the sat-nav. Also included is the Mirror Screen software that gives access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, making it simple to link to your smartphone on the go. Connection is easy, and the big screens and crisp graphics are intuitive. Overall the in-car tech is very good.

And now onto the unfortunate elements of the car… With the 3008, while Peugeot have provided a lot of space, the engine seems to have been sacrificed in the meantime. With just a small 1.2 litre, it doesn’t carry much grunt for an SUV, and there are definitely others in the market that overpower this particular model. Now, you may think that the addition of the sports button (also seen in last month’s 308 GTi) might change things, and it does to a certain point, but the overall function of this option seems slightly pointless with such a small engine. After all, these are cruisers and not racers. Here at Sussex Business Times, we think this model would have suited a larger engine, which you can find elsewhere in the brand’s range for another £1,500 – the 1.6 litre GT kicking out 165 BHP instead of 131.

This particular model boasts an OTR price of £27,595, which is a great price for what you get. Overall, well done Peugeot!

Nissan X-Trail

Nissan X-Trail 2.0-litre diesel RHD

The first element of this car that strikes straight away its its size. While most people like the look of big SUVs, they don’t necessarily need the off-road ability they traditionally possess. Cue the Nissan X-Trail, offering the option of front or four-wheel drive, allowing you to pick between lower running costs and some rough road ability. For anyone looking for an SUV with ample space, then the Nissan X-Trail is a good choice.

In comparison to the Peugeot, this Nissan model sports a 1.7 litre engine and leaves you with a huge amount of grunt – you really can feel the power of the vehicle when you put your foot down. Additionally, the fuel consumption is outstanding, which is unusual for a car with petrol transmission.

The Nissan X-Trail’s high driving position and broad windscreen provide the utmost forward visibility, although the intrusive, chunky door mirrors often sacrifice the view at junctions. Also, even with the big mirrors, rear visibility isn’t great thanks to the X-Trail’s fairly high rear windscreen and chunky rear pillars. This could be a problem on entry-level models that don’t get standard front and rear parking sensors, however the X-Trail features a system that gives the driver a 360 degree bird’s-eye view of the car’s surroundings. This is in addition to an automatic parking system that tells the driver if the parallel space they’re aiming for is big enough, and then assists in steering the car while the driver operates the pedals. All X-Trail models are reasonably well equipped; even entry-level Visia has alloy wheels, cruise control and air conditioning. However, if you’re not bothered about the big colour touchscreen and navigation system on higher-grade versions, the mid-spec model is probably the trim to go for.

Nissan X-Trail 2.0-litre diesel RHD

The Nissan X-Trail feels solidly put together and the dashboard features various soft-touch plastics and contrasting silver highlights, while the switches are well curbed. However, the steering wheel controls feel a little tacky, there are some flimsy plastics around the door pockets and the dashboard looks a little plain. The AV system is incredibly easy to use and the option of 7 seats is a great touch, making it the ideal car for families or larger corporate journeys. It’s clear to see that with this vehicle, you’d be spending money on the engine rather than comfort.

And now on to the disadvantages of this motor… Being a 2-wheel drive (which is, on its own, is surprising) as such a big, high car meant that cornering was uncomfortable, while the overall feel of the drive felt slightly clunky. Additionally, the X-Trail and speed bumps don’t get along very well, which also takes away more points.

Overall, while the Nissan X-Trail is a good motor if you’re thinking along the lines of practicality, and although it’s a great all-rounder, you’re paying a lot of money for a small amount of car. Here at Sussex Business Times, the Peugeot 3008 wins this fight hands down.

Peugeot 3008 GT LineNissan X-Trail
Engine capacity1.2 L1.7 L
Transmission6-speed automatic6-speed manual
0-62mph10.5 seconds9.7 seconds
Max speed117 mph124 mph
OTR price£27,595£29,115