Peugeot 3008 SatNav and HUD – a potent combination

The head-up display of most current Peugeot 3008 cars is a lot smarter than first appears.

In my original 3008, it displayed speed, and optionally could warn you if you were too close to the vehicle in front. In practice, even the most careful driver would find the latter warnings far too frequent, so tended to turn them off.

The greatly improved electronics package in my Dec 2014 build 3008 had a real surprise for me last weekend, when for the first time I used its built-in satellite navigation (SatNav).

Although I like SatNav, I learned to navigate using maps and signposts, and still want to know where I am, and where I am going. I have a neat Garmin system which I used to cross Glasgow on a couple of occasions when doing the long drive between the Isle of Wight and the Highlands of Scotland. On balance, I decided that I preferred to stick to a traditional road atlas together with the eyes and brain of my co-driver (wife).*

However there are times when a SatNav can be invaluable; last Saturday and Sunday were among them.

The plan was to cross the Solent to Southampton, and drive up from there to the Forest of Dean, on the northern shores of the River Severn, adjacent to the south-eastern corner of Wales. I know most of the route and roads reasonably well, but had not driven through Southampton for many years. I also wanted a little help ensuring that we turned into the correct road in the Forest of Dean, where a mistake could have become tedious.

It is also many years since I last had a car with built-in SatNav: that was one of the first Peugeots to offer it as an option, complete with a stack of CD-ROMs that fed into a boot-mounted optical drive. It was novel and interesting, but a far cry from today’s models.

Although I had a quick skim through the manual, I concluded that setting the SatNav up for our journey should be straightforward, and so it was. I was not prepared though for the use that it made of the head-up display (HUD).

Those 3008s with the better electronics package now have two displays for the driver, in addition to a conventional dashboard: a centre console, used for regular SatNav information, and the HUD, positioned just below the normal point of view, as shown. When the SatNav is operating, in addition to diagrams of the next junction, distance to junction, and expected signage, all shown on the centre console, excellent use is made of the HUD to display succinct summary information for the driver.

Peugeot 3008, late 2014 build, Allure spec, console (in reverse gear).
Peugeot 3008, late 2014 build, Allure spec, console (in reverse gear).

So at any time, the centre console will show full details of the next junction. Once you get within about 600 yards of it, a simpler plan of the junction appears on the HUD, so that the driver does not have to keep looking at the centre console.

This combination of information is just about perfect, particularly when you have a co-driver who can keep you updated as to what is being displayed on the centre console.

Of course if you have an add-in SatNav you can position its display where the HUD would be in another vehicle. However you would then have either excessive detail in the one location which would be hard for a co-driver to see, or insufficient information if you were to configure the display to minimise its contents.

I was, and remain, amazed at how powerful is this combination of centre console and HUD. Until you use the SatNav, the console seems almost superfluous. But with the SatNav running, it is a magic combination. Who would ever want to use SatNav again without it?

* Yes, the same wife who lost her passport in Paris, and arm-wrestles for profit. Those who know her might be amazed that I navigate with her, as she is the only person that I know who cannot tell left from right. However she is considerably smarter than most SatNavs, and has never tried taking me along the sort of nightmare shortcuts for which SatNavs have become notorious.