From £16,759
Better drive than normal diesel, with likely lower running costs. Not cheap, though

Our Verdict

Peugeot 3008
It looks like a 4x4 but it isn’t. So what’s the point of this crossover?

The Peugeot 3008 crossover ticks most of the right boxes to be a competitive crossover

15 August 2011

What is it?

The principle of Peugeot’s new Hybrid4 system – pairing a classic front drive diesel drivetrain with an electric rear axle to permit vastly improved economy and performance plus genuine four-wheel drive traction – seems so gloriously sensible that it’s almost shocking that it wasn’t done years ago. Always assuming it works, of course, which is what the more adventurous Peugeot buyers of Britain are about to find out.

The system will be offered from December in the 3008 Hybrid4. Prices start at £26,995, a cool £4200 more than the priciest 3008 diesel currently on offer.

There are three models (99g, 104g and 104g limited edition) distinguished mostly by equipment levels, tyre size and weight. Most interesting is the most basic, most frugal 99g which rides on 16-inch wheels but whose equipment is still impressive (climate, cruise, electric handbrake) even if it misses out on such luxuries as reversing cameras, a head-up instrument display and two-tone leather.

What’s it like?

The first thing to strike you is that, inside and out, the Hybrid4 isn’t much different from a normal 3008. There’s a new grille and the body wears some extra brightwork, while the main difference inside is the appearance of a four-way rotary switch on the centre console – allowing you to select Auto, Sport, ZEV (pure electric) and 4WD modes – and the absence of a tachometer, which has been replaced by a power/economy meter.

Peugeot recommends that you leave the car mostly in Auto and let the drive computer juggle power from the 163bhp front-mounted diesel and 37bhp rear-mounted electric motor as efficiently as possible. Provided the batteries are topped, the diesel engine will run only about one-third of the time in town; on the open road it’ll be working most of the time. Electric-only range is roughly three miles, but this is constantly replenished by the car’s off-throttle power regeneration system (not actually regenerative braking, which can interfere with brake feel), so that in British B-road driving conditions it can add 40 per cent to the 600-mile ‘real world’ range of an ordinary stop-start diesel.

The car instantly feels pleasant and easy to drive. It rides softly and quietly, and its electric power-assisted steering is quite accurate and nicely weighted. The Hybrid4 is eerily quiet with the diesel off in towns, although the noise level rises both abruptly and substantially (more so than in a Vauxhall Ampera, for instance) when the computer decides to restart the engine.

Battery and electric motor add about 250kg to the standard weight and the effect is obvious, especially through the brake pedal. But the extra weight has no adverse impact on body roll or general stability. If anything, the car feels a shade more stable because the additional mass sits so low in the car, and is so well centralised.

Driven normally, the Hybrid4’s power delivery is better than that of a non-hybrid diesel with PSA’s six-speed automated manual, because the gearchange intervals – normally rather intrusive with these designs – are reduced to acceptable levels by the torque of the electric motor.

Use all the poke and the car feels pleasantly powerful without being truly quick: lots of cars in this size class can do 120mph and accelerate from 0-62mph in about nine seconds. What impresses here is the way the car glides through villages and cruises on long legs down the motorway.

Should I buy one?

It will be a few weeks before we can accurately evaluate this Peugeot’s exalted economy claims – which are the point here – but so far we’re impressed by the 3008 Hybrid4. It’s certainly pricey but brings important tax and benefit-in-kind advantages. We can’t yet say it hits the bullseye, but so far its trajectory looks right.

Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 99g

Price: £26,995; Top speed: 118mph; 0-62mph: 9.1sec; Economy: 74.4mpg (combined); CO2: 99g/km; Kerb weight: 1808kg; Engine: 4cyls, 1997cc, turbodiesel, with electric motor; Power: 163bhp (diesel), 37bhp (electric); Torque: 221lb ft (diesel), 147lb ft (electric); Gearbox: 6-speed automatic

Join the debate

Comments
20

6 September 2011

I see this car is fitted with Peugeot/Renaults famous 'Filtre a Particule'. Does this mean that after saving the planet and fuel all week running around town, in eco friendly Hybrid fashion I'll get a warning light on the dash telling me I need to make an unecessary journey at a minimum of 50MPH for 20 minutes to regenerate the filter?

 

 

6 September 2011

"It will be a few weeks before we can accurately evaluate this Peugeot’s exalted economy claims"

So you have only driven it 1 mile ?, it hasnt got a trip computer, you have forgotten how to do basic maths. Come on guys you must have some early indication, it does not normally stop you passing some figures/comment.

Whilst I have yet to be convinced about this genre of vehicle, this probably is the closest yet. Especially with its sensible pricing.

6 September 2011

The principle is sound, very sound. It is just a shame that it costs that much more than the standard car and (if I'm right) won't qualify for the government subsidy?

I know we will probably see more of this sort of system introduced, which will bring the price down but for now I would probably stick with the standard version and use the extra money for ten years worth of diesel.

[quote Leslie Brook]

I see this car is fitted with Peugeot/Renaults famous 'Filtre a Particule'. Does this mean that after saving the planet and fuel all week running around town, in eco friendly Hybrid fashion I'll get a warning light on the dash telling me I need to make an unecessary journey at a minimum of 50MPH for 20 minutes to regenerate the filter?

[/quote]

I had a conversation with a Peugeot dealer about their DPF's the other day and he insists that they've never had any problems with them!

Cough.... Bo Lax - I intimated.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

6 September 2011

when Autocar get to test this in the UK it would make sense to carry out an identical test on a non hybrid version. Its not just the economy which we need to know about, but how all other aspects of the car have changed. Afterall it now weighs 250kg more, but all at the back altering the weight distribution. Also the rear axel has indepenant suspension.

So far i have so say i would expect more performance from 200BHP, in a small but tall car, but i guess thats what weighing that much does. On the other hand if you can get within a decent margin of the claimed economy with something that heavy it will be quite an achievement.

6 September 2011

I really like the idea of a combustion engine up front and an electric motor or two powering the rear wheels but a 250kg weight penalty and a £4k price rise seem substantial. Wrap it up in a less than attractive body and the appeal is slipping.

6 September 2011

[quote Leslie Brook]I see this car is fitted with Peugeot/Renaults famous 'Filtre a Particule'. Does this mean that after saving the planet and fuel all week running around town, in eco friendly Hybrid fashion I'll get a warning light on the dash telling me I need to make an unecessary journey at a minimum of 50MPH for 20 minutes to regenerate the filter?[/quote]The AA recommends a non stop run of 10 minutes at 40 mph or over to clear a DPF filter warning light.

Why would you buy a 4 x 4 for solely town use?

6 September 2011

Nice idea and technically very interesting, but somehow I don't think that a £27,000 car which weights over 1800kg is a good solution to our future motoring needs

Keep it simple, light and affordable I'd say..

6 September 2011

[quote Autocar]so gloriously sensible that it’s almost shocking that it wasn’t done years ago[/quote]

It was. In Japan, the Nissan Micra and Cube were offered with petrol at the front and electric at the rear for quite a while.

6 September 2011

[quote Maxycat]Why would you buy a 4 x 4 for solely town use?[/quote]

Why not? You see enough Range Rovers, Land Rovers, XC-90's etc around town. Why not consider this and benefit from the free congestion charge? What I don't want is a car that tells me I have to drive it for down the A13 for 20 minutes on a Saturday morning or it's going to throw a fit and demand a trip to the dealers to force a filter regeneration.

 

 

6 September 2011

[quote Leslie Brook]What I don't want is a car that tells me I have to drive it for down the A13 for 20 minutes on a Saturday morning or it's going to throw a fit and demand a trip to the dealers to force a filter regeneration[/quote]

Exactly....how many diesels with fantastic fuel economy numbers don't allow for the fact that their owners have to make a couple of completely unnecessary trips per month to clear the filter? Or have to drive 20 miles to their dealer and back to have the filter regenerated for them?

I suppose one could always buy the car and then have the dpf taken off, as more and more people are doing...

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