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New crossover draws on mild-hybrid petrol engine as an alternative to the electric e-3008

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With so much fanfare around the new Peugeot e-3008, you’d be forgiven for forgetting there’s a version that’s been made without any E-numbers.

Indeed, given the standard Peugeot 3008 is £11,200 cheaper and almost 550kg lighter, you’d think Peugeot had been hyping up the wrong version. 

But as the new crossover has been designed first and foremost as an EV, this ‘standard’ version was always going to get second billing. 

It's a mild hybrid that's powered by Peugeot’s familiar three-cylinder 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine with an electric motor integrated within a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. 

It will reach the UK in September, around six months after the launch of the new Peugeot e-3008, which even after this cheaper model arrives is expected to take the majority of sales.

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DESIGN & STYLING

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peugeot 3008 review 2024 02 panning rear

Visually, the 3008 and e-3008 are as good as identical. The only changes other than an ‘e' badge in front of '3008' on the bootlid are that the wheel arches are slightly less flared and don’t get a gloss finish on the hybrid. Full geek points if you also spot that the tyres are 10mm narrower too. 

The two cars share the same sheet metal, design and dimensions (4542mm long and 1895mm wide), so the 3008 sits in the heart of the still-booming C-SUV segment and goes up against the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson

We revisited the e-3008 alongside the 3008, and on more broken road surfaces, it didn’t ride well at all. One to watch for the UK.

Underneath, though, there are changes to the STLA Medium architecture (something that will be rolled out across every Stellantis brand’s mid-size models), not least as the hybrid version does without the hunking great 98kWh battery pack that the e-3008 is able to accommodate.

The crash structures are the same, and it’s the need to carry these beefed-up safety requirements for crash protection of the battery that explain part of the 3008’s added 100kg-plus heft over many of its rivals. 

The front suspension is largely the same, although the hybrid has a beam axle at the rear instead of the EV's multi-link arrangement.

The commonality is such that the two cars will run down the same production line in Sochaux, France, and be launched at the same time (UK orders now, deliveries in April), before being joined by a plug-in hybrid variant later this year. 

INTERIOR

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peugeot 3008 review 2024 12 front seats

There is an outstanding feature of the new 3008: the interior. The materials look and feel fantastic, even in the entry-level Allure specification of our test car. Peugeot has successfully lifted itself above its mainstream rivals in interior design and perceived quality while not sacrificing usability.

On first acquaintance with the e-3008 last year, the wraparound 21in curved screen (it’s actually two screens: a driver display and a infotainment touchscreen integrated into one unit) that sits atop the dashboard didn’t work properly, which meant we had to stop short of putting a star rating on the car given how significant such screens are now in a car’s operation.

The boot isn’t the biggest in the class, at 520 litres, but it is a big, wide space and the floor is flat.

We’re happy to report all was working as it should this time around in the 3008, and the screen itself is slick and responsive. The graphics are quite busy and the fonts are a bit hard to read, but it’s all made easy to use by a series of ‘i-Toggles’ that sit below the screen and provide customisable shortcuts on a granular level, from heated seats to calling your favourite auntie. 

Comfort levels from the firm but supportive driver’s seat are good and there’s a general sense of airiness in the cabin, again helped by that material choice.

Those in the back won’t find the biggest car in the class, but even adults will be happy with the leg room and head room. The rakish shape doesn’t appear to have impacted usability. 

ENGINES & PERFORMANCE

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The major change over the e-3008 is of course the drivetrain. It isn't new for the STLA architecture; it was instead dropped into the outgoing 3008 in the middle of last year.

It's a hybrid system that features a 22bhp electric motor integrated into a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, driving the front wheels with a 136hp 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine.

A selectable EV mode would be an intriguing addition, given the 3008 is at its best when running solely on electric power

The system has no selectable EV mode (in contrast to other hybrid systems, like Toyota’s), instead determining on its own when it can run solely on the electric motor under lighter loads. 

This drivetrain wasn’t an instant hit when we drove it in the outgoing 3008, and so it proves again in this application in the new model. A couple of key issues are prevalent: it feels underpowered and lacks refinement under medium loads and above.

The lack of power was an issue in the older car and thus it remains, even more so with an extra 0.2sec on the 0-62mph time. That’s down to the weight, which is almost 100kg more than before.

It just always needs more throttle than you think you should be applying, and in doing so, you trigger quite the racket that tells you how hard the engine is working. 

RIDE & HANDLING

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The 3008 sits at the less dynamic end of the class. The drive is fine, with a ride that doesn’t ever fully isolates you from the road, and nor does it ever really send crunches through your spine or set your head tossing.

It sets your head spinning, perhaps, in trying to understand how it can ride very well indeed on pavé but jitter on fairly mundane-looking B-roads at 50mph. It all lacks a bit of polish and sophistication. 

You can tell what mode the drivetrain is operating in by the speed on the driver’s display being shown in blue for EV mode and white with the petrol engine, although your ears will tell you all you need to know on what driving mode for the most part.

Don’t look for the steering or handling for any involvement either. Like the ride, both are fine and simply don’t excite you, rather than put you off.

At all times, they feel dulled and blunted by the weight of the car while remaining just about precise enough and predictable.

Lithe and fleet of foot the 3008 is not, which is a shame when it looks so dynamic.

MPG & RUNNING COSTS

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On our mixed-roads test route, the 3008's economy struggled to get near 40mpg. Whatever happened to those days of 50mpg-plus with diesels?

The main letdown is the motorway efficiency, which is where the MPG really plummets. But it was always going to be thus with such a drivetrain, which is much more geared up for low-speed running, when it can spend a good amount of time running on electric power. It's here where it's at its most efficient. 

The hybrid is expected to be a niche choice, taking just 6% of 3008 sales this year

Just two trim levels are offered on the 3008: Allure and GT. There's a £3500 uplift to the GT over the £34,650 entry price of the Allure. Yet GT is expected to be the most popular trim, taking 60% of sales.

While the 3008 may not be the cheapest car in its class, its value is excellent, as the standard kit levels are very good.

In the UK, the 21in curved panoramic screen is standard, which isn't the case in other markets. Other standard features include striking 19in alloy wheels and the nice ambient lighting that's linked to the driving modes. 

VERDICT

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You get the sense that most of the budget and focus went on making the interior as good as it can possibly be and just ensuring that there was nothing overly offputting or offensive about the way it drives.

That’s always going to limit its appeal on these pages, but sit in a 3008 and you can appreciate where its appeal lies. It’s no more than a three-star car to drive, but it’s at least a four-star car to sit in.

Mark Tisshaw

mark-tisshaw-autocar
Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, autocar.co.uk website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.