Practical and comfortable family car gains intriguing hybrid tech in pursuit of better fuel economy

The new Peugeot 3008 is angling to step on Toyota’s toes with its new 48V hybrid system, which allows the car to drive solely on electric power at manoeuvring speeds and on very light load.

The French company reckons the system can deliver electric running for up to 50% of your driving time and cut fuel consumption by 15% over the standard Peugeot 3008 1.2 PureTech 130 EAT8 powertrain that it will replace across the Peugeot model range (including the 208) in the next year or so.

The system works with a 28bhp electric motor that’s integrated into a dual-clutch, six-speed automatic transmission, all of which feeds power from both the electric motor and the 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine to the front wheels. 

Peugeot 3008

We tried it in the 3008 - a popular enough model that it warrants a new engine even though the all-new version will be unveiled this autumn and on sale next year. Everything else stays the same on the 3008, including an interior that looks classy apart from the rather clunky, dated touchscreen interface. Even the 432Wh lithium ion battery is located under the front passenger seat, to leave the boot unencumbered by batteries and the 3008’s generally very decent practicality and roominess unaffected by the hybrid powertrain. 

Unfortunately, the drive is resoundingly ordinary. During low-speed electric running, you can feel the gearbox switching ratios, and an intrusive whine from the motor is so prominent in the cabin that you can hear it even when the petrol engine’s running. Perhaps more disappointing is that, despite an hour or so of largely urban running and liberal use of Eco mode and tiptoeing the throttle, we still managed only 6% of our journey on electric power, and an overall economy of 35mpg. There’s no button to force it into EV mode, which is a shame because there were a few times when we would have chosen to use it.

The thrummy 1.2-litre engine is in play most of the time, then, and it’s a cheerful engine that’s happy to rev. But even with the added gusto of the electric motor joining in, the 3008 feels laboured if you try even a moderately heavy burst of acceleration. A Toyota C-HR Hybrid is some 2.0sec faster to 62mph, for some context. Wheel-mounted paddles let you select a gear and the gearbox responds promptly enough and without any unpleasant jerkiness or hesitation. Even so, the paddles feel unnecessary, given the nature of the 3008, and if it wasn’t obvious enough already, the engine revs also take a while to drop when you lift off the throttle. There’s nothing like treacly falling revs to make absolutely certain that you won’t really want to drive the 3008 with much spirit. And that’s absolutely fine, because such use is hardly this car’s remit.  

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Peugeot 3008

Being comfortable and secure is what a family SUV like this is all about, and the 3008 is very much that. There are no changes to the suspension or steering set-up for this new engine, so you still get light steering that feels a touch overly keen at times because of the small steering wheel. Nice, loping ride comfort suits the 3008, even if the 18in wheels of our test car brought slightly abrupt bump absorption around town. While engine refinement isn’t great, wind and tyre noise isn’t too bad so this is also still a perfectly decent place to cover miles in. 

Naturally, a brake regeneration system harvests energy to feed back into the battery, but you can’t change the level of regen and it’s fairly mild and unobtrusive. Brake pedal response is a touch inconsistent at times as a result but it’s easy to get used to and isn’t too sharp or unpredictable. 

Overall, mooching around in the 3008 136 Hybrid is… fine. While you can hear and feel the powertrain doing its thing, it’s easy to drive smoothly and brings similar price, official company car tax costs and economy to rivals such as the Kia Sportage and Toyota C-HR. Plus, the 3008 remains decent for interior practicality. Prices and UK specification have yet to be announced, but it is expected to stay similarly well equipped to the existing 3008 models, and with this now officially a runout model ahead of the launch of its replacement at the end of the year, list price and finance deals are likely to be very tempting. 

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So if the sums stack up, then the 3008 Hybrid will be a stoic and capable everyday family car. Just don’t let the fancy tech fool you: it’s no great sophisticate. 


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The Apprentice 28 June 2023
C-HR is not the best alternative to compare 3008 to, the Corrola Cross coming soon will be almost millimetre perfect match. I bet it does more than 35mpg too, even my bigger still RAV does 50 plus.
Anton motorhead 27 June 2023
Who do Stellantis think, they can fool into buying this thing? And 35mpg - lol. My '08 BMW 325i did way better than that and at a greater pace. Besides the small steering wheel and instrument cluster were never my cup of tea.
Andrew1 27 June 2023
Thanks for letting us know, now I can sleep well knowing what your cup of tea is not.
wigwig13 27 June 2023

This is a really poor effort. I purchased a Honda Civic 8 months ago and on my commute in eco mode regularly averages 70mpg, but also has 181bhp. Also cost approx. 7K less than this.

Andrew1 28 June 2023
I don't believe for a minute the 35mpg figure. They must have floor it, like they usually do during these 4-5 sentences "reviews".

Besides, Civic is pig-ugly, it might as well be free, you can't show yourself in that without ruining your reputation.