From £22,1298

Engine options, top speed, acceleration and refinement

The 3008 Hybrid 225 has a refined, assertive part-throttle mooch about it that ought to please most drivers. It will always start in ‘electric’ running mode provided there is charge in its drive batteries, and even when it flicks into ‘hybrid’ mode the combustion engine generally runs quietly enough, at low revs and higher prevailing speeds, that it’s often only the car’s rev-counter that really gives the game away.

The car has good urban drivability when running electrically. There is, on occasion, just a split-second of hesitation when it’s responding to throttle inputs, not because the electric motor isn’t quick-witted but the car’s eight-speed automatic gearbox sometimes needs to shift ratios to make the car ready (some PHEVs have directly driven motors, but this isn’t one of them). Once it’s off and running, though, the 3008 picks up speed with a relaxing assuredness, and can keep up with give-and-take performance demands without working hard.

European law makes it mandatory for BEV and PHEV cars sold after July 2021 to have a noise-emitting ‘AVAS’ pedestrian safety system. From inside the cabin, the 3008 Hybrid 225’s sounds less like a low-altitude flying saucer than a binding brake disc, though; and now I’m not sure which would be more annoying.

Peugeot doesn’t offer as much control over battery energy regeneration settings as other PHEV players. Aside from the gearbox’s regular ‘D’ position, there is only a ‘B’ setting (which blends in more regenerative braking on a trailing throttle) - but, while the car has shift paddles which can be used to change gear when the piston engine is running, they can’t be used to blend ‘regen’ up and down when you’re driving electrically. That’s a minor disappointment only, but it’s exacerbated slightly by the car’s slightly spongey brake pedal, through which it’s hard to judge exactly when the friction brakes are taking over from the electric motor under deceleration.

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Select ‘sport’ running mode and the car accelerates fairly strongly. It outperformed Peugeot’s 8.9sec 0-62mph claim in our hands, hitting 0-60mph in just 8.6sec on a warm, dry day when it had more than enough front-drive traction. In electric mode the same trip takes a little over twelve seconds.

But when you do work the car hard, the subjective qualities of its performance no longer seem quite as assured. Despite having those shift paddles we mentioned earlier, the gearbox doesn’t have a proper manual mode, and it will downshift automatically in the lower reaches of the accelerator pedal’s travel even if you’ve tried to lock it in a higher ratio. It’s an annoying habit which makes the car feel a little unruly and disobedient.

The engine becomes slightly coarse when revving hard, and the gearbox isn’t always decisive or fast-shifting when it really needs to be, under big throttle applications. The 3008 Hybrid 225 is fast enough, then; but it’s probably not a car you’d enjoy driving quickly.