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.
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.