► Driving the hybrid Peugeot 3008
► Two versions, one has 297bhp
► Prices from £36k, HYbrid4 GT is £46k
Another SUV takes on the plug-in hybrid conundrum. PSA is rolling them out at a rate of knots, with Peugeot’s mid-sized crossover the latest one we’ve tested.
Gimme the facts
Peugeot offers two versions of its hybrid powertrain with the 3008: a 222bhp front-wheel drive one and a 296bhp all-wheel drive version. If those PHEV powertrain options sound familiar, that’s because the former powers the Peugeot 508 hybrid, the C5 Aircross PHEV and the lesser-powered Vauxhall Grandland X hybrid. We’ve tested the 3008 HYbrid4 here: the all-wheel drive one with as much power as a hot hatch.
For the HYbrid4 we’ve tested, there’s an e-motor on each axle and Peugeot claims between 34 and 40 miles of e-range from the fully-charged 13.2kWh battery. You can drive up to 84mph on e-power alone.
Is it hot hatch quick?
Surprisingly, yes – with some juice in the battery, all four wheels providing traction and sport mode activated, this thing really shifts in a straight line. A six-second 0-62mph sprint is enough to make a Fiesta ST or i30 N blush – quite eye-widening for a blocky SUV.
Of course, punching it in a PHEV is about as uncouth asking for a plastic straw these days; s’all about the smoothness and opportunity for zero-emission, silent running in urban areas. As you’d expect, the 3008 does this bit very well; the transition between e-power and petrol power is seamless, for example, as is the eight-speed auto’s gearshifts.
Keepin’ it chilled…
Perhaps a little too chilled in certain circumstances. As with the 508, the 3008’s controls are incredibly light, so there’s next to no feedback from any of them. The tiny steering wheel can be turned with one finger but the steering action itself is woolly, and PSA’s traditionally soft pedals put you far away from accelerative and braking actions.
The 3008 also has quite possibly the softest brake pedal on any modern car right now, which does not fill you with any confidence when you have to actually apply said brakes – it feels like there is a metre of pedal travel before any real application and, even then, the brakes feel weak.
Some may argue that a hybrid crossover isn’t meant to be driven in anger, and that’s true, but the disconnection from the driving experience is so obvious here that it’s a little disconcerting in this instance.
That being said, being shrouded from every element of the driving experience does have some upsides. The ride, of which the hybrid 3008 does without the 508’s adaptive (and comfort-orientated) suspension option, is still impressively well balanced and both wind and tyre noise are remarkably hushed.
Any changes inside?
A few, but they’re not easy to spot at first glance. The 3008 was arguably the first car that really set off the next generation of i-Cockpit interiors for Peugeot and the design still looks fresh and striking. Some other cars in the PSA portfolio like the 508 and DS 7 have larger, glossier screens than the 3008 (which should be rectified with an upcoming facelift), but material quality the amount of toys on high end models is impressive.
The cupholders in the front are too small and too close together if you’re into your mocha-choca-macchiato-frappuccinos in big cups and the touchscreen (like in almost any other PSA model) is bearable at best, frustratingly cack at worst.
The hybrid’s differences are the extra graphics in the digital instruments that display the flow of power while you’re on the move, a power meter that replaces the usual rev counter, and an extra button for managing the electric part of the powertrain for the infotainment. There, you can set when the car will start and finish charging or force the engine to charge the battery while you’re driving (at the rather significant expense of fuel economy).
Unlike the 508, the boot is also smaller than your conventional 3008, too: 395 litres instead of the regular car’s 520-litre volume – a significant drop that means your electrified, mid-sized crossover has a significantly smaller luggage area than a Nissan Juke – a crossover in the class below – and several family hatches.
Any other gripes?
The price tag.
Go for the cheapest hybrid 3008 and you’ll need £36k for a 222bhp front-wheel drive Allure, while the same list price will get you a brand-new Ford Kuga PHEV ST-Line X that has far more equipment, Mini’s Countryman SE All4 is far better to drive and is cheaper still. If you can do without the SUV-ness, the 508 HYbrid is £2k cheaper and has a far larger luggage area.
Want to go all out on a HYbrid4 GT? You’ll need another £10k on top of that, which puts the hybrid 3008 in the crosshairs of posher cars Range Rover’s Evoque P300e and Volvo’s XC40 Recharge PHEV, if you’re someone who’s into a bit of badge snobbery.
Peugeot 3008 hybrid: verdict
The recipe isn’t quite right with the hybrid 3008, even if it uses a lot of the same ingredients as the 508 hybrid. Citroen’s C5 Aircross PHEV will be more comfortable (thanks to those Progressive Hydraulic Cushions), Mini’s hybrid Countryman is sharper to drive and Ford’s new Kuga PHEV offers better value. The practicality hit is hard to swallow, too, and the stodgy dynamics won’t be to everyone’s tastes.
Still, it’s quiet, comfortable, stylish, quick and has the potential to save you some dosh if it fits your use case.
Check out more Peugeot reviews here
Specs below are for a 3008 HYbrid4 GT