15.12.2011 Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 review
A fascinating first run of the pre-production left-hand drive 'multi-personality' Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4. The car isn't just the first diesel-electric hybrid and capable (theoretically) of 74 mpg, despite space for five adults and their luggage. It can also power all four-wheels for the low speed slippery road traction of a 4x4 or deliver 200 bhp performance if the driver wants to travel in a sporty fashion.
It's more fun to drive than you would ever expect, whilst being particularly practical, despite reduction in boot space because of the battery of 158/169 litres with the seats up/seats down. A car for all moods as well as all seasons but a hefty £4,450 over a 3008 Active diesel and only £1,710 less than a four-wheel drive Range Rover Evoque. Looking forward to a longer driving experience. Peugeot plans to install the system on other models too.
Review by Russell Bray for nextgreencar.com
Blend of 161 bhp turbo-diesel power to front wheels from standard 1997 cc engine and 37 bhp electric power to rear wheels delivers brisk performance despite 440 lbs weight penalty of electric motor and batteries. Exceptional smoothness and refinement as the computers merge various systems in and out. Selecting 'sport' mode brings faster (jerkier) automatic gear changes at higher engine rpm. The 3008 will run on battery power only for about two miles at under 30 mph but requires a very delicate throttle foot – and no-one urging you on from behind. Maximum torque of 500 Nm means the 3008 can be very fast away from the lights, with acceleration to 60 mph achievable in 8.5 seconds. Top speed is limited to 118 mph.
You are certainly aware of the extra weight of the electrically powered rear axle and can sense the electronics stopping the torque of the electric motor overcoming the grip of the rear tyres; however, based on a shorter drive than usual with little high speed work, the 3008's handling felt predictable. The car remains heavier at the front than the rear. The suspension felt firmer than I expected, yet there was quite a lot of body roll in corners despite a hydraulic dynamic roll reduction system. Switching between Auto for the best fuel efficiency, Sport for lively performance (though the engine start-stop still works), all-wheel drive and ZEV (zero emissions on electricity) there is a slight delay as the required systems come to life.
Unless you are sharp-eyed and spot the badges, the changes to the front grille, the LED daytime lights or the roof spoiler, you won't know if this car is the first diesel-electric hybrid or other 3008 variants. Peugeot's five-door almost-SUV estate retains its variable seating layout but loses some boot space and the versatility of its multi-position load height rear shelf because of the electric rear drive axle system. The 3008's interior is plush and comfortable. Its length is 4365mm and it is 1837mm wide (2113 mm including door mirrors).
COMFORT & CONTROLS
You sit high in the luxury interior yet the driving position is shaped around you like in a sports car. Top spec models have a plane-like head-up display that shows your speed on a small screen you can see through like a tele-prompter. The 'robotised' gearbox can be left in automatic or over-ridden using paddles on the steering wheel.
The 3008 isn't intended as a serious off-road mud-plugger, but most models can be ordered with 'grip control' which uses electronics to generate more traction in slippery conditions and are surprisingly capable on snow. With power to all four wheels this car should be even better.
MPG & RUNNING COSTS
Amazing 99 g/km CO2 emissions for lower trim models, compared to 149 grams for a Range Rover Evoque Td4, shows the efficiency of the Peugeot. It's uncanny to be able to cruise for short periods at 50 to 60 mph with 99 mpg showing on the instant fuel consumption read-out. It feels like free motoring generated by electricity. Official fuel figures for the more lavishly equipped 104 g/km model are 69 mpg round town and 70.6 mpg combined. Peugeot staff claim to have managed better than 60 mpg but on my shorter than usual assessment in traffic and trying the different driving modes the car returned 52 mpg and I have managed 55 mpg with a 150 bhp diesel 3008. Road tax is band A or B, depending on trim level, meaning either no tax or just £20 a year.
Peugeot's 3008 HYbrid4 combines the greater thermodynamic efficiency of a turbo-diesel engine, compared to a petrol engine, with a nickel metal hydride battery powered 37 bhp electric motor, which boosts performance or fills in the torque gaps of a turbo diesel to further reduce its fuel thirst. Second generation automatic engine start-stop and a computer-controlled six-speed gearbox ensure the car always delivers the best economy for the circumstances. At low speeds the diesel engine can go into standby and the 3008 drives on electric power only. During deceleration the electric motor acts as a generator to use the otherwise wasted kinetic energy to recharge the batteries. A particulate filter reduces the soot emissions from the diesel engine.
Even the 99 gram model comes well equipped with 16 inch alloy wheels, dual zone air conditioning, cruise control, automatic headlights and wipers, electronic stability system, radio, CD player, Bluetooth phone connection, hill assist and electronic parking brake (these things are awful and go wrong!). Limited model has Pearl White special paint, panoramic sunroof, dark tinted headlights, 17 inch alloy wheels, two-tone leather interior, head-up display with distance warning alert, seven inch multifunction screen, leather rimmed steering wheel and front parking aid.
Model tested: Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4
Body-style: 'Crossover' (estate meets SUV)
Engine/CO2: 161bhp 1997cc four-cylinder turbo diesel and 37bhp electric motor / 99 gCO2/km
Trim grades: 99g Edition, Standard and Limited
On-road price: From £26,995. Limited Edition test car £29,950
Warranty: Three years/ 60,000 miles
In the showroom: February 2012
Review rating: 4.0 STARS
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