From frumpy MPV origins in the mid-noughties the Peugeot 3008 has been reborn in recent years as a sharp-edged and stylish small SUV, revitalised along with the wider Peugeot line-up for a more competitive marketplace.
The engine range includes a 1.2-litre and a 1.6-litre petrol engine, a 1.5-litre Blue HDi diesel and, now, two plug-in hybrid versions based on the 1.6-litre PureTech petrol block. The Hybrid4 is the more powerful of the two, with a second electric motor powering the rear wheels and an additional 74bhp, while the front-wheel drive Hybrid has a combined power output of 222bhp and sacrifices one mile of maximum EV-only range.
3008 Hybrid engine, performance and driving
In EV-only mode, automatically engaged at low speed, the 3008 is smooth and quiet and the transition between electric and internal combustion is seamless when it happens, detectable only by a little bit of vibration through the pedals and a touch of noise from under the bonnet. At higher speeds, however, the petrol engine sounds like it’s working hard and mars an otherwise fairly refined experience.
The throttle response is slightly sluggish, given there’s north of 200 horsepower available, and that applies from a standing start or accelerating on the move. Nought to 62mph comes in 8.9 seconds but, with a kerb weight of 1.8 tonnes the less powerful of the two plug-ins feels far from sprightly.
The stated electric-only range is between 32 and 39 miles which would be enough to handle the daily commute for many without touching the tank. We were on course for the bottom end of that estimate during our test, but a careful driver may well be able to land somewhere in the middle with a suitably flat route and a clear run.
Whether from the added weight of the batteries, or simply the suspension set-up, there’s slight body lean almost reminiscent of the SUVs of old when driving on winding roads. The electric power steering is light and responsive, however, and the 3008 is more agile maneuvering at low speed than the Vauxhall Grandland PHEV, which shares much of the 3008’s underpinnings. Visibility from the cabin is horizontally excellent, but the snub-nosed engine compartment meant I had difficulty seeing the front of the car.
Peugeot 3008 Hybrid interior, equipment and comfort
Peugeot’s iCockpit dashboard design means a digital instrument cluster and a small-diameter, low-mounted steering wheel that feels a little strange at first but is actually rather comfortable once you get used to it.
Our test car was configured in Allure Premium trim, second from bottom in the model hierarchy, above Allure and below GT and GT Premium. Despite being from the more humble end of the range, the interior is one of the highlights of the car. Dimensions are spacious and there is ample headroom front and back, the fabric door and dashboard inserts give the car a premium feel - think high-end sofa - and blue LED ambient lighting in the cabin gives the whole thing a futuristic feel.
The list of standard equipment, even in the mid-range car, is a long one and the Safety Plus Pack and Visibility Pack are fitted as standard with Allure Premium cars. Entertainment wise, the dash is dominated by the 10-inch high-definition touchscreen with the full range of modern audio options including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. For your own devices, there’s a USB socket as well as three 12-volt connections, two in the cabin and one in the boot.
Optional extras on our test car included black diamond roof and door mirrors - features you’ll either love the look of or view as pointless at £300 - Drive Assist Plus pack at £600, hands-free tailgate at £400 and a £120 smartphone charging plate which I was unable to test due to my humble-spec iPhone.
Plug-in Hybrids are a compelling option for many buyers not yet ready to take the plunge with a fully-fledged EV and the 3008 Hybrid is a stylish, comfortable and practical example of the breed. It’s not supremely sporty or great fun to drive, but nor does it lean especially in the other direction. Prospective buyers will more likely be won over by the 3008 Hybrid’s good looks, comfort and equipment list than its driving dynamics.
Peugeot 3008 Hybrid Allure Premium
Price: £38,010 (£39,430 as tested); Engine: 1.6-litre petrol/electric hybrid; Power: 222bhp; Torque: 266b ft; Transmission: Eight-speed automatic; Top speed: 140mph; 62pmh: 8.9 seconds; CO2 missions: 31 g/km; Electric range: 32-39 miles