Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4
By Patrick James
IT'S unusual when you tell someone a car will cost them just short of £27,000 and they think that is something of a bargain.
That is a sign of how far Peugeot has come as a brand and how people's perceptions of hybrid vehicles are changing.
A fiver under £27,000 is not cheap whichever way you look at it but this family member was very keen indeed on the shape, the practicality and the technical wizardry of the 3008. Not cheap, but hugely laden with standard kit and running costs to warm the cockles of your heart.
The French firm says the 3008 Hybrid4 crossover, the world's first diesel/electric hybrid is four cars in one because of the combinations offered by the 163bhp diesel engine and 37bhp electric motor as well as a combination of saloon, SUV and MPV styling.
The power units give four options: an electric vehicle that runs just on the battery up to 28mph; an automatic where the car's electronic brains select whether battery or diesel or both power the car; sport mode where the two units combine to provide a stonking 200bhp to give excellent performance; or a four wheel drive vehicle when again, the two power units combine to send power to both axles.
So you have all those options, good if not exceptional economy and carbon dioxide emissions under 100/g/km, making the car green, clean and cheap to run. It attracts zero road tax and benefit in kind for business users is just 10 per cent.
But the claimed 70-odd mpg was well off the mark according the car's computer, certainly for the first few days. That is when you start to take notice of the central screen that controls much of the car's functions and a fuel consumption mode gives five minute readouts of how you are driving.
To get the car up to 80mpg over a five minute period is a small victory and too heavy with the right foot shows how fuel can be wasted. But learning to drive the car properly can bring massive savings in fuel costs and for the latter part of my drive I was achieving 60mpg plus.
The smart styling of the exteior with attractive light clusters and chrome detailing is replicated inside with the car resembling more of a cockpit than dashboard with the monitor screen, and an array of buttons, switches and dials more akin to the space shuttle. They are not just for show and all have a purpose with this range-topper also featuring a heads-up display.
Not only is the car good looking, it is highly practical with clever touches like the split tailgate at the rear which opens out to become a loading area, a centre console with a huge, deep storage compartment and another clever touch is the the grab handle on the passenger side of the centre console that allows more comfortable access and exit from the vehicle for the front passenger.
It also features a full length panoramic roof that allows light flood into the cabin.
Boot space is good with the split-level floor offering 354 litres and the rear seats fold flat at the touch of a button to open up a massive 1,455 litres.
All occupants have acres of space with the high roof giving plenty of headroom.
On the road, the car is comfortable rather than sporty and the suspension copes well with pitted and potholed roads.
It is particularly strong when cruising on the motorway and the 200bhp comes in pretty handy when overtaking.
For safety the car has six-airbags, electronic stability control and ISOFIX child seat mounting points, gaining the maximum five star rating from the Euro NCAP crash tests.
Practical, economical to run and good for the environment. The 3008 is a major player in the hybrid and crossover market.
Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4
Mechanical: 163bhp, 1,997cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels and 37bhp electric motor driving rear wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox
Max speed: 118mph
0-62mph: 8.5 seconds
Combined mpg: 74.4
Insurance group: 26
CO2 emissions: 99g/km
BiK rating: 10%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles