Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 HDi 16322 | 02 | 2012Scotcars rating

    A diesel-electric hybrid? Peugeot delivers a world first with its 3008 ... and it's 4WD!


    It’s often said that while there are some great cars around, there’s no one car that can do everything or meet every need. If you want to be first away from the lights, you’ll have to get something sporty with a bit of oomph. If you often head out to the country for a dirty weekend – over muddy tracks – then a 4x4 is for you. If the family is growing, then forget oomph and dirty weekends; you need as much space as you can get. And if cash is a wee bit tight, then you need something that gives lots of miles to the gallon and is easy on the pocket.

    Now Peugeot have come up with something which has got me thinking: perhaps there is one car which does it all, although inevitably there is something of a compromise to be struck.

    Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4, the world’s first diesel electric car, which is now available in Britain. I spent a little while with one and I have to admit it is pretty impressive, although as with any compromise, it does just a wee bit of everything without doing anything superbly well.

    That is actually a touch unfair because it is very good, combining performance, economy, family space, versatility and four-wheel-drive with the latest electric technology. Or, as the nice folks at Peugeot will tell you, it’s all the car you might ever need in one handy package.  

    On the Road

    I’ve yet to be convinced about the future being electric, finding it difficult in any all-electric car to overcome the feeling that I’m going to run out of juice and be stranded in some back-of-beyond outpost where everything is still only gas-powered or coal-fired. So as far as I’m concerned, hybrid is the way to do it, using electric power when possible but still having the back up of a petrol, or in this case diesel, internal combustion engine.

    This specimen from Peugeot has great economy of up to almost 75mpg, but also useful power and performance. But where the 3008 really scores is in its flexibility. It has four operating modes, called up from a rotating knob just behind the drive shift. Here you can select automatic, ZEV to summon the electric power unit, four-wheel-drive for when things get tricky, or Sport when you want a bit of fun.

    It sounds too good to be true, but it really is good, very easy to use and incredibly versatile. I drove the test car on a range of motorway, side roads and muddy tracks and it was equally confident in all.   

    Comfort and Safety

    So you have a car that can be what you want it to be when you need it to be. The real bonus though is that it has acres of space inside with a feeling of quality throughout all the fittings. I felt really comfortable in the cockpit without any of the annoying little details that sometimes creep in to spoil the experience. The test car had the added luxury of the huge panoramic glass roof with an electric blind, which seems quite a bargain as a £370 option, while the leather seats were nice but a touch pricey at £1050.

    Headup display and distance alert come as standard. It has Peugeot’s ‘multiflex’ seating arrangement and because the batteries are cleverly tucked away out of sight, there’s a lot of loadspace in the back end. The split lower level tailgate opens to a flat floorspace with loads of room for all the family’s bits and pieces.  

    Should I Buy One?

    It certainly comes as close as anything else in the market to ticking all the boxes.

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    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £28,495 / £30,565
    Engine / Power: 1997cc / 163bhp (37bhp electric motor)
    How fast?: 0-62mph 8.5secs / Max 118mph
    How big/heavy?: L4365mm W1837mm H1639mm / Weight 1808kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: 70.5mpg combined / 104 g/km CO2
    InsGP/Road tax: 26E/ Band B £20
    Alternatives: Toyota Prius; Honda Insight; Lexus RXh

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