Peugeot 3008 Hybrid 4 MPV (2012-2016)
"With its powerful diesel-electric engine, the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid 4 is both fun to drive and very fuel-efficient."
- Stylish, upmarket design and well equipped interior
- Four-wheel drive and smooth automatic gearbox
- Powerful, fuel-efficient engine
- Expensive to buy
- No range-extending 'plug-in' ability
- Hybrid system batteries eat up boot space
The Peugeot 3008 Hybrid 4 is a family-sized MPV that offers five seats and an advanced diesel-electric engine. Power is delivered to all four wheels, and to make driving simple, there's a six-speed automatic gearbox. The Hybrid 4 can run on either a mix of diesel and electric power or (at high speeds) diesel power alone. It also offers a fully electric mode, so some short journeys can be made without even switching the engine on.
Though the Hybrid 4 looks identical to the standard 3008, the two cars are very different under the metal. As well as being faster, the diesel-electric engined Hybrid 4 is more fuel-efficient, more comfortable and more expensive. To make space for the hybrid system's batteries, it also has a slightly smaller boot, and the suspension is ever so slightly firmer to deal with the extra weight of the hybrid components.
MPG, running costs & CO2
It's expensive to buy, but the 3008 Hybrid 4 enjoys some of the lowest running costs in its class. If you plump for the entry-level model with 99g/km emissions, you'll qualify for free road tax. Fuel economy of around 55mpg and low company-car tax rates also ensure the hybrid 3008 will be comparatively cheap to run. However, diesel rivals come pretty close to these figures and cost less to buy in the first place.
Engines, drive & performance
The 3008 Hybrid 4 is at its most impressive when coasting through town with the engine switched off and the battery doing all the work. When driven like this, it's not just ultra-efficient, but also extremely relaxing. In normal circumstances, the diesel engine drives the front wheels while the electric engine powers the rears. In slippery conditions, all four wheels drive at once to improve traction.
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The steering is light yet accurate, and the car speeds up extremely quickly when you prod the accelerator. The brakes are powerful, too, but there's no doubt that the 3008 Hybrid's heavy battery pack makes itself felt on twisty roads, where the cars responds slower than the standard model.
Interior & comfort
The 3008 is a strict five-seater, but it's spacious inside, and adults can ride comfortably together in the front and rear seats. Yet it's the quietness of the cabin that impresses most. The hybrid system switches to electric-only mode whenever it can, and when it does, the near-silent progress comes as a sharp contrast to the rattle of the diesel engine.
Gearchanges are very smooth, and although the Peugeot automatic gearbox isn't held in very high regard by our testers, its performance is greatly enhanced by the hybrid system in this car. As you change gear, the electric motor boosts power to keep the car accelerating smoothly, rather than jerking forward.
Practicality & boot space
The 3008 Hybrid is an impressively practical family car. The cabin is spacious, while the split tailgate is useful if you're loading heavy or bulky items into the boot. There are plenty of storage bins in the cabin, and although the glovebox is on the small side, it's easy to access. Best of all, the rear seats fold flat, ensuring the car can quickly be converted from family transport to spacious van. The maximum load capacity is a giant 1,501 litres.
Reliability & safety
Peugeot says the batteries that power its new hybrid engine will last at least 15 years, while the diesel engine will last longer than one fitted to a conventional car, as it'll run less. However, as the Peugeot system is brand new, its reliability is unproven.
Price, value for money & options
Hybrid engines are complex and therefore expensive, and the cost of the batteries ramps up the list price even more. Peugeot is at least trying to ensure that the 3008 represents good value for money, offering satellite navigation, part-leather seats and climate control as standard.