Motoring correspondent Mark Gallivan puts the petrol/electric hybrid Peugeot 3008 through its paces.

The Peugeot 3008 has been a sales success for the French manufacturer. While selling on the Irish market for the last two years it also collected the 2018 the Irish Car of the Year award. Taking into account the skewed sales numbers for 2020 it still shifted 1,584 units in the first eleven months of 2020. This is 549 down on 2019 and holding the 13th best selling new Irish car slot.

With a facelift coming in early 2021, there were grounds to revisit Peugeot’s 3008 in PHEV petrol/electric specification to see how relevant it is two years on. Prior to the mid-term facelift prices range from €30,100 for the 3008 1.2 PureTech 130bhp to the range topping 3008 we are testing here: the Hybrid 4 PHEV 300bhp AWD €49,400. For 2021 the facelifted 3008 spans a €31,390 to a more attainable €44,360 range topper (including the SEAI grant).

“It’s a bold statement but Peugeot makes the finest French car interiors when design, quality and ergonomics are collectively taken into account”

The highlights of the fifty grand 3008 we tested is a 1.6 litre, four-cylinder petrol engine with 300bhp and a 13.2 kWh battery with an 8 year warranty and the adaptive availability on this 3008 of all-wheel-drive and a claimed 0-100km in an impressive 6.1 seconds. The fastest charge from a Mode3/Type 2 cable is 1 hour 45 minutes.

Style and elegance

Interior of Peugeot 308.

Road tax on WLTP CO2 emissions is €170 and for fleet drivers demanding a crossover SUV the running costs are low. Peugeot says this version will manage 63 km of pure electric power on a full charge. On this test my average hovered at 30 miles.

The test car certainly looked striking with exterior design elements that have kept the car looking fresh. For me the highest praise for the 3008 is the quality of the paint finish and solidity of the doors when closing.

The investment in pulling Peugeot out of the typical French average construction is successful in the 3008. It feels like a product from Germany not a French entrant. Ditto the interior. It’s a bold statement but Peugeot makes the finest French car interiors when design, quality and ergonomics are collectively taken into account.

From the 508 to this 3008 Peugeot has righted the reputation for wonky French quality control. Inside everything, including the slightly self-conscious i-Cockpit, are all decently positioned, especially the organ keys buttons on the central dashboard. The cabin gets cushy seats that were a big surprise and were inviting each time I drove the car. They support well without giving backache like old French cars used to do. Lumbar and under thigh support is good and the addition of massage seats on this range topping car was splendid.

Where the 3008 takes the lead on French rivals and bypasses some models for ride comfort. The 3008 hybrid is heavier than a non-hybrid model but the ride soaked up uneven roads well. Rivals will offer a softer suspension set-up but crucially the solidity of the chassis Peugeot’s construction will be absent and cope less well with potholes.

Driving experience

The 3008 is a relaxed car to drive but forewarned – a comparable SEAT Ateca will handle better and always prove the more agile companion off the motorways. A chink in the 3008’s amour is the steering.

It’s overtly light and provides little communication. If your requirements for a small SUV are easy of parking and being a doddle to drive from neighborhood to neighborhood, the 3008 will feel less hyperactive to drive than the high-geared SEAT’s steering. In the end the expected dynamics are all down to your personal preferences and daily demands.

The 3008 GT Hybrid gets an eight additional button to accompany the seven organ buttons on the central dashboard. This smaller button to the far left provides information of electric flow updates, statistics, change starting times and the eSave energy reserve.

The reality of running the 1.6 litre petrol engine only in lugging around a 1,840 kg kerb weight came sharply into view – 21mpg was the worst recorded figure. Again the recommendation holds true; if you don’t have a home charger and are used to diesel engine economy the hybrid version of the 3008 will need to be considered fully before signing on the dotted line. The Blue HDi’s (diesel engines) in GT, Allure and Active specs should be considered too.

Despite the 3008 PHEV’s merits, the Peugeot brand fared poorly in the UK’s WhatCar? Reliability Survey for 2020 coming in 25th out of 31 brands assessed. Mercedes did worse at 26th place with Renault second from the bottom at 30th place.

This should not put you off the 3008 as a small SUV choice. Peugeot’s 3008 is a stylish, comfortable cruiser that proved a welcoming companion throughout this test. It is also laden with technology that works without latency easy to get to grips with. I came away from the 3008 noting the features and driving impressions I liked best and found few things to frustrate or disappoint – the hallmark of an accomplished car.

The fact that Peugeot has raised its game considerably in the past three years along with a facelifted model coming in Q1 of this year could make this generation of 3008, even in hybrid form, a compelling run-out model for buyers pressing a dealer for the best deal and excess stock to clear.

You’ll Like: Striking, comfortable, PHEV/Petrol’s prodigious power, Peugeot’s standard tech and cabin construction.

You’ll grumble: Podgy handling, petrol economy.

Fleet Rating: 4 stars

By Mark Gallivan

Published: 2 February 2021

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