Tough decision for the new Peugeot 3008: is it diesel or plug-in?


A good old fashioned facelift is a great way not only to spruce up a car’s looks, but also to bring in the latest technology. The auto business is so cutthroat that if you don’t keep up, you will be left behind and quickly forgotten.

o Peugeot has updated its 3008 SUV on several fronts. And that includes the plug-in hybrid version that I tested.

One of the most important elements is the arrival of the latest i-Cockpit interior in the car. Whatever flaws the 3008 has – and it has quite a few – the i-Cockpit is a shining example of flair and craftsmanship.

As you know, the small steering wheel is part of a thoroughly accessible collection of data, displays and driving aids. Due to its size and shape, you have all relevant information on the display right in front of you – at a glance. It keeps you from peering and consequently keeps your off-road time to a minimum. That’s a big safety plus.

It’s such a simple concept that I wonder why more manufacturers aren’t using it or something similar.

This cockpit of buttons, knobs and screens is vital to the car’s interior as it sets the tone for a spacious cabin with an emphasis on good materials and plenty of amenities. That was very much the case with the GT fairing that I was testing anyway.

I enjoyed my rides in it; it was mostly quiet and well behaved. However, it was by no means great at numbing the knocks and bumps on some of the worse country and city roads.

It looks good; it’s never been dated, but a bit of a facelift rarely goes astray and sharper lines work well on it.

It is also important that coupling to a public charging station with one of the PHEV versions was so easy and uncomplicated. A matter of seconds. We plugged it in and charged it without any fuss – that’s the way it should always be.

On a trip from Glasnevin to Cabinteely he didn’t use the petrol engine at all. That’s the positive side of PHEVs.

I drove the HYBRID 225 front wheel drive version. It delivers a combined 225 hp (180 hp from the PureTech petrol engine and a 110 hp electric motor).

The 13.2 kWh battery is said to have an electric range of 50 to 60 km. Judging by my driving and charging experience, I’d say 40/45km would be a more accurate range, but that’s not bad as far as I’m concerned.

That’s what these cars are designed for: giving you power to commute with just the battery, turning on the engine when it’s running low and for longer journeys.

If you want to spend a little more money for a more powerful version, there is the 3008 HYBRID4 300 (4WD, 300 hp). It combines a 200hp PureTech petrol engine and two 110hp electric motors. They claim that the 13.2kWh battery offers an all-electric range of 59km. That sounds like a lot. I wonder if I’d have it to test if all that power didn’t tempt me to go faster. With an electric drive, such cars can accelerate strongly. But as you do this, you will find that the “residual charge” in your nose dives. Hence my doubts at 59km. No, I’ll stick with the weaker version. It’s more in line with what PHEVs are supposed to be about.

In the course of quite a long series of trips, comparisons with a diesel counterpart were inevitable.

It’s probably worth noting that there’s not a huge difference in price between the power sources.

Take the 3008 Allure specification as a comparative starting point. Changing from a 1.5 BlueHDi 130hp diesel car to the HYBRID2 PHEV 225hp would only cost you €345 extra (just a couple of tanks of diesel difference). I mention it because many people who are (in many cases unnecessarily) afraid of the prospect of being “stuck” with a diesel will take a close look at the PHEV and say it at least puts them on the electrification path.

I would find it difficult to say what I would do. Peugeot diesel engines are well known and there will be a used market for them years and years to come. But this PHEV impressed in many ways, although it wasn’t as manageable as I expected. I think the large battery might be partly to blame.

One thing PHEVs often reduce is trunk space (to hold the battery). The 3008 PHEV does not have this penalty. He and the diesel and petrol versions all have 520 liters capacity.

So would I prefer it to a diesel version?

Yes, I think all in all I probably would, although I retain a word of warning and criticism of PHEVs for carrying around a larger battery when the charge is gone. OK, PHEV is it. By a mustache.

fact file

Peugeot 3008 GT Plug-in Hybrid SUV, (225 hp): €45,770 (excludes dealer delivery, associated fees); The 3008 PHEV range starts at €43,200.

There is a range of safety and comfort technologies such as advanced traffic sign recognition, traffic flow assistant (Drive Assist Plus Pack, adaptive stop-and-go cruise control, lane departure warning with lane marking recognition), digital onyx instrument panel, 220V socket – 2 sockets ( Row 2), full LED headlights with static cornering lights. Tough decision for the new Peugeot 3008: is it diesel or plug-in?

Fry Electronics Team

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