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3008 Hybrid4, our first Peugeot

Hybrids were the big thing 10 years ago when EV's weren't fully around yet. EV's tend to be expensive, overcomplicated to operate and the range was always a concern. Nowadays EV's have stormed the market in all segments, but they still haven't been adopted everywhere. So if you're one of the people that want some electrification and a longer range, get a hybrid. We've been talking for four sentences now and haven't mentioned the car that we've tested, so let's get to the point. The Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 is our subject in this blog.

This test was back in March so we could put this little sub-compact crossover to good use. It's the first Peugeot we've tested so we had no idea what to expect. We've never been particularly fond of french cars (except the Alpine A110) but maybe this was the first car to prove us wrong? Let's give you some facts; the 3008 Hybrid4 is a Plug-in-Hybrid Vehicle with a tiny 1.6l 4cylinder driving the front wheels and two electric motors at each axle. So it's eAWD, we'll get to that later. Overall it has a system output of 300hp and some 520nm of torque. At launch, this was the quickest Peugeot ever made, no joke. 0 - 100km/h is dealt with in 5.9 seconds but has been tested at 5.5 seconds. So is this little SUV a propper performance car? For a Peugeot, yes. But it's not purpose-built for performance. The high power output is just a consequence of the Hybrid4 trim. When you bolt two electric motors and a 1.6l in a small SUV, it tends to be rather fast. It's respectable in a straight line and quite fun to drive on some twisty roads. But don't expect too much, you might encounter some nasty understeer and torque-steer.

On to the hybrid stuff. There's a 13.2kWh battery on board. Peugeot claims about 60km of pure electric driving, but we got more about 35 - 40km. Which is still plenty for a daily commute or a run to the shops, but be sure to plug it in every night. The interesting part begins when you drive it in Hybrid configuration. Now both electric motors and the 1.6l 4cylinder are working together to give you the most efficient ride, consumption-wise. We got close to 4l/100km at some point. The car knows when to use which electric motor and most of the time it only uses one motor at a time to save electricity. Both electric motors are used as two little helpers for the combustion engine during acceleration. Compared to some other hybrids like the one we drove from Volvo, this system is better in our opinion. In hybrid-mode it knows when to shut off the electric motors on the highway to save electricity and you can see in the drivers display what form of propulsion is being used at any moment. It's very smart in every sense of the word, much more sophisticated, but yet more brilliant than some other hybrids.

Since we had a lot of snow while testing, we could also test out the 4WD system of the Hybrid4 (guess what the 4 stands for). Compared to Volvo's system, the 3008 gets pure electric 4WD, aswell as the combustion engine driving the front wheels. This makes it confidence inspiring on snow. We've never felt so safe in snowy and icy conditions. The switchable driving modes contain a dedicated constant 4WD mode for slippy conditions, which is very nice to have. If you want to have some fun in the snow, chuck it in pure EV mode and slide away in pure confidence. The combustion engine seems to put you out of a slide but drifting (in snow) is absolutely possible in this Peugeot. Who would've thought? This thing is a true winter's car and that's why they're hoping it to be popular in Switzerland. And indeed we've seen some driving around more often than not.

This is a Hybrid you can truly use for its intended purpose. Easy and economical to drive, secure and very easy to run. What about the interior though? Another surprise was indeed the interior. Of course, a lot of things feel cheap and plasticy, but the whole layout might be one of the best in the industry. You have "piano keys" for browsing through menus and the tiny steering wheel is adorable. Certainly something to get used to but you have a great view out over the dash and onto the digital gauges. Speaking of the front digital gauges, they are infinetly customisable with loads of information. As mentioned, the materials are cheap and are basically what you expect from the frenchies. Looks good, but doesn't feel good. Style over purpose.

That also brings us to the exterior. The white paint was good for hiding in the snow, but nothing is exciting looking about this car. You get a wide open front with fang-like DRL's and on the back just an oversized fake black diffusor. There's nothing particularly wrong with it, but it looks like any other crossover. It tries to much to be different with its angular design and sharp edges. Which might be your cup of tea, but angular design is everywhere nowadays and it's getting old. We love the look of the interior, the exterior, not so much. You'll stand out to say the least.

If you want a functional crossover that's interesting in the way it operates and is efficient, the 3008 Hybrid4 might be something for you. We're not planning on testing any other 3008 trims in the future, but the Hybrid4 is also the most expensive one. So we can't really compare it to the lower-spec versions. As tested, the Hybrid4 is 65'000. This thing is way to expensive. Starts at 60'000 too. And we'll just leave it at that.

Our first impression of Peugeot was good, but we're much more looking forward to giving you our impressions of the 508 PSE, Peugeot's purpose-built performance car to take on the fast Germans.


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