Driven: Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4
Other carmakers have come out in the past and said that diesel hybrids don’t make good business sense, due to their higher costs compared to petrol-electric cars as well as the fact that hybrids tend to have the highest take-up in the US and Japan, where diesels are palpably less popular.
Yet on paper, the running costs of the 3008 HYbrid4 stack up well, offering better fuel consumption and CO2 figures than petrol hybrids, with a figure of 74.4mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 99g/km (this rises to 70.5mpg and 104g/km for our Limited Edition version with 17-inch alloys). Add in the fact that HMRC recently clarified that diesel hybrids are exempt from the 3% surcharge on conventional diesels and there’s seemingly a persuasive cost argument for running the 3008 HYbrid4 on the fleet. However, on the downside, at £26,995 for the entry-level model, it’s a hefty price step up from the standard diesel 3008.
The HYbrid4 also has a few other tricks up its sleeve for fleet drivers too. Based on Peugeot’s 3008 crossover and with very little changes, it’s a practical and likeable car for company car drivers looking to balance work and lifestyle needs.
There’s also a choice of performance options thanks to the four modes on offer – ZEV, Sport, Auto and 4WD. In the 100% electric ZEV mode, it can travel for around three to four miles purely using the battery. Head over 30mph and the 3008 will slot into Auto mode to give the best efficiency of the diesel and electric motors, while Sport mode will give access to the full 200bhp and noticeably sharpens up acceleration whilst remaining composed round corners with little body roll.
What I found impressive was the silence of the diesel motor and the utmost smoothness with which the whole system operates. In fact the most jarring thing was the gearchanges from the six-speed electronically-controlled EGC box, which takes its time to make its mind up about the right ratio and always feels like it’s playing catch-up.
But other than that and a few bits of instrumentation to show the power display, you could be forgiven for not realising that you’re driving a “world first”. And perhaps that’s the HYbrid4’s biggest achievement – providing pioneering technology in a practical format that drivers will just be able to get in and drive, without any fuss and ado.
HYbrid4 provides some attractive cost arguments on paper but high purchase price needs factoring in. Although lumpy gearchanges take some getting used to, performance is impressive.
Type: Diesel-electric hybrid
Electric range: 4 miles
CO2 emissions (tailpipe): 104g/km
Charging port: N/A