THERE was a strong feeling of deja vu when I started testing the new Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 diesel electric hybrid car for only a few weeks earlier I had been test driving the Citroen DS5 with the same power unit writes Bryan Longworth.
For Peugeot and Citroen are both part of the French based PSA Peugeot Citroen group and the Peugeot 3008 became the world’s first diesel electric hybrid car before the Citroen version was launched recently.
Now Peugeot have the unique power unit in three of their cars and it is expected that they will have big appeal to the fleet market and company car drivers because of Benefit in Kind tax benefits which is appealing to such people.
In addition this Peugeot has big appeal because it also is not subject to car taX and it is also not subject to congestion charges because of its very low 99g/km CO2 emissions.
The 3008 HYbrid4 is available in three versions all with the same power unit and my test car was the lowest priced model, the 3008 HYbrid4 99g, costing £26,995 - the top model is priced at £28,495.
It had a 163bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine driving the front wheels and a 37bhp electric motor driving the rear wheels which between them produce a top speed of 118mph, a zero to 62mph time of 8.5 seconds and a combined fuel consumption of 74.3mpg.
For town driving the 3008 hybrid operates mainly on electric power but for motorway type driving the diesel engine does the work and while the combined fuel consumption is listed at well over 70mpg in reality according to the trip computer it is in the lower 50s.
An important circular control to the rear of the automatic gearshift offers the driver four different driving modes - Auto which optimises fuel consumption by automatically switching between diesel and electric drive and which is recommended for most driving situations, ZEV for all electric drive, Sport for extra power with 200bhp available and 4WD for extra four wheel drive group for retaining traction especially when driving in snowy conditions.
Apart from the hybrid power unit it was just like driving a normal 3008 with good road holding and comfort levels, a roomy interior and a sizeable rear load area that is accessed by a split tailgate with the bottom section folding flat for easier loading of heavier articles.
The test car had the very useful head up speed display in front of the steering wheel clearly showing the driver the digital speed of the vehicle as well as the conventional speedometer and there are other displays on the fascia showing details of the drive situation.
I preferred the Peugeot hybrid being an older driver because it was higher from the ground and was easier to get into and out of as opposed to the lower and sportier looking Citroen which will probably have more appeal to younger drivers.
My Verdict: A futuristic family car.