Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4: World’s first hybrid diesel car tested

World’s first ‘full hybrid’ diesel-electric car has plenty of smarts under the bonnet but does the in-car tech pass the test? T3 took the new Peugeot 3008 for a spin

Let’s get one thing straight, the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 is not the prettiest car on the planet but put this in a beauty pageant against other hybrid monsters like the Toyota Prius and we know which one will come out with the crown and sash.

While the latest Peugeot – and the world’s first fully hybrid diesel - is no Audi R8, the 3008 Hybrid4 does wonders for putting desirability into the electric car market.

Motoring manufacturers face a challenge to make us park the milk float mentality that prevents us seeing environmentally friendly cars as sexy.

The Peugeot 3008’s big win here, then, is that it looks like a normal car that you’d be happy to have parked in your driveway.

Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4: In-car tech tested

While it looks normal on the outside, on the inside the 3008 cuts a different form with an array of built-in gadgets aimed at improving the drive and keeping passengers entertained. So how does this in-car tech score once you’re in the driving seat?

From the built-in sat nav, to the driver’s heads up display, it’s clear the Peugeot 3008 has been designed to have serious tech credentials and there are some excellent touches.

It’s stupidly easy to sync your smartphone via Bluetooth, giving you easy access to your full phone address book on the 7-inch 16:9 multi media display. Controls on the steering wheel column make it simple to select and dial a number, while the hands-free system delivers clear, crisp sound through the car’s speakers.

Making calls is made easier still by the clever inclusion of a full phone keypad built into the central control panel, meaning you (or your front seat passenger) can dial without touching your phone and risking an encounter with the police.

Built-in sat nav is always a winner and the Peugeot system works well. The menu system is navigated using a dial at the foot of the central column. Entering a destination is straight forward enough while stationery but once you’re on the move, postcode entry can be a bit fiddly as you scroll through the alphabet. However this isn’t a problem unique to the Peugeot’s system.

Route guidance is clear and effective although pretty basic. We’d love to have seen integrated Google Search to really increase the usefulness and deliver a truly connected experience.
 
There’s an SD card slot for loading up your own media but it was disappointing to find no Bluetooth connection for streaming music straight from your smartphone or MP3 player. Instead the Peugeot in-car entertainment relies on some slightly old-school auxiliary cabling with three connectors in the glove box.

The central panel also features a built DVD/CD player so your passengers can enjoy the Mad Men boxset while you taxi them from pillar to post. We’re not sure why Peugeot opted for DVD, we’d have preferred this to be bluray.

Media content can also be relayed to the optional screens in the rear headrest for the kids in the back or there’s the option for the rear passengers to view their own DVDs, music videos by hooking up their own iPad, iPhone or DVD players.

A quick peek inside the glove compartment reveals a SIM card slot - a feature of Peugeot Connect - that lets you use your own SIM to give the car Wi-Fi capability.

The heads up display (HUD) – a small glass screen that rises out of the dash in from of the driver – puts some useful information within easy view of the driver but we’d like to have seen more that just current speed and cruise control status. For example turn-by-turn navigation.

In-Car Tech Checklist: What's inside the Peugeot 3008Hybrid4

  • 7” colour 16:9 central display
  • Built-in sat nav with traffic info
  • Driver heads-up display with speed and cruise control info
  • SIM card powered Wi-Fi capability
  • Front and rear parking assist
  • Electric parking break
  • Hands-free calling
  • DVD/CD player

 

The motoring bit…
Like all hybrids, the electric motor takes care of the car at low speeds, starting off and when decelerating while the petrol – or in this case diesel – engine kicks in for high speeds on main roads and motorways.

Where the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid 4 differs is that it boasts four drive modes to give you more control over your driving style, depending on your environment.

The Zero Emission Vehicle Mode (ZEV) uses 100 per cent electric for dashing about the city without spitting out nasties in the air; Auto lets the car’s clever system make the decision between the HDi diesel engine and the electric motor for maximum efficiency; Sport gives the drivers’ driver the option for more efficient frequent gear changes at higher speeds; Finally 4WD mode makes the electric motor drive the rear wheels while the diesel does the work up front to give more traction.

Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4: The verdict
Overall the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 manages to deliver a decent level of in-car tech but with some notable gaps. The wi-fi and built-in sat nav are the highlights and the systems on offer do enough to make this a solid option for tech lovers without being necessarily being truly innovative.

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