Peugeot New Zealand’s excitement in getting its first plug-in vehicle to market must have been tempered by a big “doh!” when the Government announced its surprise Clean Car Discount scheme in June.
Buyers of new Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) now get a generous $5750 rebate on models costing less than $80,000. But when specifying the new 3008 Hybrid4 PHEV before any of that happened, Peugeot NZ decided to make it an unashamed flagship, in GT trim with AWD (there’s a FWD model in Europe).
Result: retail price of $89,990. No rebate for you. Sorry.
The company has since fast-tracked its pure-electric e-208 hatch and e-2008 SUV models for launch this year, both of which qualify for a full $8625 BEV cashback. But they’re both much smaller than the 3008 and present a very different technology package.
The point being that we have to put the rebate issue aside when talking about the 3008 GT Hybrid4. What’s done is done and if you’re intent on claiming that EV cash offer, it won’t be with this model. But it’s still a really interesting (if expensive) machine. Thirty grand more than the GT diesel, even.
For a start, the Hybrid4 brings something to the 3008 we haven’t had before: all-wheel drive. Which is quite good for an SUV.
It’s a clever system, with twin electric motors (one for each axle). So when you’re using the 50-60km claimed pure-electric range (we got 45km pretty consistently in urban driving) it’s actually RWD as the rear motor only is used.
The combination of everything makes it theoretically the most powerful Peugeot ever sold in NZ (yes, even more grunty than the old 308 GTi). The 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine makes 147kW/300Nm, while the front/rear electric motors are rated at 81/83kW and 320/166Nm.
You can’t just add those numbers together (PHEVs don’t work like that), but Peugeot claims impressive “combined” powertrain numbers of 220kW/520Nm.
It’s certainly a quick mainstream/family SUV, with 0-100km/h in 5.9 seconds (the standard GT petrol we reviewed recently is 8.0sec). In the real world it might even give a Subaru WRX STI a run for its money in an impromptu drag race, if we’d done it. But that would be silly of course.
So it’s fast, but not sporty. As with the conventional 3008 GT, the chassis errs on the soft side and that suits the character of the car perfectly.
And as with the regular model, the eight-speed automatic gearbox is smooth but easily confused in aggressive driving, although the EV component (it’s technically an “e-EAT8” gearbox) fills in many of those gaps. Add in the extreme refinement of the hybrid system, and the better traction of AWD and the Hybrid is a far superior driving experience. And much faster, did we mention that?
We’ve covered the avant garde exterior and interior design of the 3008 in detail before. What sets the Hybrid4 apart for now is a launch offer of the Black Pack at zero cost, which replaces the exterior chrome with gloss black, adds “overtinted” rear windows and puts special 19-inch alloys on the car.
Inside it’s fully loaded, ticking all the Premium Pack boxes (normally a $5000 option on other 3008s): Nappa leather, special cabin trim and the more powerful Focal audio system. It’s a very luxurious-feeling SUV.
It’s hard to justify the Hybrid4 purely on financial grounds, especially as the retail price overshoots that Government $5750 rebate for new PHEVs. But if you want the fastest, cleanest, best and most luxurious Peugeot 3008, the Hybrid4 is it.
PEUGEOT 3008 GT HYBRID4 300
ENGINE: 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four with plug-in hybrid system
POWER: 220kW/520Nm (combined hybrid system)
GEARBOX: 8-speed automatic, AWD
ECONOMY: 1.2-1.7l/100km, EV range 50-60km