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Road tests

New Peugeot 3008 MHEV 2023 review

The Peugeot 3008 SUV gets a mild-hybrid powertrain to deliver better fuel economy and a cut in emissions

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

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Verdict

Peugeot's new mild-hybrid set-up keeps the 3008 competitive in this class. Those looking for the latest and greatest tech might be left a little cold by the 3008’s ageing infotainment, but if efficiency, practicality and a nicely balanced drive are of more importance to you, then Peugeot’s evergreen five-seat 3008 SUV more than delivers this with its new MHEV powertrain.

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Peugeot might be on the verge of replacing its extremely popular 3008 next year, but that hasn’t stopped the brand fitting a mild-hybrid powertrain under the SUV’s bonnet for a final flourish. The 48V MHEV system is brand new, and will also
be rolled out on the larger 5008 and updated 2008 models.

On the 3008, the powertrain will in effect replace the existing 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engine, producing 3bhp extra, at 134bhp in this now entry-level option. What the numbers don’t tell you, though, is how much of a positive effect the electrification has made on an engine that could still cut it anyway. Although the 21bhp electric motor might not add much obvious grunt, its presence is felt right from the off, helping fill the gap before the turbo gets going.

Despite several improvements in how it works with the six-speed automatic gearbox, this unit has been a gruff little workhorse. However, now that it’s paired with the new MHEV system, refinement is noticeably improved, with superior noise insulation and less vibration.

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The system integrates an electric motor mounted inside the gearbox, powered by a small lithium-ion battery under the driver’s seat. There’s no option to plug in for a top-up. Instead, the charge is produced by either the engine or regenerative braking.

But the real positive to Peugeot’s system is the amount of engine-off running this new 3008 MHEV is capable of at low speeds, significantly changing the way the car mooches around towns and cities.

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Keep an eye on the dash and you’ll note the blue font that signifies the engine is ‘switched off’ remains in an icy hue for longer than you’d expect, considering the dinky battery. This is confirmed by the customisable energy monitor, which reveals just how much the petrol engine leans on the Peugeot’s electrical systems.

On faster roads its effect is negated, though. Here, the small electric motor doesn’t have much of an impact, so the engine can still sound strained when asked to keep up with fast-moving traffic. This is when the powertrain’s relative shortage of refinement comes back into focus, roaring its little heart out at motorway speeds or when going up hills.

We averaged around 45mpg in urban and motorway traffic, beating the existing non-hybrid PureTech motor’s combined figure by around 5mpg. We’d expect this to grow if the majority of your driving is under urban or low-speed conditions. There are also the cumulative advantages of a cut in C02 for company-car users, which all adds up to a substantial improvement over the outgoing model.

As for the rest of the package, it’s typical 3008. To drive, it’s not the most dynamic SUV, but the ride quality on our Allure trim’s 18-inch alloy wheels was mostly good.

The Peugeot’s fast steering might take a little getting used to, but it’s precise and has a good weight while cornering, reassuring you through bends.

Cabin space is excellent, and despite nearing its expiry date, the 3008’s interior is still sharp and modern, with a brilliantly conceived design that is full of interesting shapes and clever materials.

Where the 3008 shows its age is with the infotainment, which is now a couple of generations behind the latest Stellantis systems. A lack of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will irk some, but there is at least wireless charging and good access to the USB points dotted around the cabin.

Model:Peugeot 3008 MHEV Allure
Price:TBC
Engine:1.2-litre 3cyl turbo petrol
Power/torque:134bhp/230Nm
Transmission:six-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
0-62mph:10.0 seconds
Top speed:124mph
Economy:50.4mpg
CO2:126g/km
On sale:Now
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Senior staff writer

Senior staff writer at Auto Express, Jordan joined the team after six years at evo magazine where he specialised in news and reviews of cars at the high performance end of the car market. 

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