Diesel hy­brid put to the mpg test and found to be a lit­tle want­ing

With a diesel en­gine up front and an elec­tric mo­tor in the rear Fred­eric Manby goes off to play among the lions.

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - FEATURES -

PEU­GEOT has had a few world firsts in its time – and a few sec­onds, like be­ing the sec­ond car maker to win the Le Mans 24 Hour race with diesel power.

Here is its lat­est first, a diesel elec­tric hy­brid called the 3008 Hy­brid4. It has a 2-litre diesel en­gine driv­ing the front wheels and a small elec­tric mo­tor driv­ing the rear wheels when nec­es­sary – giv­ing 4x4 trac­tion, aka grip con­trol.

Other com­pa­nies have not both­ered us­ing a diesel en­gine with an elec­tric mo­tor be­cause the diesel unit costs quite a lot more than a petrol en­gine.

You can buy a front-wheel drive 3008 with a 1.6 petrol en­gine for £17,195 and one with the 2-litre diesel and au­to­matic gears for £22,545. This lat­ter records 43.5mpg and 169g/km of CO2. A model with a weaker diesel en­gine is avail­able with grip con­trol from £21,245.

The Hy­brid4 in its cheap­est for­mat costs £26,695 which is a bit of a show stop­per but it emits just 99g/km of CO2 which means, in the UK, zero an­nual road tax, no London con­ges­tion charge, just 10 per cent ben­e­fit in kind com­pany tax – thus a busi­ness can write-down the full cost in the first tax year, which is not pos­si­ble with other diesel cars.

Peu­geot quotes a com­bined fuel con­sump­tion fig­ure of 74.3 miles a gal­lon, with a 0-62mph time of 9.1 sec­onds. It weighs 107 kg more than a reg­u­lar diesel au­to­matic 3008.

It is ex­pected to sell mainly to busi­ness users, who will gain from its low tax sta­tus.

With all three of­fi­cial fuel cy­cle tests show­ing more than 70mpg the prospect of cheap daily run­ning is invit­ing. Peu­geot laid on a Press trial, start­ing in cen­tral Birm­ing­ham and then out into ru­ral Worces­ter­shire, turn­ing for home at the West Mid­lands Sa­fari Park, near Bewd­ley.

We were in the plusher model, which with larger 17 inch wheels and other ex­tras, records 104g/m of CO2 (and so seems point­less for tax watch­ers and London zone driv­ers and costs an ouch­in­duc­ing £28,495). The of­fi­cial com­bined fig­ure for this ver­sion is 70.6mpg.

The route from the city cen­tre was easy flow­ing. At the de-limit sign, af­ter 10 miles, the mpg had set­tled on 40mpg – a con­sid­er­able short­fall on the 68.9mpg ur­ban fig­ure quoted for this ver­sion. By the time all the driv­ing was done, in­clud­ing coun­try roads, some mo­tor­way and dual car­riage­way, a few trial sprints, and a low speed saunter through the big cats in the sa­fari park (a lion sniffed the door mir­ror) and then back into the city, the fuel me­ter was show­ing 45mpg.

This short­fall is verg­ing on a calamity if it is re­peated in daily mo­tor­ing, par­tic­u­larly for the pri­vate buyer. Nei­ther I nor my co-driver had been driv­ing briskly, even tun­ing in to the eco­gauges with which hy­brids are equipped. We had been run­ning it with the elec­tric mo­tor in its lower 27hp out­put (37hp is avail­able). The other dull as­pect is the sus­pen­sion re­fine­ment, no

The 308 Hy­brid4 will ap­peal to busi­ness users who will ben­e­fit from its low tax sta­tus.


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