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.
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.