Peugeot 3008 vs Peugeot 5008
Peugeot’s SUVs have lots of great things in common, so how do you pick one? We pit the seven-seat 5008 against the smaller plug-in hybrid 3008...
DOWNSIZE: Peugeot 3008 1.6 Hybrid 225 Allure e-EAT8
List price: £37,310
Target price: £33,382
UPSIZE: Peugeot 5008 1.2 Puretech 130 Allure EAT8
List price: £33,470
Target price: £32,104
Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them. It’s the same in the motoring world, where you’ll find cars that are so good straight out of the box that they remain on top for years.
The 5008 is a case in point. When the second-generation model was first launched in 2017, it carried off the large SUV trophy at our annual What Car? Car of the Year Awards for the next three years on the trot. More recently, it was crowned our 2022 Used Car of the Year.
Now, four years after its launch, there’s a face-lifted version of the 5008. Because it was so right the first time around, the modifications are few. There’s a new front grille, some enhanced technology and fancier LED headlights and tail-lights.
But what if you want all the spoils of the 5008 but don’t need seven seats? There’s always the five-seat 3008, the 5008’s smaller sibling, and it’s just had a facelift too. What’s more, if you want to embrace the future, the 3008 offers you something the 5008 doesn’t: the option of plug-in hybrid power.
So, we’re pitching a purely petrol-engined 5008 against a petrol-electric version of the 3008, both with eight-speed automatic gearboxes. If the ability to seat seven isn’t high on your priority list, can the potential economy of the 3008 Hybrid make up for its higher purchase price?
Performance, ride, handling, refinement
This front-wheel-drive version of the hybrid Peugeot 3008 (there’s also a more powerful four-wheel-drive model) combines a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine with an electric motor to produce a combined 222bhp. That’s considerably more power than the 129bhp made by the 1.2-litre turbo petrol, front-wheel-drive-only 5008, and it means the 3008 is quicker off the line, despite being more than 300kg heavier. The 0-60mph sprint takes 8.5sec to the 5008’s 10.4sec, and rolling acceleration from 30-70mph is also quicker by a useful three seconds.
Don’t go thinking that the Peugeot 5008 is slow, though. It builds speed surprisingly willingly from low revs, seldom feeling short of puff even when the car is fully loaded. Its conventional engine/gearbox combo makes for smoother progress much of the time, too. In electric mode, the 3008 can be hesitant when pulling away from junctions, while the introduction of the petrol engine isn’t always as seamless as you’d hope for.
As with most electrified cars, the 3008 features a regenerative braking system that sends energy back into the battery under deceleration to help eke out the range. Although it can pull up from 30mph and 70mph in a slightly shorter distance than the 5008, the 3008’s brake pedal feels spongy and stopping smoothly can be tricky, whereas the 5008 has no trouble in this regard.
Being a plug-in hybrid, the 3008 can officially run for up to 39 miles on electric power alone, although this translated into 22 miles in our real-world test. In this mode, the 3008 is very quiet, as you’d expect.
When the 3008’s four-cylinder engine is running, it sounds a little strained if you work it hard, while the 5008’s engine is rather thrummy in a typical three-cylinder way. Wind and road noise are pretty well contained in both cars, apart from a rustle from around their large door mirrors, but it’s the 5008 that is the quieter of the pair overall at a 70mph cruise.
The 5008 offers a more relaxed and comfortable ride, although it can pitch and dive a little when you accelerate and brake. The Peugeot 3008 suffers from this too, but to a lesser degree. It does, however, feel firmer most of the time and quite restless over uneven surfaces in a way that the 5008 doesn’t, and you feel bumps in the road more.
Both handle securely and generate plenty of grip in corners, although you wouldn’t describe either as especially fun to drive. Despite being the larger car, it’s actually the lighter Peugeot 5008 that feels more willing to change direction. Both cars’ steering is light and quick to respond when you turn the wheel, as well as precise enough to allow you to place the nose of the car exactly where you want it in corners.
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