Image credit: Peugeot
When I posted the Fully Charged review of Volvo's AWD plug-in hybrid diesel, there was much excitement at such an efficient, versatile car. And much consternation that it would not be available in America. News that Peugeot is getting ready to launch the AWD diesel hybrid crossover, and will be offering a plug-in version in the near future, will once again raise the profile of diesel hybrids as a potentially efficient, if expensive, form of car.
At least, they will in Europe...
After a short rant about the pros and cons of hydrogen, the ever-enthusiastic Robert Llewellyn takes us for a spin in the new Peugeot 3008 hybrid4. Clearly designed for folks who feel a Prius just isn't enough car for them, the AWD 3008 certainly looks like it would be comfortable in the American car market—but there are no signs of a launch on this side of the Atlantic.
Unlike many hybrid SUVs and crossovers out there, this one does seem to get reasonable gas mileage. (74.4mpg combined in European terms, 61.9 miles per gallon US, according to Autoblog Green.)
But how will it be received? The UK's Telegraph newspaper, not known for its environmental leanings, reviewed the 3008 hybrid4 calling it an "brilliantly executed concept", but noting that the high sticker price (£8000 more than its regular diesel counterpart) make it uneconomical without Government subsidies. But, given that 300 limited edition hybrid4s sold out in just a few days, it looks likely that these more reasonably priced vehicles will find their way to a sizable market of people looking for a greener, more efficient car that they can still haul a whole bunch of stuff in.
While some will continue to see hybrid SUVs as nothing but hypocrisy, with Toyota and Ford now partnering on next generation light truck and SUV hybrids, the chances are we are going to see more options for the bigger-is-better crowd too.
Sure, it would be lovely if everyone drove as small a car as possible. But then I'd love it if everyone rode a bike instead. If we want mainstream greener vehicles, I suspect we have to meet the market somewhere along the way to where it is currently at.