…says David Miles (Miles Better News Agency), who has test-driven this latest version.
What is WLTP?
From September 2018 all new cars registered in Europe, India, South Korea and Japan will have to report their official fuel economy and CO2 figures according to WLTP. This acronym means Worldwide harmonised Light vehicle Test Procedure. In Europe it replaces the outdated NEDC test (New European Driving Cycle) introduced in the1980s. The new WLTP method is supposed to better reflect the real-world consumption and emission performance of new cars.
However as we know the biggest issue regarding real-life fuel economy is predominately down to the driver, how they drive, their speed, the type of roads and traffic encountered and the load being carried at any given time. Legislating for all those conditions to provide an accurate overall figure is impossible so it could be they are no more realistic than before.
The new WLTP programme was known about long before the more recent exposure of what we know as ‘dieselgate’ where cheating software was used in each car to falsify the true fuel economy and CO2 emission figures. So those manufacturers using that cheating software do not only have to remove it and rectify the cars using it, they now have to re-test their latest new cars to be sold from September onwards under the WLTP programme.
In theory the cheating software could have been used to falsify the new WLTP figures had ‘dieselgate’ not happened.
So now there is a rush to get new cars WLTP type-approval tested and fit for sale and for some that is proving to be an impossible task. The Volkswagen Group of brands have already said there will be a shortage of some models until these tests are completed. This could be the case for Daimler and their Mercedes-Benz brand who is the latest manufacturer to have instigated a rectification programme to remove cheating software. Some current cars classified as coming to the end of their lifecycle, and so tested under the outgoing NEDC method, can still be sold as ‘new’ until September 2019. Volvos say their entire range has been tested for WLTP compliancy.
The new WLTP testing parameters include a longer, in distance and in time, Dynamic testing cycle more representative of real driving with 52% urban and 48% non-urban driving phases, a higher average speed of 28.3 mph instead of 20.7 mph and a higher 80 mph top speed instead of 72.7 mph. Additional optional equipment now has to be included and instead of a reading being taken at a fixed gearchange point, normally the highest gear ratio, the vehicle will now be measured at different gearchange steps.
Should CO2 emissions be found to be higher under the WLTP testing procedure than the outgoing NEDC method, in the UK customers will pay more VED road tax and company car Benefit-in-Kind tax as they are both charged at variable rates according to the vehicle’s CO2 emissions.
One manufacturer well advanced with the WLTP programme is the PSA Group of brands, Peugeot, Citroën, DS and now Vauxhall/Opel, who are not only retesting new vehicles but they are also introducing revised engines and new transmissions with higher gear ratios to provide more realistic fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
One such model is the Peugeot’s hugely popular, award winning and best selling 3008 SUV, and one I have just driven with the new 2018.5 model year, 2.0 litre turbodiesel engine mated with a new eight speed automatic gearbox.
Other current models in the award-winning 3008 five door, five seater SUV range have engines ranging from the award winning 1.2 litre PureTech 130 hp petrol manual and auto, the 1.6 THP turbo petrol 165 hp with auto transmission, the new 1.5 BlueHDi 130 hp turbodiesel, manual and auto and the 2.0 BlueHDi 180 hp auto. The new EU 6.2 BlueHDi diesel models use the new eight speed automatic gearbox, whilst the EU 6 rated 1.2 and 1.6 petrol units still use the previous six speed auto transmission.
Under the move to WLTP compliancy the EU 6.2 PureTech 130 hp turbo petrol engine with a manual gearbox sees production start in July. That engine with the new eight speed auto gearbox, together with a new 1.6 PureTech 180 hp petrol engine, which replaces the current 1.6 THP 165 hp unit, will be available with the new eight speed auto transmission from October production. So although leading the way with WLTP compliancy the PSA Group of brands will still see a delay in supplying some of the new cleaner powered models.
Specification levels, depending on the engine chosen are, Active, Allure, GT Line, GT Line Premium and GT.
Currently prices for the 2018.5 model year Peugeot 3008 range start at £22,870 for the 1.2 PureTech 130 hp petrol manual with Active spec and go up to £35,470 for the 2.0 BlueHDi 180 hp turbodiesel with the new eight speed automatic gearbox with GT spec, and that is the subject of this brief review.
I’m not going to dwell too much on the hugely successful 3008 overall, in terms of sales in the UK and Europe, as I have written about it before with different engine options and my favourite version to date has been the 1.2-litre PureTech 130 hp three cylinder turbo petrol engine but mated with now outgoing six speed auto gearbox. This has CO2 emissions of 120 g/km and has a Combined Cycle fuel economy figure of 54.3 mpg, and with the well-equipped Allure spec level costs a very competitive £26,070. By comparison the new 1.5 litre 130 hp BlueHDi turbodiesel with the new eight speed auto gearbox has CO2 emissions of 108 g/km, with 68.9 mpg and with the same Allure spec level costs £28,520.
The new 2.0 litre 180 hp BlueHDi turbodiesel unit with the new eight speed auto gearbox has CO2 emissions of 129 g/km, returns an official 57.6 mpg and with the same Allure spec costs £30,320, but with the GT high spec level I have just tried, the only engine available is this 2.0 BlueHDi unit and eight speed auto, and it costs a hefty £35,470.
All the elements we know from other 3008 models are present, including its pleasing exterior styling with good kerb appeal, whilst inside is the familiar i-Cockpit with its multi-layered dashboard layout and central touchscreen. The downside is that many of the vehicle’s driving functions have to be operated via the touchscreen. These include the heating, ventilation and air-con controls and have been criticised for not being very user-friendly. It also retains the small diameter steering wheel with instruments viewed over the top of the wheel, which isn’t to everybody’s liking but it works well enough for me and I like the fact that the smaller steering wheel sharpens up steering response.
The GT spec also includes full leather upholstery, adaptive cruise control with auto braking, keyless entry, eight way electric adjustment for the driver’s seat, heated front seats, panoramic opening glass sunroof, aluminium roof rails, GT badging, wheelarch extensions and electrically operated tailgate – and the car rides on 19-inch alloy wheels. Missing from the high spec level is the PSA Group’s very useful Grip Control function which is available as a £260 option. This clever electronic front differential function provides Normal, Snow, Mud and Sand driving modes, ideal for an SUV.
Despite having larger 19-inch alloy wheels the ride compliancy was surprisingly good and our potholed roads didn’t upset the handling to any great extent or transmit too much in the way of impact shocks into the cabin. With this 2.0 litre diesel engine and the new auto gearbox the vehicle easily ate up the miles in a relaxed way.
With 180 hp and a good amount of torque, 400 Nm (295 lb.ft) from 2,000 rpm, these matched well with the new eight speed auto transmission. Top gear is very much an overdrive ratio allowing just 1,700 rpm to provide an effortless 70 mph motorway cruising speed. Seventh gear is also erring towards an overdrive ratio, so having so many closely related ratios with a wide spread of torque proved to be an ideal combination with barely noticeable changes in gear with a flick of the rev-counter needle the most noticeable indication that a ratio had been changed. There is also a Sport mode for more enthusiastic performance and the gearchanges can be made manually either by using the gearlever or the steering column mounted shift paddles.
Top speed is 134 mph and zero to 62 mph takes just 9.0 seconds. The Official fuel Combined Cycle figure is 57.6 mpg but my 10 days of driving, covering all types of conditions, returned an average 45.5 mpg, good given the performance and refinement but still not close to the official WLTP compliancy figure. So despite new fuel economy legislation are we any closer to getting accurate real-life mpg figures? It appears not in this case but that shouldn’t detract from the driving enjoyment and refinement the new eight speed auto gearbox has brought to the impressive Peugeot 3008 range.
We cannot blame manufacturers for their vehicles not matching the official WLTP figures; it’s the testing system procedure that still doesn’t match real-life driving conditions.
Pricey in this top spec form, but well-equipped and competent.
For: Multi award winner mid-sized SUV, good looks, desirable kerb appeal, smart looking interior, well equipped, smooth changing and responsive new eight speed auto gearbox, strong engine, good performance with acceptable realistic real-life fuel economy.
Against: Real-life fuel economy figure still couldn’t match or get close to the new official WLTP figures which come into force for all new cars from September this year, fiddly touchscreen operation, Grip Control not fitted as standard.
Milestones and Wheels-Alive Tech. Spec. in Brief:
2018 Peugeot 3008 GT SUV, 2.0-litre, BlueHDi 180 hp, eight speed automatic.
Engine/transmission: EU 6.2 compliant 2.0 litre, four cylinder BlueHDi turbodiesel, 180 hp, 400 Nm (295 lb.ft) of torque from 2,000 rpm, new eight speed automatic transmission. Performance: 134 mph, 0–62mph 9.0 seconds.
Fuel consumption: WLTP Combined Cycle 57.6 mpg (45.5 mpg on test).
Emissions and taxation: CO2 129 g/km, VED First Year diesel rate road tax £205 and then £140 Standard rate, BiK company car tax 30%.
Insurance Group: 24E.
Warranty: Three years/unlimited mileage.
Dimensions/capacities: L 4,447 mm (14.59 ft), W 1,841 mm (6.04 ft), H 1,624 mm (5.33 ft), boot/load space 591 to 1,670 litres (20.87 to 58.97 cu.ft), braked towing weight, 2,000 kg (4,409 lb), five doors/five seats.