By Khulekani Dumisa
The first generation 2008 SUV joined the Peugeot SUV line up in 2013 and was refreshed in 2016. Although it was visually attractive, the overall shape took form of an MPV rather than an SUV. Whilst sales were healthy in Europe reaching 179,529 in 2017, South Africa has moved on from SUVs and the vehicle did not do well. Fortunately, the second generation ditches the MPV look and embraces a compact SUV design that comes with some of the most beautiful looks that we have seen in the segment. We attended the local launch recently and believe that Peugeot have a potential winner here if they can get enough customers to test drive the car – it looks good, it’s practical and drives well.
The new 2008 SUV gets a completely new look as mentioned above. Standing out is a straight grille, a carved bonnet and LED daytime running lights with a three claw and sabre tooth design that integrates into the bumper. Moving to the side, the car is distinctive with a slightly sloping roof, strong shoulder line and Y-shaped panel design that flows from the C-Pillar to the back door, and another one that flows from the front fender to the front door. At the back, the signature with 3 LED claws lights dominate.
The range is available in 3 levels of finish: Active, Allure and GT Line. The high-end GT Line has distinctive stylistic attributes: full LED projectors with 3-claw light signature, diamond 18” aluminium wheels with inserts, black trim interior, adamite colour stitching, mood lighting, dynamic seats, aluminium pedals.
Interior and practicality
Stepping inside the interior of the 2008 SUV, you are greeted by a quality and modern environment. Peugeot’s i-Cockpit 3D is available and comes with a large touchscreen infotainment, digital instrument cluster and small steering wheel. These work well and are a marvel to look at (except the small steering wheel that obscures the instrument cluster). Naturally, the infotainment comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Mirror Link for ease of connectivity. Worth mentioning is the inbuilt navigation system which is optimized with TomTom Traffic and gives real-time traffic status and recalculates routes automatically.
The instrument binnacle has a unique design with a frame that stands independent of the screen and houses the indicators. Trust the French to bring flair to something so basic. The choice of materials is also commendable. There are soft touch materials in most places, and importantly where the driver touches. This makes the 2008 SUV stand out as one of the leaders of the segment in terms of interior quality. In this regard, it is closer to the likes of the Audi Q2 than it is other so-called “non-premium” competitors.
In terms of space, there is ample leg and shoulder room for the driver and front passenger. The rear occupants are also not left wanting as they also have decent room. The sloping roof eats into the headroom somewhat. Notwithstanding this, the interior is still practical. In addition to the traditional door pockets and the glove box, there is ample storage space under the front centre armrest and more in front of the gear stick. Additionally, there is more discreet storage at the bottom of the central console. There you will find the very convenient induction charging area and its lid, which in an open position can cleverly hold a smartphone. That’s not all, there are 4 USB sockets are available depending on the version (2 in the front including one USB-C and 2 on the back).
Thanks to the length of 4.30m and a wheelbase of 2.60m, the Peugeot 2008 SUV offers 434 litres of boot space which counts as being amongst the best in the segment.
The new Peugeot 2008 SUV comes with a number of passive and active safety features. These include lane departure assist, blind spot monitor, adaptive cruise control and front collision warning, to name but a few.
At launch, we drove the new Peugeot 2008 GT 1.2T 96kW AT. We are totally impressed by the total package. It’s a good looking inside and outside. The interior quality might be class leading even. The car also offers decent space inside by segment standards. The car is naturally full of tech and the latest safety features.
Matching all these good things is a three cylinder 96 kW 1.2L engine which is punchy and fun. It helps the car get up to speed quickly and maintain those good speed whether cruising along on flats or attacking inclines. Spirited driving is met by a car that feels planted whether going straight or in corners. The car is not just quick but also comfortable.
Finally, driver modes can be gimmicky, especially when you have “snow and sand”, something you are unlikely to use in a front wheel drive car. Well, one of the driving modes in the 2008 is “mud.” We didn’t think much of it until we had to do a stretch of 18 kms in mud and it greatly impressed us giving us traction where we needed it and never allowing us to skid uncontrollably in these tricky driving condictions.
After spending a bit of time with the new Peugeot 2008, our assessment is that it is not here to just add numbers, it’s worth consideration if buying in the segment.
The new Peugeot 2008 SUV is priced as follows:
- Active 1.2T 74kW MT R359,900;
- Active 1.2T 96kW AT R399,900;
- Allure 1.2T 96kW AT R429,900;
- GT 1.2T 96kW AT R479,900.
Prices include a 3 year/ 60,000 km service plan, 5 year / 100,000 km warranty, 12 year anti-perforation warranty and a 3 year paint warranty.
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