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Peugeot’s versatile little lion grows up - Peugeot 2008


THESE days manufacturers love twisting and pulling various car platforms to make different derivatives. Autodealer recently tested the slightly grown-up Peugeot 2008 as it enters the small SUV segment.

Having fallen in love with the 208 (the platform on which the 2008 is based) thanks to its petite size, frugal powertrains and cat-like reflexes in the handling department, you’d think the 2008 also has a lovable side, and you’d be right.

Targeted at the consumer who wants to be different yet trendy, this compact urban crossover is ready to play in the fastest growing segment - and why shouldn’t it?

The 2008 shares more than half its components with its 208 sibling, but the added space of 200mm and increased ride height of 96mm make it a worthy companion off-road.

The 2008 might look ‘soft’ from the outside, thanks to its long curved roofline and striking rear features but, inside, you’re greeted by a plethora of soft-touch materials and a futuristic cabin as the French embrace the aeroplane-type cockpit.

It’s certainly a place you don’t mind spending time in as the roof lining has LED lighting and the small steering wheel (found in the 208), lends itself to its sporty personality.

Overseas, other engine options are available, but locally, we’ll have to settle for the 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to a five-speed gearbox, which does seem out of place as the car lets you know it wouldn’t mind a sixth. Also, beware of changing to a sixth that isn’t there, as I almost found out cruising on the highway, gripping the stick and bringing it into the sixth position, which was reverse. Luckily I didn’t release the clutch, otherwise I would’ve been in for quite a surprise.

On road, the zippy 88kW and 160Nm powertrain complements the 2008 well. Its low weight of 1 080kgs makes it playful to drive and the various off-road settings allow you to challenge even the most rugged paths.

Being largely lifestyle orientated this Pug does have a versatile side. The seats fold down and the large 360-litre boot swallows just about anything. I managed to fit a bicycle into our test mule with ease.

Returning good fuel figures of 5.9 litres/100km, coupled with sportiness and laden with safety features, it’s these things that make the 2008 stand out. It hasn’t lost any of its fun-factor either, as we discovered, and the added length and size means it’s a more usable car.

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