First drive: Peugeot 2008

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First drive: Peugeot 2008

Peugeot wants a slice of the lucrative and growing compact SUV sector and the new 2008 Crossover is their contender. AOL Cars heads to France to see if rivals like the Nissan Juke, the recently released Renault Captur and Vauxhall Mokka should be worried.

What is it?

Look past the disjointed styling and the 2008 is basically a swollen SUV version of the 208 supermini. Based on the same A platform, the 2008 shares 67% of its components with the 208; including the windscreen, front doors and mirrors. The extra practicality and clever features such as the off-road Grip Control, on-road traction control and in-supermarket Park Assist systems are included to tempt fresh buyers to the Peugeot brand.

What's under the bonnet?

The 2008 is offered with a choice of 82bhp in the 1.2-litre or 120bhp in the larger 1.6-litre VTi petrol engines and 70bhp in the 1.4-litre HDi, plus 92nhp and 115bhp versions of the 1.6-litre e-HDi diesel. The latter two have Stop & Start, with the 92bhp expected to be the best-seller. Our favourites were the willing, if noisy 1.2 petrol and both versions of the likeable 1.6-litre e-HDi diesel, which are torque-y yet refined.

What's the spec like?

Like the new 208, there are four trims: Access+, Active, Allure and Feline. All get standard air-con and six-airbags. Predicted best seller Active trim adds Bluetooth, a DAB digital radio, plus the fiddly touchscreen multimedia system. Allure includes Grip Control and dual-zone climate control. Range-topping Feline has 17-inch alloys and a novel panoramic glass roof. Prices are expected to start from £12,995 rising to £18,995.

Any rivals?

As mentioned previously, the new Renault Captur is a capable, affordable and attractive SUV that drives well and offers bags of practicality to match the funky exterior. Customers should also take a trip to their local Nissan dealership where the brilliant Qashqai resides as well as the Juke. Those wanting a more genuine off-road experience will appreciate the Mitsubishi ASX or could always try a Fiat Panda 4x4 if they want something cute yet rugged.

Peugeot 2008

Peugeot 2008


What's it like to drive?

The 2008's raised ride height results in some body roll, but it grips well and the ride is generally very good. Whether diesel or petrol, too much engine noise makes its way into the cabin. The electric power steering lacks feel, plus shorter buyers will find themselves peering over the steering wheel to view the awkwardly placed instrument cluster. Both the five and six-speed gearboxes are generally clunky and slow-witted. On the plus side, Grip Control fitted as standard to 1.6-litre models turns this Crossover into a surprisingly capable soft-roader thanks to its Land Rover-esque terrain selector switch.

The AOL Cars Verdict?

The 2008 continues Peugeot's march upmarket with its classy, spacious interior. However, we don't think it will to be enough for this Crossover to take class honours. Rivals are more involving to drive, plus the dividing styling, which is not helped by the dull set of paint options, might put some buyers off.

The Knowledge

Model: Peugeot 2008 1.6 e-HDi 92 Allure
Price: £16,895 (est)
Engine: 1.6-litre diesel
Power: 91bhp, 230Nm
Max speed: 113mph
0-62mph: 12.8s
MPG: 78.5mpg (combined)
Emissions: 103g/km