Peugeot 2008

Peugeot makes 2008 even sexier. Now it must just match that in back-up

Peugeot’s 2008 is a pretty package that’s always thoroughly impressed us in its quality and completeness as a family car. How well it is cobbled together, its surprisingly strong spec levels and an undeniable French style make it more than just special. And now they’ve just made it even cooler. So we couldn’t wait to experience the latest, reimagined 2008.

Sitting on Peugeot’s front-wheel drive Common Modular Platform architecture shared with the 208 and Opel Corsa supermini twins, 2008 is advancing as quickly as its maker is. Now central to Stellantis’ amalgamated line-up that’s seen PSA Peugeot-Citroen-Opel link up with FCA Fiat-Alfa Romeo-Jeep-Chrysler, etcetera, we were pleasantly surprised by how significantly this car has stepped forward over an already impressive predecessor.

Sheer class sets 2008 apart

The Peugeot’s 2008’s real strengths have always been its sheer class, how spacious it is for its size, its supremely pleasant and comfortable ride and its fear of using too much fuel. Frugal, and thus clean too, 2008 is difficult to beat from a space versus cost to run point of view.

And now it’s even better. The old 2008 was quirky in some of its design, but those Frenchman clobbered the ball out of the park of this one. We really enjoy the classy grille and how splendidly it morphs into those DRL LED headlamps, the outermost of which drop down into a pair of fangs as a living tribute to its legend of the Lion. And the oldest brand in the auto industry. All complemented by 18-inch wheels, cool two-tone paint and fine detailing.

It may appear similarly dimensioned, but this new one is actually 140 mm longer than its predecessor and 20 mm lower. In fact, 2008 is now just 150 mm shorter than big brother 3008, while a 60 mm longer wheelbase boosts boot space by 10 litres while also increasing rear passenger legroom.

Somewhere between Paris and Star Wars

One area that all modern Peugeots lead the way, is a splendid cockpit configuration. A blend of Parisian chic and Star Wars pod purpose, this car’s cabin is something you’d expect from a Lamborghini or a Ferrari. Not a humble 2008. This latest and even cooler i-cockpit switchgear, architecture and design is exemplary. Ergonomics are not too bad, either.

All-new green-hued three-dimensional dials add an even zanier aspect to a quite stylish and futuristic driving environment. Speed and safety info is projected like a hologram above the regular cluster. It may be a trick to get that splendid little wheel, your searing position and all the rest aligned like the stars, but when you finally ace it, it’s worth the frustration.

Add Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless charging, alcantara and leather trim, customisable ambient lighting for entertainment. One drawback is if you happen to wear dark polarised sunglasses while driving, it becomes a bit difficult to see both the dials and the switches in that rather dark cabin with your shades donned.

Quality expected at five times the price

Our black on orange 95 kW 1.2-litre turbo triple petrol GT turned an almost invisible, if a little notchy at low speed 6-speed automatic. It rides like a magic carpet, drives well and delivers levels of quality you’d expect from an executive SUV five times the price. Economy is excellent, 2008 GT performs pretty well for what it is and we need not reiterate how pleasant a driving environment this car delivers. Never mind how good it looks.

Plenty plusses for a splendid little Pug. All of which make us wonder why so many more South African motorists don’t fall head over heels in love with 2008. That ball however lies directly in Peugeot’s court — it must still prove that it can consistently match or best customer expectations that among its rivals have long proven beyond any reasonable doubt. Get that right over the longer term and 2008 will become unbeatable … – Michele Lupini

Images – Giordano Lupini

ROAD TESTED: Peugeot 2008 1.2T 96kW GT Line
Engine: 96 kW 230 Nm 1.2-litre turbo petrol I3
Drive: 6-speed automatic FWD
0-60 km/h:        4.27sec
0-100 km/h:       9.33 sec
0-120 km/h:       12.79 sec
0-160 km/h:       26.86 sec
400m:             16.7 sec @ 134 km/h
80-120 km/h:      6.38 sec
120-160 km/h:     13.72 sec
VMax:             198 km/h
Fuel:             6.5 l/100 km
CO2:              148 g/km
Warranty/Service: 5y 100K/3y 60K km
LIST PRICE:       R479K
RATED:            8
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