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Car review: Peugeot 2008

The Peugeot 2008 launched in the UK this summer and it's a car which has some people confused already, writes car reviewer Tim Barnes-Clay.

What do I mean? Well, folks are asking: "Is it an estate, a 4x4, or a people mover?"

The truth is you can’t really pigeonhole it like that, because the Peugeot 2008 is an urban crossover based on the popular 208 supermini.

The crossover is an expanding sector of the motor market and brings contemporary design, a versatile interior and a splash of sophistication.

The 2008, available with petrol or diesel power, marks Peugeot’s debut into this automotive arena.

Aimed at young city-dwellers

You can buy a 2008 from just £12,995.

The French automaker has deliberately kept costs low because it’s aiming the car at young city-dwellers who, according to Peugeot, "love the urban environment but also enjoy escaping from it at every opportunity".

The guys in France seem to have done their research because, before the 2008 arrived in UK showrooms in July, more than 1,300 orders for the car were placed.

The enthusiasm in Britain reflects what has already taken place in other European countries where the model has been on sale since May.

In fact, over 32,000 2008s have been sold, beating the firm's sales targets.

Sporty hatchback

So, let’s look more closely at what the car’s about.

It combines the talents of two acclaimed Peugeot vehicles - the versatile design of the 3008 with all the features, performance and low-emission engines of the 208.

It drives like a sporty hatch, and even has the same "shirt-button" steering wheel the 208 has.

If you’re old enough, the tiny steering wheel might remind you of the 1970s’ Mini Cooper.

It sticks to the road like burnt eggs to a pan, and it’s punchy – especially in 1.6 e-HDi 115 "Feline" guise.

Good fuel consumption

The 115 horses under the oil-burner’s bonnet take the car to 117 mph and 0-62 mph comes in 10.4 seconds.

But those figures get blown out of the water when you look at the official fuel consumption figures.

If you combine urban and out of town driving, you could average up to 70.6 mpg.

With my lead foot I didn’t achieve that - I got around 62 mpg.

But, that’s still amazing – and handing a press car back with fuel still in the tank goes against the grain!

Impressive interior

Inside, the flagship Feline model has all the trimmings.

The car’s supportive seats have a leather-effect look, while the satin chrome door handles stand out under the blue light emanating from the dashboard and the sunroof recess.

The only downside is Peugeot’s handbrake. The lever resembles a golf club head and it feels clumsy to operate.

The car’s trump card is its Grip Control dial, placed near the gearstick.

It gives you a choice of traction for the sort of weather and terrain you’re heading into.

You can decide to select from standard mode to: snow, off-road, sand or ESP-off (electronic stability programme) conditions.

This last option allows you the freedom to control the traction entirely independently.

All things considered, it’s no surprise that demand for the 2008 is already as stratospheric as the much acclaimed 208, which has already secured over 35,000 UK orders during its first full year.

Peugeot 2008: Pros & cons

  • Grippy √
  • Punchy √
  • Practical √
  • Stylish √
  • Handbrake X

Peugeot 2008: Fast facts

  • Max speed: 117 mph
  • 0-62 mph: 10.4 secs
  • Combined mpg: 70.6
  • Engine: 1560 cc 4 cylinder 8 valve turbo diesel
  • Max. power (bhp): 115 at 3600 rpm
  • Max. torque (lb/ft): 199 at 1750 rpm
  • CO2: 106 g/km
  • Price: £19,145 

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Tim Barnes-Clay

Leon Poultney

Tim is an experienced motoring writer with a background in radio and TV journalism. He puts his pedal to the metal each week with his must-read car reviews.

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