Peugeot 2008 Review – Parlez vous SUV

Accents are a wonderful thing, they can truly transform a conversation. They can enhance virtually any discussion topic and command attention … New Zealand has it’s own way of pronouncing vowels and as such endears us to the rest of the globe the moment we open our mouths but there is something about the way the Europeans say things that feels exotic and exciting. It’s a case of not what they say but the way they say it. The French are a perfect case in point, the way they talk is expressive and songlike, it’s more dance than just informative and this combined with the inevitable ‘pffft’ and shrug of the shoulders I could  listen to all day. I’m telling you this because I have recently jumped behind the wheel of the Peugeot’s new look 2008 Compact SUV and it sweetly talks and Torques all day long.

Let me start with the engine. Behind its new embossed pendant designed front grille is the class award winning (International engine of the year) 3 cylinder, 1.2L PureTech turbo engine that performs brilliantly. The 205Nm of Torque introduces itself at 1,500rpm and ‘foot down’ the gruff accent from the exhaust is very satisfying. You feel the front wheels shrug through the small a racy steering wheel as they put the 81kW of power to the road below. 0-100kph occurs in 10.3 seconds (it feels faster) and top speed is 188kph while the combined fuel consumption is an impressive 4.8L/100k’s.

I got to review the Allure, it’s less ‘sporty’ than the GT line but a little more refined. The acute angle of the grille oozes nobility and the integrated headlights mould in well to the SUV’s overall design. The injected grey front and rear scuff plates and taller ride height compliments its compact SUV status as do the wheel arch extensions. It comes with body coloured mirrors, a chrome rear spoiler and 16” Aquilla Alloy wheels – it’s French Chic. Inside; it has a premium ‘Oxford’ trim with heaps of added chrome ‘French’ accents, small Nappa leather steering wheel and the instrument cluster surround and roof lining glows neon blue like in Tron (the movie not Hamiltron). The handbrake speaks of aviation styling and makes you feel like you are engaging the landing gear when you wrap your full palm around it.

The ride feels agile and responsive helped in part by the positioning of the (I’ll say it again) small steering wheel. It’s lower than what is the norm, but boasts reduced driver fatigue and improved maneuverability, it initially feels a little odd almost video gamish; however it doesn’t take long to get used to – jury is still out on the claims though.

Around town it’s very easy to navigate with. A little over 4M in length and 1,280kg’s in weight makes it very manageable but not likely to be blown away in strong gusts. Parking sensors and a high spec reversing camera makes for simple parking and from a family point of view there is plenty of room (350 Litres). On the motorway it has a firm ride and the steering stiffens at speed to increase confidence lessen lane drift. Off the beaten track (within reason), the 2008 will happily converse with the tight and twisties of the NZ countryside, the PureTech and EAT6 Auto gearbox joining forces well to combat the uneven rural terrain.

With its looks and all its continental flair, the Peugeot 2008 SUV offers up something a little different to the SUV landscape. It easily translates between town and country driving and having a French accented European parked on your driveway will give your neighbours plenty to talk about.

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