By David Miles (Miles Better News Agency).
Some people like their compact SUVs to look tough and macho – think Nissan Juke, other owners prefer a more elegant and refined approach such as the previous Peugeot 2008.
The 2008 was launched in 2013 and has pulled in 585,000 sales worldwide since then, including 40,000 in the UK, of which 18,847 were sold last year.
The face-lifted 2008 will be in UK dealerships from 16 June and they are priced from £13,615 – the same as before – with prices ranging up to £20,565. Some versions with added specification have a price increase of between £100 and £300.
Thankfully the revised 2008 hasn’t gone all big, bold and brash. It retains its finesse with a mild facelift. There is a new sporting edge to its exterior design, described by Peugeot as more assertive, powerful and appealing. As for the high class interior it has the latest Peugeot i-Cockpit with the compact sports steering wheel, intuitive controls and a 7-inch multifunction display screen for all but the base specification level.
The exterior styling changes include a new frontal appearance which adopts the latest Peugeot family face, including a new wide grille beneath a higher and stronger looking bonnet. Some more expensive versions get new wheelarch extensions and scuff plates, underlining its SUV credentials.
The usual Access, Active and Allure levels of specification are joined by a GT Line level which replaces the previous top of the range Feline version. This change is in line with other new Peugeot model ranges. Grip Control, an adaptive front wheel drive traction system with all season tyres included, plays a wider role on models than before. This system has selectable Standard, Snow, Mud, Sand and ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) modes.
There are two engine capacities available, 1.2-litre three-cylinder PureTech petrol units and 1.6-litre BlueHDi four cylinder turbodiesels. Four of the units offer ‘Best in Class’ low emission levels, say Peugeot.
The 1. -litre PureTech petrol units are available with the choice of normally aspirated 82 hp and turbocharged 110 and 130 hp power outputs. There are manual and auto gearbox options for the two lowest powered units, whilst the 130 hp engine has a six speed manual gearbox as standard. The CO2 emissions range from 102 to 114 g/km. The turbo versions of the three-cylinder PureTech engines have just been awarded the 2016 International Engine of the Year title in the 1.0 litre to 1.4 litre category by a panel of international Journalists.
The 1.6 BlueHDi turbodiesels have power output options of 75, 100 and 120 hp, and all have manual gearboxes. Their CO2 emissions are 96 to 97 g/km.
At the UK media launch this week Lucy Holloway, Peugeot UK’s product manager for 2008 said, “The most popular engine overall is likely to remain the 1.6 litre 100 hp unit, which we expect to account for 35% of sales. The next most popular engine will be the price-led lowest powered 1.2 litre 82 hp petrol unit which is likely to account for 33% of UK sales. Overall diesel models will account for 53% of UK sales.”
She added, “When it comes to the choice of specification, previously the Allure level has been the choice of 55% of customers, followed by Active at 35% and Feline (now GT Line) might be around 3% but we expect this to grow. We anticipate there will be a 50-50 sales split between retail and fleet customers and currently there is a sales split of 53% male buyers and 47% female.”
Taking that information on board, the best-selling new version will be the 1.6 litre BlueHDi 100 hp five speed manual with Allure specification, priced at £18,865 – and that is the model I tried at the media launch held in The Cotswolds this week.
The base Access level specification includes air conditioning, electric front windows, stability control LED daytime running lights and rear ‘Claw’ design LEDs, Bluetooth, one third/two thirds split folding rear seats, roof bars, rear spoiler and 15-inch steel wheels. The Active level adds such items at 16-inch alloys, 7-inch multifunction screen, DAB radio and fog lights. The Allure version has additions which include 17-inch alloys, front and rear underbody scuff plates, wheelarch extensions, Grip Control, automatic dual-zone air-con, cornering assist fog lights, Oxford Black interior trim inserts, rear parking aid, automatic lights/wipers, all-round electrically operated windows and tinted rear glass. The new GT-Line’s additions include sat-nav, premium trim, reversing camera, panoramic glass roof and aluminium door sill trim and pedals. Other spec items of note, either standard or options, include Active City Brake, Park Assist, Peugeot SOS Assistance and Peugeot Connect Apps.
The Allure spec model I tried looked classy inside and well put together. Everything is laid out well and has a common theme to other new Peugeot models. There is the signature small diameter steering wheel which I like but some shorter people find it obscures the instruments, which have to be viewed over the wheel. It is roomy for a family with three children or more likely empty-nesters with the need to look after grandchildren. Adult passengers in the rear seats will find it short of legroom but headroom is plentiful. There is a well-shaped 410 litre (14.48 cu.ft) boot which grows up to 1,400 litres (49.44 cu.ft) with the rear seats folded flat.
The best selling engine overall will be the 1.6 litre, four-cylinder BlueHDi 100 hp, producing 254 Nm (187.3 lb.ft) of torque from 1,750 rpm. Where it cleans up for efficiency is with the three stage emissions cleansing process, which reduces NOx by 90% and 99.9% of particulates. This unit has CO2 emissions of just 97 g/km which means VED road tax is zero cost and company car drivers will pay 19% Benefit-in-Kind tax. It will officially return 76.3 mpg in the Combined Cycle and on my test driving around the winding country roads and lanes of The Cotswolds the real-life figure was 60 mpg. I have no doubt a longer run on open roads and the consumption would be even better. The only real downside to this engine is the fact that it is still available just with a five speed gearbox. A six speed unit would be preferable to give a better spread of gear ratios. Fifth gear for country lanes was a bit high and fourth gear a shade low so there was constant changing between the two ratios.
This engine appeals because of its very low emissions and first class fuel economy which results in low running costs. Its performance in terms of speed is less impressive, with the zero to 62 mph acceleration time of 11.3 seconds and, for the record, the top speed is 112 mph.
My engine of choice just for extra refinement would be the 1.2 litre, PureTech, three-cylinder 130 hp turbocharged petrol unit – and it has a six-speed manual gearbox. With the same Allure trim and equipment it costs less at £18,115. It will cost a bit more to run but the performance is just better, more responsive, faster and overall nicer to drive. Top speed is 124 mph, zero to 62 mph takes 9.3 seconds, the Combined Cycle figure is 58.9 mpg and my test car returned 44.7 mpg on the same test route as the diesel. The CO2 emissions are only 110 g/km so road tax is zero cost for the First Year rate and then only £20 thereafter. Company car drivers will pay 17% Benefit-in-Kind tax. The Insurance Group for this engine is 19E – one group more than the 1.6 litre, 100 hp diesel.
I also managed to put the Grip Control function through its paces, which is standard on most petrol and diesel engines from 100 hp with Allure and GT Line specification. With 17-inch wheels shod with grippy all weather tyres, the trickery within the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) controls the drive and braking to each of the front wheels individually, giving the wheel with the most grip the most power and braking the spinning wheel to stop power loss through the differential. It is not a full-blown 4WD system of course, but it did an impressive job during my test driving off-road on muddy tracks made worse by heavy rain. It even made light work of hauling the vehicle through a pit of clinging sand. There are easily selectable Standard, Snow, Mud, Sand and ESP Off settings for the Grip Control function.
Overall the refreshed Peugeot 2008 appeals as it must in the fast expanding SUV market, with even more new models on their way. It looks sharper so the kerb appeal has improved and to back up its appeal is an array of impressive fuel and CO2 efficient engines, and the cost hasn’t increased that much over the previous models. So it’s all good news for customers and perhaps bad news for the competition.
For: Classy styling inside and out, sharp steering and good handling, comfortable ride, very good fuel economy and very low emissions, low running costs, high specification, a very good compact SUV package.
Against: No 6-speed manual gearbox with this engine, only adequate performance for acceleration, I preferred the cheaper to buy 1.2 litre 130 hp petrol engine, which also comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox.
MILESTONES AND WHEELS-ALIVE TECH. SPEC. IN BRIEF:
New Peugeot 2008 1.6 BlueHDi 100 manual Allure, (Best selling model).
Engine: 1.6 litre, 4 cylinder low emission turbodiesel.
Transmission: 6-speed manual with Grip Control; front wheel drive.
Power: 100 hp
Torque: 254 Nm (187.3 lb.ft) from 1,750 rpm.
0-62 mph: 11.3 seconds.
Top speed: 112 mph
Fuel consumption: Combined Cycle 76.3mpg (6 0mpg on test).
Emissions and taxation: CO2 97 g/km, VED road tax £0, BIK company car tax 19%. Insurance Group: 18E.
Warranty: 3 years/unlimited mileage.
Dimensions/capacities: L 4,159 mm (13.65 ft), W 1,828 mm (6.00 ft), H 1,556 mm (5.10 ft), boot/load space 410 to1,400 litres (14.48 to 49.44 cu.ft), braked towing weight 1,270 kg (2.800 lb), 5 doors/5 seats.