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DRIVEN: Peugeot 2008 Crossover 2013 Mini-SUV

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Driven: Peugeot 2008 Crossover 2013 Mini SUV

The all-new Peugeot 2008 Crossover was revealed at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. The Crossover will take on the established Skoda Yeti and Nissan Juke in the mini-SUV market. The car is aimed at an urban market, giving them an exciting city car that they can go exploring in as well, it looks to be a great balance.

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What’s it all about?

Basically it is a Peugeot 208 that is a little longer, a little wider and little bit higher and oh yes, it’s brilliant!

So the car is literally your typical hatchback size, but looks like a much bigger car on the outside and on the inside feels like there is loads more space. It certainly doesn’t feel like a hatchback, it feels like an SUV driving experience, the ground clearance is decent, and the driving position is lifted and more upright.

On the outside the 2008 has a very clean and bold look about it which makes you forget it is based on a small car. It has touches of chrome on the grill, the fog light surrounds, door mirrors, and on a the roof rack to give it a touch of elegance, but Peugeot still manage to keep a glimmer of the rough and ready feel shining through using some plastic cladding around the skirt of the car.

So how does it fit in?

The 2008 has enough room on the inside without taking up to much road space on the outside, meaning that the car is a dream around town and will easily fit in any multi-storey car park without the surprises that you will get in a full blown SUV. The Peugeot is also a very practical mini-SUV; the passenger compartment is very spacious, there is plenty of useable boot space with a low load lip to ease getting things in and out, and the ride height will let you take on reasonably rough ground without any bother. It ticks all the boxes required of a compact crossover.

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Does it work off-road?

I was doubtful at first, a front wheel drive car that works well off-road?! How wrong could I have been, the 2008 has a grip control system with 5 different settings; normal, snow, off-road, sand, and ESP off.  The first test I had for the Peugeot was a long and dusty farmer’s dirt track, putting the 2008 into sand mode then nailing the throttle was no problem at all, the car took off at a good pace with no real drama and stayed in control all the way. The real test was as we were chased off the land by the farmer himself on the way back, and I’m pleased to say the Peugeot handled very well, it’s a great farm yard getaway vehicle for sure!

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Peugeot 2008 Crossover (13)

Peugeot 2008 escape (2)

Peugeot 2008 escape (3)

Peugeot 2008 escape (1)

Following that adventure we took the Crossover down some country lanes with fairly decent peaks and toughs and the 2008 moved over them without a problem, the car didn’t catch any bumps, didn’t bottom out, there was really no problems at all and being honest it was surprisingly comfortable.

What’s it like inside?

The inside of the 2008 is special indeed; for me, there are 3 big highlights inside the compact crossover. Firstly the massive panoramic glass roof that makes the car feel twice the size it actually is inside, this is the feature that Peugeot will tell you lets you see the city in a new light, they aren’t lying, make sure you keep your eyes on the road whilst your passengers make good use of the glass top on the 2008. Secondly the nicely integrated 7” multi-function touch screen that controls everything you need to from one pane and really lights up the interior. Thirdly are the LEDs that come on automatically when the side lights are switched on, they light up the dials on the dash, the foot wells, and the guides on the glass roof, giving the 2008 Crossover unique mood lighting after dark.

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The experience

After getting to know the 2008 compact crossover I understood that this car shouldn’t be seen a cheaper alternative to its more expensive German rivals, it has its own purpose and practicalities. After driving it for a while I recognised where it fits in, it is a good balance of size and practicality, the mpg is great in all diesel variants, and the level of tech and comfort is good.For me the biggest reason the Peugeot 2008 will be a success is that it take on 98% of rough roads and steep gradients that you would ever encounter in your life, and you will still fit in that last skinny space at the local multi-storey car pack where all the other full blown SUV’s wouldn’t stand a chance.

It’s surprisingly capable, reasonably priced and very practical. Again Peugeot are getting their cars right.

Specification

  • Peugeot 2008 e-HDi 115 Feline
  • Price:£19,145
  • Engine: 1.6-Litre e-HDI
  • Power: 115bhp
  • Torque: 195lb/ft
  • Transmission: 6 Speed Manual
  • 0-62mph: 10.2 seconds
  • Top speed: 117mph
  • Economy:  47.8mpg
  • CO2:  106g/km

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Author: Paul Hadley

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