Peugeot 2008 GTi Road Test

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FRENCH ECONOMY


If there’s one thing the French do well its small cars. It seems to be something their designers are born with, an ability to conceive diminutive vehicles that embody that all important idiosyncratic chic. Even more interesting is that some of the most obscure styles have gone onto become icons. But whilst your average French person takes their car’s quirky persona for granted they still expect no compromise practicality, an ability to transport must have items from their morning baton to beautifully packaged must haves from Parisian fashion houses. Embodying all the necessary French prerequisites plus an ability to stray just that little bit farther from the boulevard or catwalk, Peugeot’s latest 2008 is equally at home around the rural lanes as it is on the Champs Elysees….that’s that right big wide street in the middle of Paris perchance you didn’t know!    


Drawing heavily on the 208 the 2008 combines the practicality of a small estate along with the raised roofline of a compact SUV, the newly refreshed 2008, especially the GT Line continues the model’s family and environmentally friendly reputation the vehicle established when it was first introduced. A new, deeper, black chrome grille and detailing plus a deeper splitter and enlarged lion, feline eyes headlights complimented by lion claw rears all sat on 17” Eridan Brilliant Black alloys. A high shoulder line, four deep doors and tailgate along with a curvaceous rear in addition to a higher ride height come together to produce this distinct little crossover.


Inside the airy cabin, from the sporting GT Line black with red pinstripe seatbelts, textured black upholstery and hide effect surfaces, Peugeot’s now familiar small sports steering wheel and raised instrumentation provide a clear uninterrupted view of the 2008’s vital information and the road ahead. Located high on the dashboard the touch screen infotainment screen also controls the satnav and numerous of the car’s interior settings, the screen simple and easy to use, heater and noticeably efficient air con controls located just below.


With more than enough room for five adults although rear leg room can be at a premium for taller passengers, with the 60:40 split rear seats upright the spacious load area easily swallows 377 litres of mixed cargo rising to 1,172 litres with the seats folded whilst a 1,250kg braked trailer capacity is also available. A nice touch is that the 2008 also comes complete with a space saver spare instead of the next to useless repair kit.


Transverse mounted, power comes from either a BlueHDi 1.6 litre turbo diesel developing either 100 or 120hp or a pair of Euro 6 PureTech 1.2, 3-cylinder ultra eco petrol engines delivering 110hp or as tested 130hp mated to a slick 6-speed manual gearbox. Punching well above its weight, at no point does the 1.2 petrol feel strained, its ability to deliver power along with 230Nm of torque genuinely impressive. Returning an acceptable average of 42.1mpg over 264 test miles with a motorway best of 47.1mpg, it’s safe to expect around 400 miles per 50 litre tank of unleaded fuel.


The 2008 GT Line’s trick is that it incorporates Peugeot’s trick front axle, a small rotary dial next to the gearshift activating the Grip Control. With settings for normal surfaces, snow, sand and damp grass, the driver is able to pre-program the system and traction and stability controls for what’s happening beneath the front wheels. And whilst the 2008 isn’t an off roader, working in conjunction with the slightly higher ride height and tyre specific 205/50R17 Goodyear Vector 4Season, the 2008 is able to cope with more diverse climatic variations.


To drive, apart from the merest hint of torque and mild understeer, this newly revised Peugeot is light and undemanding to drive. Visibility is excellent, the 2.9 turns lock to lock 10.4 meter turning circle manoeuvrability from the electrically assisted power steering makes the car relaxed and easy to steer irrespective of speed or circumstances. Similarly, the small petrol engine is equally relaxed even on extended motorway journeys, the power unit like the cabin and occupants stress-free and tranquil.


Available in four specifications, the basic Access A/C has an on the road price of £13,970, the Active, Allure and GT Line models rising accordingly, the 2008 GT Line seen here costing £19,570 inclusive of the pearlescent white paint. Now part of Peugeot’s ‘Just Add Fuel’ scheme, for a tailored monthly payment, the GT Line along with the rest of the 2008 range can take advantage of the all inclusive deal of 3-years warranty, insurance, service, road tax and roadside assistance although you must be over 18-years of age to qualify.


One of the most practical small estate cars currently available with the added bonus of variable traction control, Peugeot’s latest 2008 is proof positive that not all SUV’s have to look the same. And with this type of vehicle now accounting for over 50% of all new car sales, the fact the 2008 is different is the reason it stands out from the crowd for all the right reasons. Tres chic Mon Amies!    


          

By; Mark Stone





Peugeot 2008 GTi Road Test