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Peugeot’s logo is a lion. I think it is more of a purring kitty than an aggressive lion, to be honest! The French car maker is good at thinking outside the box - breaking from traditional norms. They produce good cars, offering an alternative to many Japanese, Korean and other European options.

Their 2008, a crossover - or faux SUV - is a good example of their unique take on breaking from the norm. Originally launched in 2013, 2008 has been a great success for the brand – selling over ¾ of a million units. Now refreshed, 2008 has undergone the knife to maintain its youthful looks. Now, more so than before, the facelift, looks more like its bigger brother, the 3008 – an even more exaggerated expression of French flair.

There is a new grille; the lion logo has been moved from the bonnet to the grille, bumper design and other garnishing’s that make the 2008 look like a freshly groomed Men’s Health cover model, albeit it is a mommy’s boy. It is masculine, modern and progressive.

Additionally, the 2008 now comes with two new engines. Out with the old, naturally aspirated 1.6-l and in with the vehemently festive 1.2-l 3-cylinder turbocharged engine. This engine is outstanding – responsive, quick, playful and frugal. It is good for 81kW of power and 205Nm of torque; these numbers translate into an acceleration time from zero to 100km/h in 10 seconds and a top speed of almost 190km/h. If you drive like Miss Daisy, you’ll get 5.2l/per 100km, but more realistically, you can expect to get around 7l for urban driving. Unfortunately, or fortunately - depending on which way you look at it, the petrol 2008 is only available with a 6-speed automatic.

If diesel is your thing, there’s a punchy 1.6-l HDi on offer - in 5-speed manual only.

If you are shopping for a compact crossover, Peugeot has made selecting one easy. As mentioned above, there are two engine choices with pre-allocated gearboxes. The 2008 diesel could be optioned in either the entry-level, Active or the fancier, Allure, trims packages. The petrol is offered with either the Allure or the range-topping GT Line – a sporty alternative. Optional equipment is a panoramic glass roof, high load retention net, and full leather seats.

Facts and figures aside, the 2008 is a fun spirited crossover ideal for families that enjoy picnics and long walks on the beach. No seriously, romance aside – the 2008 compact dimensions are good for transporting four adults in comfort. Five isn’t an option as the car is skinny. The boot is sizeable and well within the standards in its class.

Dynamically, the 2008 is zesty. It won’t get your juices flowing, but it will make you smile. Its tiny steering wheel operates the quick action steering that offers reasonable feedback. The ride, on the GT Line, which I reviewed, is somewhat firm and glittery of road irregularities. The firmer ride, which is unique for a French car, instills confidence - in a sporting way – fast corners are a breeze.

 

PLUS +

Great petrol engine.

Unique-looking.

Nicely spec’d car.

Funky dashboard.

 

MINUS –

Seating and steering position may not suit all body types.

Cute but average SMEG+i Digital touch screen.

 

The competition

Nissan Juke, Ford Eco Sport, Suzuki SX4, Opel MokkaX, Honda HR-V and Toyota C-HR.

 

The Pricing

Active 1.6 HDi manual R274 900

Allure 1.6 HDi manual R299 900

Allure 1.2 PureTech Auto R324 900

GT Line 1.2 PureTech Auto R349 900

 

Service and warranty

The 2008 range comes standard with a 3-year 45 000km Service Plan, 3-year 100 000km warranty and 12-year anti-perforation and 3-year paint warranty. A full maintenance plan is an option. 

www.peugeot.co.za

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