Peugeot’s decision to produce the 3008 Crossover vehicle based on its popular 308 hatchback has proved so successful it has repeated the process – this time based on the smaller 208 hatch.
In many ways the new 2008 Crossover adopts similar styling to the 3008, looking very much like a stylish junior version.
But while the larger car is relatively bulky the newcomer is neat and compact, yet still boasts impressive interior passenger space and a decent- sized boot area.
Compared to the 208 the new 2008 offers a much higher driving position and therefore better all-round vision. Its height also makes getting in and out particularly easy.
But the most striking feature of the car once you are on the road is how light it is to drive. The steering, clutch and accelerator operation are all exceptionally light, so much so that you have to adapt your driving style to suit. And while it might look like an suv it drives and handles like a hatchback.
Peugeot has retained the striking tiny wheel fitted on the saloon and the combination of that and the high mounted dials means it’s easy to read your speed and rev counter without really taking your eyes off the road.
These head-up dials are outlined with blue LED backlighting, as was the panoramic glass sunroof fitted as a £400 optional extra on my Allure spec version.
The cabin is very light, airy and trendy and will appeal to drivers of both sexes and all ages. It features numerous storage compartments making it a very practical car for the whole family.
The boot area is generous and the 60cm high rear sill makes loading heavier items easy. Expanding the luggage area is easy too thanks to the simple operation of lowering the one third/two thirds rear seatback which folds with one press of a button – the seat squab retracting automatically.
In fact on one occasion while I had the car I had to carry a vast number of items and the 2008 swallowed them up with space to spare. Practical it certainly is.
On the road the 1200cc, three cylinder engine is well up to the job. It’s no road rocket but it’s smooth and very quiet not to mention light on fuel consumption, despite the fact that my test car did not have a stop-start system.
Despite being a high vehicle it’s very stable at motorway speeds and the ride is smooth, compliant and offers plenty of feedback for the driver.
Anyone looking for a Crossover with near four-wheel-drive grip can opt for one of the higher spec versions of the 2008 which comes with Peugeot’s Grip Control, an advanced traction control system which allows you to – via a dial on the centre console – to call up snow, sand or off-road traction to suit your needs. The system operates on the front wheels only but is very effective.
It seems Peugeot’s success with the 3008 is about to be repeated with its baby brother!
Model: Peugeot 2008 Allure
Mechanical: 82 bhp, from 1199cc, four cylinder petrol engine driving front wheels via a five speed manual gearbox.
Max speed: 105 mph
0-62 mph: 13.5 secs
Combined mpg: 57.6
CO2 emissions: 114 g/km
Warranty: 60,000 miles/3 years