Predicting success: Can Peugeot's new 2008 topple its segment when it arrives next month?

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• Peugeot's new 2008 will launch in South Africa in February 2021.

• The 2008 joins the 3008 and 5008 in Peugeot's SUV offering.

• The 2008 must contend with several rivals in its segment.

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In just a matter of weeks, Peugeot will launch its all-new 2008 SUV in South Africa. Following its bigger siblings' footsteps - the 3008 and 5008 - the 2008 will serve as the entry-point to the French automaker's SUV offering. With this allure (you'll understand the pun in a bit) of 'entry-level' French flair, Peugeot hopes to further set ablaze a flame it rekindled with South Africa in September 2019.

True, sales figures have not lit up the charts, but Peugeot is looking at the medium-to-long-term plan. Covid-19 has not done its endeavours any favours, but the automaker is not backing down from the challenge it set itself: that being to win back the customers it lost in the years leading up to the 2019 rebrand.

So where, and how, does the 2008 fit in the picture?

Market for SUVs

In all, Peugeot South Africa's product lineup consists of seven models: two panel vans, two hatchbacks, and three SUVs. Apart from the two commercial vehicles, the remaining four products are tasked with covering quite a spectrum. Yet, Peugeot is happy with its portfolio and believes that the lineup is balanced and representative of what South Africans are looking for.

This is also why the 2008 has been added as the third SUV because consumers opt for this body type more and more. Priced between R359 900 and R479 900, the 2008 will speak to the buyer keen on expressing themselves and not conforming to the norm. The 2008 has a bold face, and its stance is wide and imposing. Four models make up the lineup, ranging from the entry-point Active, followed by the Allure and GT.

READ: Peugeot's new 2008 SUV pricing confirmed for SA

All models are powered a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, but the Active (six-speed) manual is the only one to offer 74kW/205Nm. The Active Automatic, Allure Automatic, and GT Automatic all send 96kW/230Nm to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. In other markets, Peugeot offers the 2008 with a 1.6-litre diesel engine.

Peugeot 2008
2021 Peugeot 2008

The rivals

The 2008 will have to contend with several rivals in the South African market, and its segment is a highly competitive one. As such, it will have to contend with its cousin, the Citroën C3 Aircross. The Citroën implements the same 1.2-litre engine, but power outputs are rated at 81kW/205Nm. The C3 Aircross is priced at R369 900 and R399 900.

The Renault Captur is another rival, but its most expensive model, the Dynamique Auto, retails for R374 900. Though implementing four cylinders, the 1.2-litre engine has similar power outputs to that of the 2008: 88kW and 190Nm. The Captur's entry-level model is powered by a 900cc three-cylinder petrol engine that offers 66kW/135Nm. A 1.5-litre diesel engine is good for 66kW/220Nm and is priced at R358 900.

WATCH: The Citroen C3 AirCross and Hyundai Venue are two compact SUVs with unique offerings

Perhaps a more popular rival to the 2008 will be Kia's Seltos. With little to choose between the two SUVs in terms of size and performance, buyers will consider the Seltos because of Kia's greater dealer footprint. In terms of price, the Seltos ranges from R393 995 to R489 995, which makes the top model, the Seltos 1.4T GT Line, only R10 000 more expensive than the 2008 GT.

The question still remains, though: Can the 2008 make an impression on the market when it launches next month? Yes, it definitely can. But Peugeot will have to go all-out in convincing the South African market of the 2008's prowess. On paper the SUV looks like a winner, but the proof is in the pudding.

Keep an eye out for our launch report on the new Peugeot 2008.

Citroën C3 Aircross
2021 Citroën C3 Aircross
Renault Captur
2021 Renault Captur
Kia Seltos
2021 Kia Seltos
Peugeot 2008
2021 Peugeot 2008
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