REVIEW | The Peugeot 2008 is a special car and serves as the proverbial cat among the pigeons

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The new Peugeot 2008 in front of the Engineering Building of Stellenbosch University
The new Peugeot 2008 in front of the Engineering Building of Stellenbosch University
Wallace Du Plessis

The Peugeot 2008 SUV was launched earlier in 2021.

Pricing starts from R359 900 for the Active trim level.

Models are powered by a 1.2-litre engine with outputs of 74kW and 205Nm and 96kW and 230Nm.

For more motoring stories, visit Wheels24.

The new Peugeot 2008 is a little special. A little gem of a car to drive and a real design tour de force.

The subcompact crossover SUV (B-segment) is booming right now, from reasonably mundane practical offerings to really quite swanky. The 2008 is on the latter, luxury side of the spectrum and is an entirely new car.

Starting with the exterior of this latest generation car from Stellantis, the global manufacturer of Peugeot, you can see it is special and sets it apart from the opposition. On the front, you get a 2008 badge on the bonnet and just below that full LED projectors with 3-claw light signature headlights. Very cat-like.

French flair

The crease lines on the side are also very different. Triangular lines make subtle facets that add to a bold profile that immediately catches the eye. Just the right size wheels on sculpted rims complete the striking 'facade'.When you open the doors at night, a courtesy downlight invites you in.

2021 Peugeot 2008 rear
The new Peugeot 2008 in front of the Engineering Building of Stellenbosch University

The interior is chic and stylish with a load of tech and lovely tactile materials. It is a big step up on its predecessor with plush materials, fancy stitching and adjustable ambient lighting. I personally like the row of aviation-style toggle switches as I'm not too fond of smudge marks on a touchscreen. Space has been well used. The car feels bigger inside than its direct competition.

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Black trim forms the basis of the cabin, which is lifted with Adamite colour stitching and mood lighting. The dynamic leather and cloth seats are very comfortable and adjustable. Aluminium pedals and paddles round off the somewhat sporty feel and look.

2021 Peugeot 2008 side
The new Peugeot 2008 in front of the Engineering Building of Stellenbosch University

In the roof are two calling buttons, one for SOS or emergencies and a second to contact the service department. Unfortunately, they do not function locally yet, but they are ready to pounce when the service becomes available. In addition to the traditional door pockets and the glove box, there is ample storage space under the front centre armrest and more in front of the gear stick.

Additionally, there is more hidden storage at the bottom of the central console. There is an induction charging plate for charging a mobile phone with a discrete lid, which in the open position can hold a smartphone upright. In addition, there are three standard USBs and one USB-C port. The large centre console offers Mirror Screen connectivity and compatibility, including MirrorLink connection protocols, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2021 Peugeot 2008 interior
The displays in the new Peugeot 2008 are innovative and user friendly. The i-Cockpit® 3D instrument cluster in front of the driver projects like a hologram. The row of aviation style toggle switches is really practical

The 3D i-Cockpit display in front of the driver is out of another world. Depending on the version, the i-Cockpit 3D instrument cluster projects like a hologram. The indications are dynamic and animated: they get closer to the eye depending on their degree of importance or urgency, thereby increasing reactivity by around half a second. There are three driving modes - Sport, Normal and Eco. The 2008 is brisk in Sport mode, with the ride being firm without being harsh. A really good balance has been achieved with the handling and ride.

'It suits the skin'

The three-pot 96kW and 230Nm version of this engine is mated exclusively with a sweet 6-speed automatic transmission. Peugeot claims 6.5-litres/100km. Mmmm. It must be in Eco mode. Expect 7-litres/100km or a little more in the real world, which is still good.

Drive-Assist plus is the name Peugeot give their developing self-driving system. It paves the way to semi-autonomous driving and includes a lane departure avoidance system which is linked to the Lane Positioning function, adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go function and, Park Assist to help you park in a spot with only 60cm of space, automatic emergency braking, which also detects pedestrians and cyclists, day, and night, from 5km/h to 140km/h, driver warning alert, automatic switching of high beam and active blind-spot monitoring.

2021 Peugeot 2008
The new Peugeot 2008 in front of the Engineering Building of Stellenbosch University

Top Gear had this to say about it: "This is among the good 'uns, though: it suits its skin, rather than looking like a bloated hatchback, and while its tech is all nabbed from the smaller 208, it's implemented beautifully."

The Peugeot 2008 range is well priced, starting at R359 900 for the base model to the GT Line Auto at R479 900. Compare it to the much lower specced Volkswagen 1.0 TSi Comfortline from R345 700  up to the T Cross TSi Highline R at R439 700 or Mazda CX-3 2.0 Dynamic Auto at R392 900. 

All models come with a five-year or 100 000km warranty, 12-year rust-free guarantee and a three-year or 60 000km service plan.

This article was first published in the District Mail Community Newspaper.

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