Peugeot uncorks a compact SUV with French flair

Peugeot Australia says “bonjour” to new 2008 compact SUV.

French car maker Peugeot has added a fifth model to its local line-up with the new 2008, a smartly styled small SUV priced from $34,990 designed to compete with the likes of the Mitsubishi ASX, Hyundai Kona and Kia Seltos. 

Not that the niche French brand can hope to lay a glove on the big three in one of the most fiercely contested categories of the new car market, where 22 individual nameplates fight for the spoils, with another 10 prestige brands in the $40k-plus segment.  

But at least Peugeot now has a player in a category that is largely dominated by Korean and Japanese marques, while Australian consumers can now considering something small and with a dash of French flair, other than the Renault Kadjar, or an escargot scroll at their local bakery. 

Students of the form guide might recall Peugeot previously sold a car here under the 2008 badge although that model was really a small station wagon masquerading as an SUV and never really found the mark. 

Fast forward to 2021, the model year designation for this new 2008, and a time where Peugeot is more familiar with the SUV genre, having honed its craft on 2017’s impressive 3008, a car which the 2008 follows in the tracks of. 

The 2008 is initially available in two trim levels, the Allure and GT Sport, with Peugeot promising an additional mid-tier model dubbed the GT to plump out the line-up in the second half of 2021.

Peugeot 2008 GT Sport.

Both models are powered by the same 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine, albeit in two states of tune and with two different transmissions. 

The power plant is the latest development of Peugeot’s multiple Engine of the Year Award-winning PureTech unit, and arrives with Euro 6-compliant emissions that are well ahead of the current Australian standard. 

The entry-level 2008 Allure gets a lower output 96kW/230Nm version, hitched to a six-speed automatic transmission; while the 2008 GT Sport gets the more powerful 114kW/240Nm unit, driving through an eight-speed automatic. 

Unsurprisingly, the latter combination ensures the GT Sport is not only usefully quicker against the stop watch than the Allure, but also more fuel efficient, sipping 6.1L/100km on the combined cycle versus its stable mate’s 6.5L/100km. 

On the outside, the 2008 is distinguished by its bold front end, with prominent grille, sharp lines and no-nonsense, “wheel at each corner” stance thanks to short front and rear overhangs. 

Inside, the big deal is the latest-generation of Peugeot’s impressive 3D i-Cockpit  which we’ve seen before on the 3008 and other models and which features a configurable head-up 3D instrument panel display, which projects information in hologram form, placing it close to the driver’s eye-line, a high-definition colour touchscreen and compact multi-function steering wheel.

Peugeot 2008 Allure

The centre console-mounted infotainment system has a 7.0-inch colour touchscreen for Allure and 10-inch screen for GT Sport. 3D Navigation is standard for GT Sport, and all models offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

We’re yet to see a 2008 in the metal but the interior sounds reasonably roomy for a compact SUV, with seating for five and enough headroom for 180cm-tall adults on the back seat.

Boot space is a reasonably generous 434 litres, expanding to 1467 litres with the split/fold rear seat back seat down. 

Interior details include premium materials for the seat and door trims, including Nappa leather upholstery for GT Sport, quality carpets and matching headlining. 

The interior can also be personalised with a choice of eight customisable LED mood lighting colours.

The 2008 also comes with an impressive range of safety features including speed limit recognition and recommendation, driver attention warning, lane keeping technologies and programmable cruise control with speed limiter. 

Both models also get autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection but the GT Sport has the additional capability of night-time (low-light) detection. Both models also boast full LED headlights with auto high beam and distinctive daytime running lights front and rear.

Peugeot 2008 GT Sport.

The $34,990 (MRLP) for the 2008 Allure includes 17-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, gloss black roof bars, and a modular boot floor which can be positioned at two levels.

The $43,990 (MRLP) GT Sport adds to this with standard 3D navigation, leather upholstery, 18-inch black alloy wheels, eight-colour interior ambient lighting, aluminium pedals and heated massage front seats.

The GT Sport also gets additional safety features including adaptive cruise control with stop and go function, lane positioning assist and active blind-spot monitoring 

Peugeot Australia General Manager Kate Gillis said the new model represented a major leap forward for the brand in Australia and could be a serious contender in the highly competitive light SUV market segment. 

“Peugeot wanted to redefine the light SUV class with all-new 2008 SUV and did exactly that by embracing three important areas that resonate with buyers – engineering, comfort and technology,” Ms Gillis said.

The Peugeot 2008 also comes with a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, five-year roadside assistance and five-year Service Price Promise program.