It’s been around eight years since Peugeot re-defined their model monikers and confirmed that their vehicles with eight at the end were ‘designed specifically to fulfill new customer expectations.’ Oddly enough it feels like it was eight years ago that I last drove a Peugeot 308. So I was quite excited when Peugeot New Zealand offered me their latest eight, the all-new 2008 GT SUV – I guess you know the theme by now.
My Peugeot 2008 GT review model came in Orange fusion, (a metallic slightly burnt orange) with a contrasting black roof. Under the right light, it really helped accentuate the small (4.3m long) SUV’s subtle character lines and shapes – for which there are many.
The horizontal nose features a dominant black grille with a waterfall of cascading chrome oblongs (that makes more sense when you see it) and of course the Euro car brand’s lion logo front and center. LED ‘claw like’ headlights venture round the front wings and the fang-like DRL’s and chrome lower spoiler frame the picture.
The 2008’s profile features more chrome accents, a reasonably high shoulder-line that greets the black diamond roof and a diamond style ‘bow-tie’ that centres around the door handle and rises up at the D-pillar to once again include the roof and also the black tinted claw tail lights.
The rear itself offers a roofline spoiler, gloss black rear light cluster and connecting strip that incorporates the PEUGEOT lettering and chrome exhaust tips that peek out from under an extended rear bumper/diffuser. The 2008’s low sill and wide opening gains access to luggage space that ranges from 434L up to 1,67L and thanks to a double-level boot floor and 1/3 – 2/3 folding rear seats, everything in between.
This brings me on to the interior, a simple wow will suffice here. There’s a wide sill that to me resembles entry into a monocoque chassis sports car and the polarizing small steering-wheel adds to that sensation. The i-cockpit instrument cluster is in 3D which aside from being cool, no make that VERY cool, is apparently a safety measure – having information that is a little bit closer equates to quicker response time and around a 50m difference at speed – hmmm.
Anyway, the colourful graphics within the instrument panel can be adapted to give a variety of display modes that include ‘Dials’ mode that replicates the timeless analogue set-up, ‘Navigation’ mode that turns the dials on their sides to a ‘roller’ format and 3D navigation with instructions fill the centre of the display and ‘Driving’ mode with ‘roller’ format dials and driver assistance information including Lane Positioning Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go function. In addition to these display modes, two ‘Personal’ modes can also be configured to allow the driver to see the exact information they require, for optimum comfort. It all sounds confusing but it’s not.
The rest of the dash set up includes a 10-inch HD capacitive colour touchscreen for all your infotainment, that’s Apple/Android compatible, an array of cool looking switchgear, a touch sensitive heated seat switch and when the cabin isn’t being flooded with sunlight from the panoramic roof, the ambient light colour can be changes to suit your mood, or maybe eyes, clothing, shoes…. The seats are sporty and come with quality fabrics like Alcantara or leatherette, my model came with both and some bright green contrast stitching for an added touch of flavour.
In numerology, eight is an angel number (yes I did look it up) and although that means wealth and prosperity, for the purposes of this review I like to think it’s about protection – for which this 2008 SUV has plenty. From driver assists and active braking to active blind spot alerts and parking assists, the 2008 GT offers both driver confidence and passenger safety, Peugeot has really crammed a lot into this small SUV.
‘It’s really sporty,’ the wife told me upon her return from the store which did raise an eyebrow, but she’s right (just don’t tell her that), the PureTech 155 is an exclusive engine that is featured on the PEUGEOT 2008 SUV GT. It’s a 1.2L that produces 114kW and 240Nm torque and once married to the EAT8 8-speed automatic (there’s that eight again) gearbox is quick off the mark and as it’s a 3-cylinder, creates a note that makes it sound bigger than it is. Efficiency-wise it’s 5L/100km and its emissions are just 114g/km which makes this both a great little townie runabout and fine to take on extended drives for the weekend.
Admittedly, I spent the majority of week’s review just doing ordinary family stuff, but the 2008 did it all really well. It was spacious enough to take the family wherever they wanted and unique enough to be talked about when we got there. The drive is confident and the assists, whether it’s for ease of parking or traction to stay on the road, actually assist – funny that.
Peugeot New Zealand says that the 2008 is a ‘versatile SUV designed with your lifestyle in mind’ and that ‘the GT takes it to the next level’, I have to concur. It’s a vehicle that offers oodles of character, really smart and involving tech and the 3-cylinder packs a sweet punch of power – simply put, this eight’s – great.