Get past the looks of the 4008 and ... well, you can’t really
Karla Pincott finds Peugeot’s 4008 softroader goes better on the beaten track than tarmac. It looks great in any terrain
level in a highly competitive field and about $5000 below the outgoing 4007.
Specs are yet to be finalised but Peugeot says it will arrive in two trim levels: Active on all drivetrains and Allure ONAWD only. Features will follow those already on the 3008 that arrived about 18 months ago, with a decent helping of LEDS, auto lights and wipers, Bluetooth, parking sensors, cruise, climate control airconditioning, sunroof and 16-inch alloys standard.
Up-spec examples will have leather and heated seats, darkened privacy glass, 18-inch wheels and touchscreen satnav.
Specification will decide how close a rival the Mitsubishi ASX is. In this increasingly tough segment, however, the 4008 has to measure up against the other European compact SUVS, including thevw Tiguan, Renault Koleos and Skoda Yeti.
The 4007 it replaces is based on the Mitsubishi Outlander but the 4008 starts from the Mitsubishi ASX platform, with changes to the underpinnings.
Steering weight and speed load-up have been altered, the suspension gets firmer springs and harder rebound damping, and the stability control has been recalibrated.
It will go on sale here with a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder that develops 110kw/197nm. Output is delivered to the front or both axles via two transmissions, a five-speed manual or a CVT with six-speed manual mode and paddle-shifters on the steering wheel.
It’s an economical little job in every version, with fuel figures of 7.7L/100km for the 2WD manual and 7.9L for the AWD, the CVT adding 0.2L on each.
A console dial switches the all-paw’s on-demand system between 2WD/4WD/LOCK, with varying serves of torque dished up to each axle as requested from 85 per cent maximum at the front to 82 per cent maximum at the rear in Lock.
It’s a stunner. From the signature floating grille, sculpted lines and creases flow back on to the flanks, giving the impression of motion even when standing still.
The cutline at the base of the rear pillar marks the changeover from Mitsubishi product— from the roof to the windowsills— to Peugeot, which also had input into the doors of the shared product that became the ASX.
It’s a cohesive result but the shapely nose gives the driver no clue as to where the corners are. The protection of parking sensors will be a must.
The chic cabin has elegant contours and finely judged amounts of accent in metal or piano black finish.
The seats are contoured and comfortable and it seems every surface and shape has been carefully decided. It’s styled-up but not overdone, accessorised but not ghetto-blinged.
In a word, it’s French.
It should also echo the 3008’s five-star ANCAP crash rating, with seven airbags, stability and traction controls and anti-lock brakes with extra help for panic stops and to compensate for uneven loads.
Too many off-roader test drives never get off the road. Peugeot did this one proud, digging up some of the local Portuguese scenery and sculpting it into a dirt fun park, complete with steep slopes (about 35 degrees) and a healthy layer of loose surface.
The 4008 took to it with ease, showing theawd system and ramp angles are handy for weekend warfare. At the finish we were hoping the darkening sky would open so we could give it another shot garnished with mud. We’re betting it would have been just as unruffled.
But to get to the great outdoors, most buyers will have to trek a great deal of highway and we were concerned about the CVT’S performance at higher speeds. At 110km/h, it still has more to give for overtaking but some