DUE here in October, the Peugeot 2008 mini SUV will start in the low $20K turf, with equipment and fit-out to echo the 208 hatch.
That means a chunky little steering wheel, raised instrument binnacle, clear 7-inch touchscreen and all the expected safety equipment.
There’s a strong design cue in the stepped roofline topping tall windows that are joined by a panoramic sunroof to flood light into the cabin. Blue LEDs set off the instrument bezels and sunroof and there are similarly stylish chrome and saddle-stitching details.
But there are some budget materials and the pinstripe finish across one test vehicle’s dash and door grabs will date quickly. A wide tailgate promises easy loading into a hatchbacksized 360-litre boot that balloons to 1194 litres with the rear seats dropped.
Those looking for a teaspoon taste of SUV won’t be disappointed. The slightly higher ride height and jacked-up driving position mean the 2008 delivers the crossover feeling.
The four-cylinder petrol engine is the pick, being 100kg lighter than the diesel, but its five-speed manual dovetails neatly with the engine to keep the response lively. That raises the question of whether it will do as well with the fourspeed automatic transmission we’ll also get.
This is a tallish box so it wasn’t surprising to feel the body tipping a little going into corners. However it’s still surefooted and you’d have to try very hard to get it out of order.
Over the wet and winding launch route it showed good grip, only briefly scrabbling for traction in one very extreme exit.
From about $23,000
1.6-litre 4-cyl, 88kW/160Nm 5-speed man, 4-speed auto; FWD