Stylish spoon­ful

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Cover Story -

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.

Karla Pin­cott

From about $23,000

1.6-litre 4-cyl, 88kW/160Nm 5-speed man, 4-speed auto; FWD

6.5L/100km

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