A well-bred little
It’s a mild mannered mini SUV that needs to be driven smartly
BABY SUVs are breeding like rabbits and appear equally resistant aqs the bunnies to any genre-targeted virus.
They are the new “it’’ class, their popularity evidenced by the population of these 4m critters jumping from near zero to four models within four months. And more are coming.
In concept, they are ideal for family life in the suburbs and even cover the bases for holidays in the country. In reality, they’re not much different from a small station wagon. Price-conscious buyers should be mindful that a Hyundai ix35 front-drive SUV, for example, costs $26,990 while a Hyundai i30 Touring wagon is $4000 cheaper.
Consider also that the ix35 has a cargo capaciy of 591 litres (seats up) and 1436L (rear seat down) while the measures for i30 Touring are 528Land a vast 1642L.
Which is why the Peugeot 2008 is the most interesting of the bunch, being a blend of a wagon with hatchback handling and manoeuvrability with an SUV’s generous and very flexible 410L/1400L cargo capacity.
European cars are very price competitive thanks to the Australian dollar and factories subsidising pricing to stay afloat. Regardless, the $21,990 2008 with the intriguing 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine appears good value.
Standard are alloy wheels, reverse camera and rear park sensor, seven-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio with Bluetooth. Peugeot’s cappedprice service goes for five years (it costs $1107 for the first three years) with annual service intervals. Roadside assistance is included. It has a reasonable 46 per cent resale value after three years.
Nothing as radical as Nissan’s Juke here, with heavy family resemblance to its 208 hatchback donor. It looks neat and simple and offers good cabin space and, as we say, useful cargo storage. This area is wide and high and has few impediments. Access is via a wide hatch door.
It gets soft-touch plastics, a big central touchscreen (for audio, ventilation and optional satnav), small steering wheel and an instrument binnacle that sits above the wheel’s rim to keep the driver’s eyes almost in line with the road ahead. The lack of cupholders is annoying.
Steering wheel pods hold remote controls for the audio and cruise control but are less effective (and invisible to the driver) than steering wheel buttons. The odd-shaped handbrake lever ensures no scratched nail polish.
The 1.2-litre three-cylinder (60kW/118N) is the 2008’s intriguing feature and at the same time its weakness.
It claims 4.9L/100km from the