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New 2019 Peugeot 2008 SUV moves upmarket

Steve Fowler 2019-06-19 03:00

The new Peugeot 2008 gets a look inspired by the larger 3008, while the new all-electric e-2008 joins the line-up with a 193-mile range

This is the new Peugeot 2008 – a small SUV that hopes to emulate the sales success of its superstar sibling, the 3008. Not wanting to mess with a winning formula for Peugeot, the 2008 offers ‘the spirit of the 3008’ according to Guillaume Clerc, project leader for the new 2008 and 208.

And in the metal the 2008 does look like a shrunken 3008, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s not much smaller, either; it’s only 150mm shorter, even though it sits on PSA’s new small-car CMP architecture.

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Peugeot’s design team, led by exterior styling director Yann Beurel, has given the 2008 plenty of character of its own, though. The all-LED lighting features claw and fang-like daytime running lights, while sharp triangular ‘scalps’ join the bodywork above the wheels to a single line across the doors, so the 2008 is a great-looking small SUV. The rear is again familiar, with a black plastic strip joining the LED light clusters to accentuate the car’s width, while a black roof is standard on top GT and GT Line cars.

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According to SUV buyers, they like cars with big wheels, a large bonnet and decent ground clearance, but don’t want something that’s too high or too boxy. So where the old 2008 was more of a crossover, this new car is every inch an SUV.

The big story for the 2008 though, as with the new 208 supermini, is that it will be available with a choice of petrol, diesel or all-electric power – whichever trim level you choose. “We didn’t want our customers to drive a car that’s seen specifically as an EV,” Clerc told us. “We wanted to integrate electric power into a normal car.” As a result, the only visual differences are a body-coloured front grille, a few badges and, of course, no exhaust pipes.

The e-2008 features a 50kWh battery with a claimed range under the supposedly more realistic WLTP tests of 193 miles – some way short of rivals such as the Kia e-Niro or Hyundai Kona Electric. However, Peugeot has hinted that the 2008 will be cheaper, to reflect its lower range. The e-2008 does offer 134bhp from its motor, while the battery is cooled to allow it to be fast-charged from 100kW chargers – Peugeot says an 80 per cent charge should take 30 minutes.

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Most customers will still go for the 1.2 PureTech three-cylinder petrol engines, with 99bhp, 128bhp or 153bhp (and auto gearboxes available on the top two), or the 99bhp 1.5 BlueHDi diesel manual if you plan to do mega-miles. As is usual with Peugeot’s models, you can choose between Active, Allure, GT Line and GT trim levels.

Inside, there’s more room than in today’s 2008, thanks to a 60mm longer wheelbase, an overall length that’s up by 140mm, and an increase in width of 30mm. It means even with a six-foot tall driver, someone of similar height can sit behind them comfortably. The boot is bigger, too – up 10 litres to 434 litres, with a false floor that can be positioned to create additional space underneath (probably for charging cables in the EV).

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Where most car makers debut new tech on their flagship models, the 2008 and 208 are the first Peugeots to feature the latest incarnation of iCockpit. The small-diameter steering wheel and high-set instruments remain, but every model gets a 3D digital display in front of them, while all bar Active models get a large 10-inch touchscreen to take care of infotainment.

Quality inside is excellent. There are more soft-touch surfaces than in Volkswagen’s small SUVs, while the central section of the dashboard wraps around into the doors and features a carbon-fibre-like finish that’s soft to the touch. This is a really upmarket interior.

There’s also plenty of tech on board, including wireless phone charging, USB sockets (including USB-C connections), the expected Apple and Android connectivity and even a handy ledge to hold your phone.

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Autonomous technology comes courtesy of the 508 saloon, with adaptive cruise and lane-departure avoidance, plus self-parking, automatic emergency braking, road sign reading and auto main beam all on offer.

We’ll have to wait until the car’s launch in the early part of next year – with the e-2008 following a matter of weeks behind – to get performance and economy data, while the pricing will have to wait, too. But we’d expect it to rise, given the extra size and technology, although the Fusion Orange metallic paint will be a no-cost option.

With a new Renault Captur and Nissan Juke also due next year, the 2008 is going to join an even more crowded and talented small SUV market.

Do you like the look of the new Peugeot 2008? Let us know your thoughts below…

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