To paraphrase the Black Eyed Peas, I’m a bit two thousand and late with this write up.
While I’ve been mulling over the pros and cons of the 2008, Peugeot have announced a face-lifted and upgraded version of the compact SUV for 2016.
The upgraded model features a new grille, new paints and finishes, new trim levels including a top spec GT Line model and some roughty-toughty wheel arch extensions and scuff plates.
The overall effect? A chunkier, more SUV-like appearance - but what about the current pre-op version? Which - I hasten to add - is still available to order new.
Based on the 208 supermini, the 2008 is a compact crossover in the same vein as Nissan’s Juke, or Vauxhall’s Mokka. Part of an increasingly popular segment, Peugeot have sold 40,000 of them in the UK since it went on sale in 2013 and as of December last year had produced over half a million units worldwide.
It shares the 208’s handsome and, dare we say, upmarket interior as well as its small hatch handling, but with the bonus of being able to comfortably accommodate five adults and a suitably grown-up amount of luggage in the boot.
I drove the 1.6 BlueHDi version in Allure trim. The 120bhp engine is ample for the car’s 1,200kg kerb weight, and as a consequence the 2008 felt sprightly around town and had plenty to give on the motorway too. Although there’s a little too much wind noise to recommend if you’re looking for a motorway mile-muncher.
The six-speed gearbox is smooth to change and the car feels very lively at high revs yet refined when cruising.
There’s some body roll - as you might expect from a car in this class - but overall it keeps its composure and it’s a pleasure to drive in the city. The small steering wheel means parking is a doddle, although - as it does in the 208 on which the car is based - it obstructs the driver’s view of the speedometer.
The infotainment system comes with Bluetooth, sat nav, DAB radio as well as all the other mod cons, but the Groupe PSA system is not the most intuitive to navigate. The screen is well positioned though and looks native to the dashboard rather than bolted on as you find in many competitors.
The cabin of our test car was finished in ‘Beijing Bronze’ and it adds a real premium feel to the car. Along with the huge (optional) panoramic sunroof that finish was, for me, top of a long list of things to like about the 2008.
Stylish, fun to drive and practical, the 2008 is a great option for a small family or anyone looking for a bit more space than a 208 can provide. And, with the new one already in forecourts, there should be some great deals to be had on this pre-facelift model.
Price: From £13,615
Engine: 1.6l Blue HDi
Transmission: six-speed manual
Performance: Top speed 119mph, 0-60mph in 9.3 seconds
Economy: 76mpg combined
Emissions: 96g/km of CO2.