New dimension for Peugeot’s baby SUV
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Peugeot’s all-new premium 2008 compact SUV arrives in New Zealand showrooms in July.
Built on a new platform designed for the electric 2008 models, the petrol versions are powered by new engines that meet the latest and toughest European emission standards.
They also incorporate new-generation technology advances such as an impressive new 3D version of Peugeot’s i-Cockpit dashboard.
With a vastly improved and more upmarket interior, the electric version of the 2008 is in such demand in Europe that it is unlikely to arrive here until next year.
Driven evaluated both the e2008 and petrol versions of the models at an international press test drive in the South of France last month, and they are all incredibly quiet and at ease on the road.
There is a sharp new squarer frontal treatment that gives the 2008 a more impressive and bolder appearance on the road compared with its predecessor. The new squarer shape is accentuated by Peugeot’s characteristic vertical front lights that underline the more aggressive stance.
Most impressive is the quality of the cabin, which now has a more upmarket look and feel with softer plastics and woven carbon-like materials wrapping around the dashboard.
Many of the most popular innovations from the larger Peugeot 508 models (a finalist and category winner in the 2019 AA/DRIVEN Car of the Year) have been incorporated into the new 2008.
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These include the piano key-like switches and the small and sporty seven-sided leather steering wheel.
While it is too early to be definitive about the price of the 2008, Peugeot NZ is aiming to have petrol models ranging from about $35,000 available from July.
The impressive e2008 will be more expensive, but the company believes the specification and fit/finish of the new models will make it more than competitive in the premium small SUV sector of the market.
The all-electric e2008 has a range of 310km in the industry agreed “real world” WLTP test.
While there are also diesel models being introduced in Europe, NZ will get petrol-engined variants, along with the electric version as soon as right-hand drive models become available.
The 3D version of the i-Cockpit dashboard provides a real wow moment when the new 2008 is turned on, no matter how it is powered.
The steering wheel can be adjusted to enable the driver to see all of the customisable 3D digital display immediately behind the wheel. The speedometer reading almost leaps out of the dashboard towards the driver.
Other 3D features include the fuel gauge in petrol models, charge level and driving range indicator in the electric models, and the capacity to display alert or vehicle status messages.
While some critics have described the 3D effect as a gimmick, Peugeot says the increased visibility means faster reactions from drivers, making the vehicles safer.
There are eco, comfort, normal and sport driving modes along with a manual mode that allows the driver to use steering wheel-mounted paddles.
The petrol vehicles have an eight-speed gearbox, which is exceptionally smooth.
Comfort driving mode provides softer suspension and a comfortable ride, while sport driving mode provides a more dynamic drive, with adjustments to the power steering, accelerator and gearchanges.
On the road the driving dynamics of the 2008 sharpen significantly while in sport mode.
The 2008s arriving in NZ will be fitted with adaptive cruise control, and other safety features such as active lane keeping assist, speed limit recognition and park assist.
The wheelbase of the 2008 is 16mm longer than the previous model, and there is 434 litres of boot space in the back with the rear seats in place. This expands to 1467 litres with the rear row of seats folded.
The petrol modes are powered by a three-cylinder PureTech engine which puts out 115kW of power and 240Nm of torque. Peugeot says it accelerates from zero to 100km/h in just 8.2 seconds, and both the petrol and electric versions feel quick on the road.
The e2008 has a l00kW electric motor that produces maximum torque of 260Nm, plus a 50kWh battery capacity.
The new range of 2008s are exceptionally quiet on the road - Peugeot has obviously worked hard to reduce noise levels in the cabin of the electric model, and this effort shows in the petrol-engined models.
Both are relaxing to drive, while offering spritely performance.
While the EV doesn’t provide “ludicrous” acceleration you would expect from a vehicle costing four times as much, it has instead been designed to provide smooth and efficient levels of performance without drama.
Driving the electric model becomes more even more engaging by activating the regeneration function.
The new petrol engines are relatively quiet while also being among the few on the market that meet the latest and most stringent European emission standards.
The next-generation 2008 means that by the middle of this year Peugeot NZ will have a prime contender in the popular premium compact SUV segment of the market.