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Test Drive Review: Peugeot 2008 Compact SUV

Peugeot2008_55 The first thing that you’ll notice when you get into the all-new Peugeot 2008 is that someone replaced the actual steering wheel with one from a PlayStation. I kid you not, it’s tiny. And then you’ll notice just how compact this new ‘urban SUV’ really is. Built on the 208 platform, it really is the perfect size for those seeking a very capable everyday runabout. I’d venture to say that the primary target audience for this car would be more female oriented, as well as single, up and coming executives who require daily personal transport that’s very different from just about everything else out there. Peugeot2008_26 In terms of interior, the 2008 is not voluminous, remember it’s a compact SUV, but then again it’s not that cramped either, I was able to attain a very comfortable driving position with excellent all-round visibility. Of course the highlight of the interior is the massive panoramic ‘fixed’ sunroof, which features its own blue LED surround lighting. Whilst it’s not easy to spot during the day, at night it’s going to look very cool, hence the tagline for this car, ‘see the city in a different light’. DSCF3804 In terms of interior appointments, equipment and overall ergonomics, the 2008 is lavishly equipped for sure, for in addition to Smart Park Assist which actually parallel parks the car for you, as well as exit for you when you’re ready to leave, there’s also front and rear LED daytime running lights, auto headlights and wipers, security lighting, cornering assist fog lamps, colour touchscreen with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, Arkamays 3D audio system with 6-speakers, semi-bucket seats semi-wrapped in Oxford leather, leather wrapped steering wheel, advanced speed-sensitive electric power steering, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and the list goes on. DSCF3813 Active and passive systems are also well taken care of with 6-airbags, ABS, EBD, EBA, Stability Control (ESP), Anti-Skid Regulator (ASR), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Hill Start Assist, Auto Hazard Lights, and twin rear ISOFIX points. DSCF3819 The 2008 is powered by a familiar 4-cylinder 1.6L DOHC 16v engine (with variable-valve timing) that churns out a respectable 122ps and 160Nm of torque, which powers the front wheels via a 4-speed auto tranny with Tiptronic and Sport mode. It’s a peppy little lump, good for a top speed of about 170km/h with three on board, and a decent 11.2 second 0-100km/h acceleration time. While it may not be blisteringly quick, the engine is nonetheless happy to skip into the upper reaches of the rev range, voicing protest only when nudged closer to the 6,500rpm redline. DSCF3755 Out on the highway, the 2008 is testament to why there really is a vast difference between driving a continental and something from Japan or Korea that’s in the same class. Despite having a small 1598cc engine, the 2008 cruises effortlessly with nary a hint of NVH permeating the cabin; it’s very well put-together. Perhaps it’s because it was made for a country that requires even small cars to attain and maintain high cruising speeds on a highway for extended periods of time. For a compact SUV it feels solid and planted, even at speeds in access of what’s legally allowed on the highway. Peugeot2008_54 But it’s really not about the speed, not in the least. The 2008 is the kind of car that makes you want to drive a bit more sedately. It makes you want to take your time and savour the excellent ride comfort and feel, play with all the gizmos and appreciate your surroundings, especially when the electronic shades are pulled away to reveal that magnificent panoramic roof. Priced at RM119,888, it’s a fair price for the amount of kit that comes stock-standard, and of course like I said earlier, it’s really something different from anything else out there, and that’s priceless.