Test Drive: Peugeot 2008

Photos: Hritik Shrestha

Peugeot, the French automotive manufacturer, is known for its pouncing lion logo. The premium French brand has been quite well received in the Nepali market, and it has seen quite the growth in terms of market share. This feat can be credited largely to Peugeot’s 3008 SUV. The 3008 is the best-selling vehicle in the Peugeot lineup, even though it is priced north of the 1.3cr range. There are cheaper options in Peugeot’s lineup, but they have been mostly overlooked by consumers. But that trend could soon be a thing of the past–because the new 2008 SUV is aiming to change the game.

With the 2008, Peugeot introduced the brand’s new design language in our country. Let’s start with the headlights, which look like the fangs of a lion, with the outermost LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) stretching out from the inner DRLs to give that feel. Just like the pouncing lion logo on the grille, the aggressive stance of the vehicle makes it look like it’s ready to pounce on you at any given time. The LED cornering fog lamps are placed just next to the outermost DRL, and the respective light gets illuminated when you make a turn. This means when you turn right, just the right light comes on and vice-versa.

The hood, which houses the 2008’s logo, has aggressive body haunches, whose well-defined body lines continue that bold aesthetic along the side profile as well. The dual-tone paint job, including for the contrasting mirrors, pillars, and the roof, makes the GT Line variant a lot sportier. The 17-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels are dual tone as well and add to the sporty feel.

The rear end looks very elegant, making the 2008 seem like a toned-down version of its elder sibling, the 3008. The taillight is informed by the same design language as the three-bar LED lights seen in the front. The twin exhaust pipes carry over the sporty feel and look well placed. Overall the new 2008 is quite the looker.

The interior has seen some major refresh since the last model. Just like the rear end of the 2008, the interior also feels like a toned-down version of the 3008, which is not a bad thing at all. The interior of the 3008 was one of the best, if not the best, in its segment, and carrying over the design to the 2008 elevates the new SUV model’s level of luxury. The dashboard is very driver-centric, with the whole unit pointed towards the driver for ease of use while driving. The buttons on the dash feature both a touch-capacitive button as well as a physical piano-key type button for different functions.
The New 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system is compatible with Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Near it sits the 3D I-cockpit, which makes the dashboard feel very modern and futuristic even, especially the instrument cluster. The 3D pop-out display makes it feel like the display is being projected out of the cluster, and it can be customised to provide different bits of information, such as vehicle info, direction, audio info, etc.. Another feature that can be customised is the ambient lighting around the interior. There are eight colours to choose from, and you can set the lighting to suit your mood.

The optional 10-speaker Focal sound system is an absolute banger. It sends shockwaves down your spine, and when the bass hits, it literally hits you. You actually feel like the music is hitting you from the front and punching you from behind your seats. And since we are on the topic of seats, you should know the SUV also comes with optional massage seats for the driver-side seat.

The seats, made of Nappa leather, feel very premium and are very comfortable. The driver-side seat is electronically operated and has a memory function, while the passenger-side one is manually operated. The seats feel very sporty yet supportive and will hold you in place as you pace through corners. In the GT Line, the front seats can be heated as well. The rear seats are comfortable and have very good bolstering. The cabin feels airy, thanks to the panoramic sunroof and the ambient lighting around the dash area, which liven up the interior further. The small flat-top and -bottom steering wheel, which is quite unique, has that sporty feel too. It’s too bad that the vehicle misses out on paddle shifters– otherwise it would have completed the set needed in a small sporty SUV.

The model that we tested was powered by a 1.2L turbocharged engine producing 131Hp @ 5500 RPM and 230 Nm of Torque @ 1750 RPM, which was mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine felt very peppy, and there wasn’t an evident feel of turbo lag in the rev range. It would spool up fast, with zero discernible lag. The 230 Nm of torque felt pretty adequate for a vehicle of this size. The gear shifts were fast and seamless; the only thing missing, as we’ve mentioned, was the inclusion of paddle shifters. It would have been great to shift the gears for ourselves while still holding the steering wheel. You can still change the gears manually but you have to use the gear lever for that.

Handling and suspension
The suspension was sprung a little towards the stiffer side so the SUV held its line very well when you pushed it. It did feel a little bumpy at times, but I would gladly trade that for the superior handling that you got out of this setup. The steering wheel was pretty light and made it very easy to navigate the vehicle through traffic, but it felt a little too light during spirited driving. It wasn’t to the point where it affected the handling of the vehicle, but the experience would have probably been better if the steering had a little more weight to it.

With the 2008, Peugeot has been given a new lease of life, and this time around, it wants to grab hold of that opportunity and make the best of it. That said, the 2008 will face some stiff competition from some old players in the market, such as the Mitsubishi ASX, Subaru XV, and the newest entrant, the Skoda Karoq. Priced at NPR 1,15,00,000 for the GT Line variant and 1,25,00,000 for the GT Line with the added options, it occupies the same market space as its competitors. The 2008 is a very well-packaged small SUV, and it stands its ground well in the face of competition. So if you are shopping for a vehicle in this category, do have the 2008 on your list, as it will most likely surprise you in a good way.

Engine displacement: 1199cc
Power: 130 Hp @ 5500 RPM
Torque: 230 Nm @ 1750 RPM
Number of cylinders: 3
Number of valves per cylinder: 4
Fuel System: Direct injection
Engine aspiration: Turbocharger
Front suspension: Independent type McPherson
Rear suspension: Elastic beam
Front brakes: Disc, 283 mm
Rear brakes: Disc, 249 mm
Assisting systems: ABS (Anti-lock braking system)
Tires size: 215/60 R17
Price: NPR. 1,25,00,000

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