Peugeot 2008

refreshed for 2016

Peugeot 2008, side action
Peugeot 2008, front action
Peugeot 2008, side static
Peugeot 2008, rear static
Peugeot 2008, rear seat folded
Peugeot 2008, dashboard
Peugeot 2008, sunroof

PEUGEOT'S strong selling 2008 SUV has been to the shops and come home with a new jacket for those country walks - and a smart red lipstick if you're after a touch of glam.

Introduced in 2013 and with total sales topping 600,000, the car has reached the stage of life when it's time for a bit of a makeover.

Nothing much has changed under the bonnet but the stylists have been busy with a nip and tuck here and there.

The result is a car that looks a bit more in-your-face and assertive, thanks to a chunkier bonnet and bigger, bolder radiator grille.

Several versions of the 2008 have always come with what Peugeot calls Grip Control - an inexpensive way to add a little more competence when the going gets moderately rough or a touch slippery.

That stays (you twirl a dial between the seats to set the car for what's coming ahead, from standard to snow, mud or sand) but plastic wheel arch extensions and scuff plates now reinforce the 2008's mild off-road appeal.

Firmly back in the city, there's the £645 option of Ultimate Red paint which adds a catwalk touch, while the range is now topped by GT Line trim that doesn't add performance but helps the 2008 look faster with 17ins black alloy wheels, black door mirrors, black chrome radiator grille with black surround.

Yes, black features strongly and looks especially speedy with the new red paint finish.

Inside, you'll discover the same unusual set up for the driver that more than 40,000 UK buyers are already familiar with. A steering wheel so tiny it would make Lewis Hamilton feel at home is set low so you can see the instruments over the rim. A couple of miles is all it takes not to notice.

The new 2008 range starts at £13,615 for an Access trim car with 1.2 litre petrol engine. You'll need to move up to Active trim, from £14,965, to find a seven inch touchscreen that mirrors your Android mobile phone or iPhone - the latter responding, via voice activated Siri with a list of local eateries when told 'I'm hungry'.

Making sure you don't crash on the way to the restaurant in town is active city brake across the new 2008 line. At speeds below 20mph it can bring the car to a halt if it senses the driver is unaware of an impending collision - faster than that it will slow the car and cut the resulting damage.

Other 2008 virtues are carried over from the old car; the same range of 1.2 litre petrol or 1.6 litre diesel engines, with the diesel taking more sales and using less fuel, even if the figures Peugeot has to quote are otherworldly.

Let loose on a fair mixture of roads, from country lanes to motorways, a spin in a range topping £20,565 GT Line 120 horsepower diesel showed a creditable 57.5mpg on the extremely clear dash readout - a long way from the 76.3mpg in the brochure, but a fine result nonetheless.

There's a brittle feel to the suspension on some roads but mostly the 2008 does a decent job of smoothing our awful surfaces.

Standard sat nav on the range topper helps add a touch of luxury and there's a proper sense of quality inside the car, which now meets the world with a bit of swagger in its step.

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