THREE years after it was launched the Peugeot 2008 has been refreshed to take on newer challengers.
Sales were up 16 per cent as the new series went into showrooms and coming out the other side this time is a new high-spec sporting oriented GT Line model..
Since June 2016, the Peugeot 2008 has been sold in a choice of four trim levels between £14,000 and £21,000 approximately.
The engines available are 82, 110 and 130bhp, 1.2-litre, three cylinder petrol units or 75, 100 and 120bhp, fourcylinder turbo-diesels with a choice of five or six-speed manual gearboxes and just one automatic with the 110 petrol unit.
The GT Line Pure Tech is the top of the range petrol model and gets black alloys and exterior detailing and inside a panoramic roof and blind, chromed details, upgraded seats and trim including red edging to the instruments pod, satnav and a colour reversing camera.
Mechanically the same as before with the acclaimed powertrain offering an intelligent Grip Control 4x4 on some models, the new Peugeot 2008 series embodies subtle changes across the series.
It is all for the good without compromising the appeal of the first series and Peugeot's head-turning finance offers and Just Add Fuel deal are winning registrations.
The gutsy 130bhp 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine was very smooth, free-revving and packed a modest but useful punch.
With a decent set of six ratios under-hand, the GT Line could be spirited along quickly and effortlessly so long as you remembered to fully depress the clutch every time or risk crunching the gears.
The car was remarkably composed on main and motorway roads and was brisk off the mark, and using the cruise control whenever possible we averaged very close to 41mpg, possibly helped by the stop & start feature in town.
I liked the feel, balance and turning circle to the steering, ideal for town use and country lane driving, and the brakes were effective slowing the car from speed despite being a combination of discs & drums.
Ride quality was good although you could hear the suspension working away to insulate you and the seats were firm but comfortable and very attractively trimmed in red stitching on the GT Line version.
The precision of the steering and brakes and the softness of the suspension contrasted with a somewhat rolling handling on tight turns.
It felt typically "old school French" in this respect but it stayed planted to the road and had no other dynamic vices.
The Grip Control is an intelligent system a driver can leave to its own devices or utilise to optimise traction in various conditions and it's a simple effective and worthwhile feature to make the most of the Electronic Stability Programme on the four wheels.
It's not a full 4x4 system but it does a good impersonation when poor surfaces appear and will keep a lot of drivers out of trouble on wintry or sandy roads.
Essentially the Peugeot 2008 is a family five-seater and there is plenty of room inside with 422 litres bootspace behind a low-opening and high lifting tailgate and offset split back seats, rising to maximum 1,400 litres with just two seats used.
In front, the driver and passenger have good room and the adjustable column and seat mean it is comfortable for short or tall drivers to use.
Major and minor controls are good and work well, the instruments pod on the fascia is not big and the small dials are vaguely marked but split by an infoscreen for selected displays.
A bigger seven-inch console screen does the infotainment, navigation and Apple and Mirror Link applications in the Peugeot Connect system if specified.
Vision is good from the driving seat, helped by a reversing camera on the GT Line, with large windows, good headlights, wash and wipers front and back but front parking sensors would be a good idea as well.