YOU would have to live in a cave many miles from a main road to be unaware of the rise and rise of the SUV.
The craze of the decade is drawing in new buyers and influencing car design like nothing else. And the term SUV, like the fashion for crossovers, is getting a bit blurred around the edges.
For instance, the majority of sports utility vehicles aren't actually four wheel drive. And others have relatively low ride height by off-road standards.
One such example is the recently re-invented Peugeot 2008, a smart but modestly sized five-door that a few years ago was seen as an estate car.
The latest version, however, is 4x4 styled, can be specified with grip control which is a sort of half-way house to full all-paw tech, and it's a good alternative to a regular hatchback.
Larger and more practical than a Nissan Juke - possibly the sector's pathfinder - it has rivals in the shape of the Fiat 500X, Vauxhall Mokka and Ford EcoSport.
Possibly the most exciting and advanced member of the 2008 range is the PureTech 130 GT Line, which doubles up as a load carrier and something of a warm hatch, while still being capable of stretching out the miles economically.
With a diminutive 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine it pumps out an impressive 129bhp putting it in the nine second league to 62mph - no mean feat. Don't be put off by being one-down on the cylinder front, or by the meagre capacity, this is a beautifully smooth engine that thrives on revs, yet manages to pull well in high gears.
The turbocharged 1,199cc unit emits a throaty but not unpleasant snarl under full acceleration but is subdued and refined at cruising speeds. It comes as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox.
To accompany the sporty performance, there's crisp handling and a nicely absorbent ride that smoothes out the bumps without any hint of marshmallow cornering. On greasy or slippery roads the nose tends to slide wide in typical front-drive style, but there are no nasty surprises in store.
In current Peugeot style, the small steering wheel is set quite low which takes a bit of getting used to.
Space in the cabin is more generous than the compact external dimensions suggest. Three adults can be accommodated in the rear and the boot holds a better-than-average 410 litres of luggage. This expands to 1,400 litres when the back seats are folded. The rear seats are split 60-40 for further passenger/cargo permutations.
Despite its nifty turn of speed, most owners will notch up around the 50mpg mark. The official figure is nearly 60mpg and emissions are pegged to a beneficial 110g/km.
A seven-inch touch display screen with sat-nav is standard as is Apple CarPlay and Mirror Link.