I HAVE long felt the need for a mid-life revamp.
A bold new look together with the introduction of an excellent top-of-the-range model have long been on my wish-list, but alas it is only through some of the cars I drive that I can see the dramatic results a makeover can produce.
The Peugeot 2008 compact SUV has recently undergone such a change and it's a transformation destined to add to what is already a sales success with the new flagship GT Line model the icing on the cake.
The range-topper catches the eye thanks to 17-inch black alloys and natty exterior add-ons such as GT flashes in red lettering, black chrome grille set off by glitzy facets, smart roof rails and gloss black door mirrors.
Interior features include a panoramic glass roof with electric blind and ambient lighting, aluminium door sills and sports pedals as well as GT Line floor mats, sat nav and a reversing camera in glorious colour.
The cabin is a swanky affair with top notch fit and finish as well as the ‘i-Cockpit' dash and control layout featuring a multi-function seven-inch touchscreen controlling major functions such as the high-quality sound system, sat nav, climate and connectivity including smartphone and MirrorLink allowing phone apps to be displayed.
There is sporty red stitching on seats and doors as well as an alloy finish to the futuristic handbrake, gear lever, steering wheel and door trim.
The engines available are 82, 110 and 130bhp, 1.2-litre, three cylinder petrol units, or 75, 100 and 120bhp, four cylinder turbodiesels with a choice of five or six-speed manual gearboxes and one automatic with the 110 petrol unit.
The nippy 1.2-litre underneath the bonnet of this version - aided and abetted by the slick six-speed transmission - wasted no time powering the 2008 away from the traffic lights and on to 62mph in a shade under 10 seconds - the only downside in winter being a freezing gear lever in your hand which takes time to warm up.
On the plus side the engine makes a sound more reminiscent of a Ferrari than a Peugeot thanks the gravelly roar associated with three pot engines.
It is also reasonable easy on the bank balance with fuel economy claimed at 58.9mpg and carbon dioxide emissions of 110g/km.
Peugeot offer an intelligent Grip Control on some models - which can be utilised to optimise traction in various conditions. It directs power and increases grip to either of the front wheels depending on conditions. A rotary dial allows you to select settings for mud, sand and snow allowing car and driver to handle most eventualities.
The 2008 is surprisingly nimble to drive for a family crossover model that sits quite high. The ride is on the firm side without being uncomfortable so long motorway journeys are anything but a chore, particularly as the car does a good job of keeping road and wind noise at bay.
There is plenty of space for four adults while the boot is a good size swallowing 410 litres of luggage. When more loadspace is needed the rear seats split and fold at the touch of a button creating a cave capable of accommodating 1,400 litres of family clutter.