Peugeot 2008 a classy

little crossover

START up a Peugeot 2008 after dusk and you're greeted by an array of red LED lights winding their way around the instrument cluster.

Up on the roof there's another light display, this time in blue marking out the boundary between the car and the panoramic sun roof.

It's classy stiff and marks this £21,000 compact crossover out as one of the most stylish around.

In GT Line trim the new look 2008 is at the premium end of the booming small SUV sector and it makes a fine fist of being a high grade family all-rounder.

This one was powered by Peugeot's award-winning PureTech three pot 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine that pumps out 130ps.

On the road it is a fine performer - brisk through the gears yet impressively frugal.

In almost 2,000 miles of mainly long distance and motorway work the Peugeot 2008 returned close on 47 to the gallon.

Stop/start - the time idle is logged on a time display in the trip computer - hardly came into play and given an overall average speed of more than 40mph it was an excellent performance.

Peugeot claims an official fuel return of 58.9mpg with a CO2 rating of 110g/km for this version of the 2008 and for private buyers that means the GT Line will cost £140 a year in road tax and for business users it drops into the 21 per cent band.

There's no complaints with onboard ambience in the day either. A central touchscreen sits at the top of the dash and controls most of the car's functions including the air conditioning, sound system and sat nav.

The dashboard is relatively clutter free with more controls on the steering wheel than on the instrument panel itself.

The 2008 is fitted with Peugeot's mini steering wheel that may feel unusual at first but quickly becomes very comfortable with the bonus of an unobstructed view of the instrument panel.

Peugeot's description of it as a head up display is taking things a little far but it does enable information to be seen almost in the driver's line of sight.

A central panel between the rev counter and speed can be configured in a number of ways to show trip information, navigation instructions or a digital speed readout and it all helps the driver feel very much at one with the 2008.

Other classy touches on this model included red stripes in the interior trim panels, gloss black door handles, 17-inch black alloys and a matt black grille which set off the red paint job in no uncertain fashion.

Space inside is good and it is a comfortable car front and back the although the centre console is not that generous and neither is the glovebox. However, that is countered to some extent by large door pockets.

The handbrake is an unusual shape and fits into the palm rather than being grabbed and pulled - a halfway house perhaps between conventional and an electronic parking brake.

Performance figures are 0 to 60 in 9.3 seconds with a top speed of 124mph and the GT Line model lives up to its name when cruising.

Handling and dynamics are more hatch than SUV and the ride is not compromised in any way by the higher body line.

Boot space is 410 litres in everyday configuration and 1,400 litres with the rear seats folded and that's another family-friendly feature.

As the range topper in the current 2008 line up the GT Line also features Peugeot's Grip Control electronic traction system which is another string to its bow.

It's not a full 4x4 set up but gives the car plenty of ability in poor conditions and being electronic there's no penalty when it comes to the added weight of an all-wheel-drive system which impacts on fuel economy.

FAST FACTS

Peugeot 2008 a classy little crossover

Price: £20,800

Mechanical:129bhp, 1,199cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 124mph

0-62mph: 9.3 seconds

Combined MPG: 58.9

Insurance Group: 19

C02 emissions: 110g/km

Bik rating: 21%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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