Peugeot’s revival in Singapore continues apace, and the new 2008 offers an interesting Gallic alternative to the usual crossover crowd
Peugeot has been on a bit of a roll lately, releasing a whole new hash of new models to revitalise its line-up after a period of stagnation. The facelifted 3008 and 5008 crossovers provided us with a bit of a teaser, and now the French lion has brought us the new 2008 to Singapore.
As the name (or number) suggests, the 2008 is the smallest of Peugeot’s current crossover trio, and it competes against a good number of similar-sized small crossovers in the market. The most obvious one is its fellow French offering, the Renault Captur, which is also a fresh arrival, but the Pug also has to compete with a wide variety of rivals that span from the Kia Seltos to the Volkswagen T-Cross, and many more in between.
It therefore needs something special to stand out from this huge crowd of crossovers, and certainly Peugeot has done its best in order to make the 2008 unique. At the very least, the 2008’s styling is pretty bold, with a large imposing grille up front, flanked by sharp-looking LED headlights with a thin lighting strip that runs diagonally down, almost resembling a claw. The test car’s Orange Fushion paintwork, matched with the gloss black roof, adds to the car’s head-turning ability.
The interior is a bit more serious, but there are still some novel elements as well. The 2008 introduces what Peugeot calls the 3D i-Cockpit, and the digital driving instruments have this 3D effect that looks pretty funky. You can’t actually see it in pictures, but it’s quite a cool-looking feature to play around with.
The rest of the cabin is mostly standard Peugeot, meaning the small steering wheel and the instrument panel high up on the dashboard. The 7-inch infotainment touchscreen does look a bit basic, but it is complemented by a set of switches beneath it to control stuff like the aircon and ventilation. There is also a wireless smartphone charger, hidden away in a neat covered compartment, while Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity is standard.
Other standard equipment worth noting is the hands-free walkaway function, which locks or unlocks the door based on the proximity of the key fob. It’s not exactly a new item, as it is also available on the Captur, but it does prove particularly useful, especially if you have your hands full.
Space-wise, the 2008 offers enough room to accommodate five, although it majors more on headroom than legroom. There are no aircon vents for the passengers, though there’s a pair of USB ports instead to charge their devices. The boot is a handy 434 litres, expandable to 1,467 litres with the rear seats folded down, and there’s a handy double level boot floor that expands the space further.
As a stylish and practical crossover, the 2008 does have the most of the right boxes ticked. On the road though, it presents itself with a slightly more mature demeanour, while still retaining that little bit of youthful verve. The 1.2-litre turbo three-pot is the same powerplant found in the 3008 and 5008, and develops 129hp and 230Nm of torque. In the smaller-sized 2008 however, the engine provides plenty of energy to slug the car through acceleration runs, although ultimately it’s not exactly fast once you reach the top end of the rev range.
The 2008 also manages to strike a nice balance between ride and handling too. The car copes with most road surfaces well, only getting really disturbed by huge bumps and potholes, as you’d expect from most small cars. In the bends, the 2008 corners fairly neutrally, nothing spectacular but it’s reasonably well-sorted for an SUV.
At S$130,888 inclusive of COE for the top-spec GT trim, the 2008 does sit on the higher end of price range for small SUVs in Singapore. There is a Premium version that goes for 10 grand less though, and omits the LED daytime running lights and black roof, but still proves good value.
Still, the 2008 marks Peugeot’s return as a brand to be reckoned with in Singapore, and local distributor AutoFrance has played it smart by hedging their bets on the now-very popular crossover genre (although the head-turning 508 sedan is up next). There’s a lot more competition for Peugeot to reckon with though, but those looking for a stylish French crossover now know where to look.
Peugeot 2008 1.2 PureTech GT
|Engine||1,199cc, in-line three, turbocharged|
|Power||129hp at 5500rpm|
|Torque||230Nm at 1750rpm|
|VES Banding||B / S$0|
|Price||S$130,888 with COE|
|Verdict:||Stylish and practical, the 2008 is a neat French alternative for those looking for a crossover with a difference|