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Test drive: the new Peugeot 2008 Crossover

Test drive: the new Peugeot 2008 Crossover

The new Peugeot 2008 Crossover goes on sale in the UK on July 18th and is looking to take a sizeable chunk of the ever-growing crossover new car market. A crossover takes up about about the same footprint size of the supermini upon which it's based, but with taller suspension, a higher roof line and estate-like larger boot area, they make perfect sense of bigger families on the move. The 2008 range starts at £12,995, just £1,000 extra over the 208 supermini. Here's our test drive report.

The new 2008 Crossover is based on the recently launched 208 supermini and shares much of the 208's modern and funky styling, including those highly detailed headlights with LED highlights, the 'floating' chrome front grille and heavily sculpted body lines. There's no doubting that the 2008 looks good on the road, with a little more road-presence than the small and cheeky 208, thanks to its greater stature – it's 200mm longer and 96mm taller in the roof - and its raised-by25mm suspension.

On the road, the 2008 drives very calmly and quietly with minimal road and wind noise, and has a suspension set up that's tuned more for comfort than hard cornering. This, I feel, suits the 2008's intended purpose – a large and comfortable family transporter.

Headline-grabbing 2008 range highlights include low CO2 engines – from 98g/km of CO2 – and combined economy figures of up to a whopping 74.3 mpg. There is a wide choice of engines to power the 2008; all of them modern, flexible and fuel efficient.

The new 3-cylinder VTi 82bhp petrol engine I tried was very impressive considering its small size and fuel-sipping nature. With 'just' three cylinders and 82bhp on tap you might think that this little engine is under powered. But it's not. In town it's very happy to nip around and on the motorway it will cruise at 70mph in top (5th) gear, with hardly a growl from under the bonnet. Sure, you may have to use the 5-speed manual gearbox a little more carefully than you would with one of the very torquey diesel engines, but unless you do many thousands of miles a year, this little petrol engine is the perfect economy partner.

I also test-drove the 2008 with a 1.6 e-HDi 115 turbodiesel engine; a more expensive car, but a very satisfying 115bhp-drive indeed. This is the most powerful engine you can buy with your new 2008 and it's very quick to pull the 2008's relatively light weight. With a 6-speed manual gearbox and plenty of engine torque, the 1.6 e-HDi 115 makes short work of motorway slip roads; dropping the driver into the flow of faster traffic with little fuss or noise. And all with some of the very best economy in its class.

Another drivetrain area of note with the new 2008 Crossover is the introduction, as standard, of Grip Control on Allure and Feline models. This system is patented by Peugeot and optimises traction – via the traction control system - in poor grip conditions like snow or mud. Combine these clever electronics with the car's specially developed ‘Mud & Snow’ tyres and that raised suspension, and you've got a front-wheel drive crossover that's far, far better in sticky conditions than your average car. I even drove it up an indoor ski slope, making slippery gradients that I'd never summit without the 2008's special equipment.

The 2008 Crossover range is made up of four trim levels: Access+, Active, Allure & Feline, with the standard equipment rising through the trim levels, with the price. The most affordable 2008 Crossover is the Access+ model with either a petrol 1.2 VTi 82 engine or a diesel 1.4 HDi 70 engine. These models cost between £12,995 and £14,295 and get some nice standard kit.

We have rear lamps featuring 'claw effect' LED's, LED daytime running lights, colour coded door mirrors and door handles, roof bars, electric front windows with 'one touch' for driver, remote controlled central locking, cruise control with speed limiter, electric and heated door mirrors, height and reach adjustable steering wheel, driver's seat with height adjustment, radio / CD player with steering column mounted controls and a 3.5mm jack for external audio, and manual air conditioning with a nifty refrigerated glove box. And that's not even all of it!

With standard kit like this, great on-road manners and some very exciting all-weather technology, the stylish and well-built Peugeot 2008 Crossover is indeed a welcome edition to the crossover new car market, and I'd expect it to sell very well.

Posted by Craig SalterADNFCR-3205-ID-801608153-ADNFCR