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1 Oct 2013

PEUGEOT rush-released its all-new 2008 sub-compact SUV in Australia in order to jump on the booming segment bandwagon.

Architecturally, it is built on PSA’s new P1 platform that debuted with the 208 in 2012, and benefits from many of its kilo-paring measures such as the extensive use of lightweight materials and minimal front and rear overhangs, but is stretched and raised for its role as a crossover. Its development began in France in 2010.

Key length (4159mm), width (1739mm), and height (1556mm) measurements are 195mm, 25mm, and 96mm larger than the 208 respectively, while ground clearance is 165mm – 25mm higher than the baby hatch. Wheelbase comes in at 2538mm.

Unlike the old 4007 and existing 4008 SUVs, nothing is shared with any Mitsubishi.

No all-wheel drive option is in the pipeline at this time.

While reflecting similar styling cues, the five-door wagon body is completely different to the 208 (as opposed to the slow-selling 207 SW wagon that it replaces), with considerably more interior space for its more family-focussed orientation.

The base 2008 Active is available in two petrol drivetrain specifications – a 1199cc 1.2-litre three-cylinder VTi with a five-speed manual, and a 1598cc 1.6-litre four-cylinder VTi available with either a five-speed manual or aforementioned four-speed auto.

Tipping the scales at a flyweight 1053kg, the former produces 60kW of power at 5750rpm and 118Nm of torque at 2750rpm.

In comparison, the 1086kg 1.6-litre petrol-powered 2008 delivers 88kW at 6000rpm and 160Nm at 4250rpm finally, and aided by stop/start technology, the 1164kg 1560cc 1.6-litre e-HDi four-cylinder turbo-diesel powered Outdoor model is a five-speed only proposition, offering 68kW at 4000rpm and 230Nm at 1750rpm.

As no four-wheel drive version is planned for now, the Outdoor introduces a new ESC electronic stability control-based front-wheel torque vectoring option known as Grip Control, that allows the 2008 to amble through mud, sand, and snow.

As with the 208, the steering is an electric rack and pinion set-up, while the suspension is via ‘pseudo’ MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam in the rear.

All 2008s include a full suite of front, side and curtain airbags, ESC, anti-lock brakes, Hill-Start Assist, cruise control with speed limiter, a rear camera within a seven-inch multi-function touchscreen, rear parking radar, power windows all round, remote central locking, roof bars, steering wheel mounted controls, electric heated and operated door mirrors, four-wheel disc brakes, Bluetooth/USB audio, and alloy wheels.

Cargo volume is rated at 410 litres with the rear split/fold seats up in situ and 1400L when they’re down.

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