IN recent years Peugeot stylists have progressed from one extreme to the other and their latest efforts especially up front with the new grille design which is shown to advantage on their latest 2008 SUV that is currently enjoying a sales boom in the UK and around the world writes Bryan Longworth.
For a few years ago Peugeot cars featured a rather large front grille which in my opinion was not very attractive and did nothing to boost the company image but that is now a thing of the past and the latest grille as featured on the updated 2008 creates an immediate good impression out on the streets and in showrooms.
Global sales of the new 2008 SUV in the first six months of 2016 rose by 16 per cent and the recent introduction of the revised 2008 SUV will further boost this sales increase because of the improvements which have boosted the image of this popular Pug.
That is my opinion after testing the 2008 GT Line PT 130 which has a three cylinder 1.2-litre 130bhp petrol engine driving the front wheels though a six speed manual gearbox and costing £19,570 - vital statistics are a top speed of 124mph, zero to 62mph time of 9.3 seconds, combined fuel consumption of 58.9 mpg and CO2 emissions of 110g/km which means low road tax.
The compact SUV market is very competitive with the 2008 taking on the likes of the Renault Captur and Nissan Juke but the latest version is well equipped in every way to more than hold its own and it is now arguably the best looking car in this class.
It has the look of a small 4x4 but there is no four wheel drive and instead Peugeot feature their Grip Control system with several modes which optimises traction in low grip conditions and is actually very effective especially when combined with all weather tyres being virtually as good as a 4x4.
Being a top GT line model there is an impressive standard spec level including very smart 17" alloy wheels, an easy to see 7" touch screen, satellite navigation, reversing camera, panoramic glass roof with electric blind and ambient lighting and premium GT line trim.
And another big plus point is that there is a spare wheel under the roomy rear load area rather than a puncture repair kit which numerous cars now have and which from my experience of having a puncture while driving abroad are not very effective.
The three pot petrol engine had that distinctive three cylinder sound which made one passenger think it was a diesel under the bonnet but the power unit was very effective providing quite lively motoring and linked with the handling qualities provided an enjoyable test period.
There is a quality feel about the interior especially the spacious comfortable seats with the two rear doors allowing easy access to them and the touch screen is a big improvement on the screen fitted to a friend's earlier Peugeot which is very difficult to see.
My only reservation about the interior concerned the instruments which have to be seen over the small steering wheel rather than through it and I found it difficult getting a really comfortable sighting position and I was pleased there was also a central digital speedometer which was much easier to see than the conventional speedo on the dial.
This latest 2008 with its purposeful styling looks the business and with winter approaching it is a good car to have in the garage because of its all weather ability and this particular Peugeot should have a very bright future.
Model: Revised Peugeot 2008 GT Line PT 130.
Engine: 1.2-litre three cylinder petrol.
Output: 130bhp @ 5500rpm.
Transmission: Six speed manual. Top speed: 124mph.
Acceleration: 0-62mph 9.3 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 58.9mpg combined.
CO2 emissions: 110g/km.