Nissan Juke Ti-S 2014 Review
We are still not fans of the styling but after a good stint in the top of the range Nissan Juke Ti-S, turbo all-wheel drive we rather like the froggy-faced sub-compact SUV.
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Peugeot 2008 is small SUV based on the Peugeot 208 hatchback. It joins the sales fray in what has suddenly become a rather busy market category – that of sub-compact SUVs. In the last three months we've seen the introduction of the all-new Ford EcoSport, Holden Trax and Nissan Juke. Soon to arrive is the Renault Captur.
Suzuki has just launched it new S-Cross, and the Mini Countryman has been around for a while. Both vehicles are slightly larger than the Peugeot 2008, but may also fall into the 'please-consider' category.
The new Peugeot 2008 is relatively conservative in its design theme, unlike the way-out appearance of other sub-compact SUVs - the Juke and Trax are right out there, as is the Captur. Having been in the vanguard of the 'big-grille' era that is now being copied by just about everyone else, Peugeot has moved onwards into another styling theme.
Which is exactly what you would expect from the French marque. Peugeot is the world's oldest car nameplate, introducing its first automobiles in 1889, having built bicycles for the previous 60 years. So it comes as no surprise the French marque wants to retain its trendsetter image.
There are three equipment levels, Peugeot 2008 Active, 2008 Allure and 2008 Outdoor. All have alloy wheels, air conditioning, Bluetooth telephone and audio streaming and a USB socket, front and rear foglights and stylish roof rails.
The midrange 2008 Allure adds leather trim, heated front seats, satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control, automatic wipers and full-length dark glass roof with a retractable blind.
Peugeot 2008 Outdoor has Peugeot's Grip Control traction control system (more about it in a moment), larger 17-inch alloys, up one inch on the other models, and engine stop-start.
Peugeot 2008 comes with the choice of three engines: a three-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol, a four-cylinder 1.6-litre petrol and 1.6-litre turbo-diesel. The 1.6-litre petrol is the only one offered with an automatic transmission. A somewhat out of date unit with only four forward ratios.
Though they can (just) trace their design back to the days of 4WDs, very few modern SUVs are intended to be anything other than passenger wagons, so the Peugeot 2008 comes only with two-wheel drive (to the front wheels).
Cleverly, Peugeot 2008 Outdoor has what the engineers call a Grip Control package aimed at giving it extra traction in slippery conditions. The driver can select between five modes: Standard, Snow, Off-Road, Sand and ESP Off. Our test car was the top-of-the range Peugeot 2008 Outdoor with the turbo-diesel and mandatory five-speed manual gearbox.
Interior space is good for a wagon of this size, but best suited to couples with pre-teen children rather than four adults. The tall seating position does mean the front occupants can move their seats forward and still remain pretty comfortable, so making space for adults behind them isn't too much of a hassle.
Boot space is a very useful 410 litres, which can be expanded to 1400 litres with the 33/67 seat backs folded flat by way of a clever quick-release mechanism. The safety and convenience of multiple anchor points, retaining connectors and a cargo net is appreciated.
Six airbags, reversing camera, rear parking sensors, daytime running lights and a full set of electronic traction and braking systems ensure the 2008 is one of the safest in its field. It received five stars in European crash testing.
A surprising omission is grab handles. While not usually listed as a safety feature they do let passengers minimise the chances of being bounced about on rough roads or during spirited driving.
With only 68 kW 'our' Peugeot 2008 Outdoor turbo-diesel wasn't exactly over endowed with power. But diesels are all about torque and a useful 230 Nm makes the 2008 Outdoor feel livelier than the other specs suggest. Keeping the engine in its broad rev range was never a problem as the five-speed manual has a good change action.
Down changes often weren't required in hilly driving as the turbocharger can push in extra shove on demand. Typically fuel consumption during our test period was in the six to seven litres per hundred kilometres range in country driving, rising to seven to nine litres per hundred around town.
Handling has always been a Peugeot strong point and although the 2008 is no sports car it clings to the road surprisingly well without any loss in comfort. Chassis balance is good and the driver gets a fair degree of feedback through the steering wheel.
A controversial feature is the tiny racecar-style steering wheel. We love the look and feel of it, but there were times when it blocked the view of sections of the high-mounted instrument panel.
In a triumph of fashion over function Peugeot has come up with a chunky handbrake lever that's very awkward to use. And it's all-but impossible to put the handbrake on without creating the horrible screeching sound that irritates many people. Give us one with a normal push-in button any day.
Peugeot 2008 has a neat appearance, comfort, carrying capacity and good engine options. But the lack of an automatic option in too many models will hurt sales. It is covered by the importer's new five-year Assured Capped Price Servicing Plan, at $369 a year.
|Active||1.6L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO||$7,200 – 11,220||2014 Peugeot 2008 2014 Active Pricing and Specs|
|Allure||1.6L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO||$9,800 – 14,740||2014 Peugeot 2008 2014 Allure Pricing and Specs|
|Outdoor||1.6L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN||$12,300 – 17,820||2014 Peugeot 2008 2014 Outdoor Pricing and Specs|