Renault Koleos 2012 review
Craig Duff road tests and reviews the 2012 Renault Koleos.
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The 4008 is French carmaker, Peugeot’s, first entry into the booming compact SUV market.
It is part of a joint venture between Peugeot and Mitsubishi and comes off the same Japanese factory as the Mitsubishi ASX. The ASX was launched here in July 2010 nearly two years ahead of the Peugeot.
With a price range of $28,990 to $38,490 the Peugeot 4008 offers excellent value for a European SUV, or more correctly a European-styled SUV. The value is increased when Peugeot’s new Assured Service Plan is factored in.
The plan places a $330 capped price on all services during the first three years of its life and applies to all buyers, be they private, business, fleet and or government. It also transfers if the car is sold within that three-year period. Equipment levels are high and it offers excellent value for money.
The Active gets 16-inch alloy wheels, reversing camera with rear vision mirror display, cruise control, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, reversing camera with a rear-vision mirror display, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth telephone and audio, USB and auxiliary sockets, climate-control air conditioning, coloured multifunction monitor and a full-sized spare wheel/tyre.
The higher-specced Allure adds xenon headlights, leather trim interior, 18-inch alloys, powered and heated front seats.
Peugeot 4008 comes in the Active (with 2WD and AWD, manual and CVT) and Allure (AWD and CVT only). Unusually, for a company that for many years bucked the petrol-only trend in Australia by selling diesel-powered passenger cars, the 4008 is only offered with a 2.0-litre petrol engine, with power and torque peak at 110 km and 197 Nm (at 4200 rpm).
Diesel engines are available for the 4008 however, in line with the European preference, only with manual transmission, a combination that Peugeot Australia believes would not attract sufficient sales in our auto-centric market to justify them being imported. By contrast, Mitsubishi, with no history of diesel passenger cars, has included a 1.8-litre manual-only diesel in the ASX range.
Although the two vehicles are almost identical under the skin the Peugeot 4008 and Mitsubishi ASX have their own distinctive styling. Except for the roof and doors, all external panels are different. Styling is a very personal thing but we’ve long been fans of the current Peugeot design theme especially the wide-mouthed grille that stands out as the 4008’s dominant feature.
Inside is a soft texture fascia and lacquered piano-black centre console which adds a gentle ambience. The controls are large and well-placed with an instrument panel that’s back-lit day and night, unlike some others that, annoyingly, turn off when the car enters a tunnel.
Interior space is about par for the course with reasonable rear headroom despite the dipping roofline. The rear seat is only really suitable for two adults or three pre-teen children with borderline rear legroom when the front seat is well back.
Boot capacity is 416 litres with a relatively high loading lip partly the result of having a full-sized spare wheel under the floor. The rear seats fold to a storage space of 1193 litres, with the alternative of a ski hatch behind the folding armrest.
Safety features include seven airbags, ABS brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Program and front foglights.
We’ve just completed back-to-back tests on an automatic AWD Allure and a manual AWD Active on a mixture of suburban, motorway, rural (including gravel) roads.
Although it’s among the lighter models in its class (between 1375 kg and 1470 kg) its performance, although capable enough in everyday conditions is certainly not exciting. The manual gearbox is a five-speed unit which revs a bit too high when cruising and could do with an extra gear. Otherwise it’s light and easy to use.
The all-wheel drive system in the 4008 has three settings: 2WD for urban conditions and lower fuel consumption, 4WD with electronically controlled torque distribution between the front and rear axles, and 4WD Lock for conditions that require maximum grip.
Around town the 4008 is an excellent commuter with the higher driving position that appeals to female drivers and also adds to safety. The car cruised smoothly and quietly on the freeway, offset only by the annoying CVT noise when under hard acceleration or the excess revs at motorway speeds.
The suspension compromise tends more towards the firm than the soft which will attract the driving enthusiast but it’s not so harsh as to deter the average commuter. On our initial test when Peugeot launched the 4008 they did send us along on some relatively harsh roads where a number of potholes sent some body-rattling shudders through the car.
The positive side to the firm suspension is that it provides safe and precise handling and steering. It’s more at home in an urban rather than a rural environment where the combination of relatively heavy weight and small engine means that it can struggle in hilly areas.
Overall the Peugeot 4008 is a neat, well-built and well-engineered compact SUV that combines the best from its two source continents.
|Active (4x2)||2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO||$10,990 – 14,950||2012 Peugeot 4008 2012 Active (4x2) Pricing and Specs|
|Active (4x4)||2.0L, PULP, 5 SP MAN||$9,240 – 13,090||2012 Peugeot 4008 2012 Active (4x4) Pricing and Specs|
|Allure (4x4)||2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO||$7,999 – 14,990||2012 Peugeot 4008 2012 Allure (4x4) Pricing and Specs|
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