Test all limits in the Nissan Navara
Test all limits in the Nissan Navara

Peugeot Pride in South Africa

Due to the global pandemic, Peugeot South Africa was forced to delay introducing its new 2008 model several times. However, as we welcomed 2021, so too were we able to welcome the latest 2008 model. Justin Jacobs attended the local media launch, which saw the contingent travel to a very wet and muddy Limpopo. The compact cross-over was
well and truly put to the test.

With roughly 20% of all new passenger cars sold in South Africa being cross-overs, it comes as no surprise that this segment is flooded with new products on an almost monthly basis.

The latest Peugeot 2008 is the brand’s first product to arrive on local shores under the recently formed Stellantis group (following the merger of PSA Groupe and FCA), which is now the fourth largest automobile manufacturer in the world (by volume). Powered by a plucky 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine in two states of tune – 74kW and 205Nm or 96kW and 230Nm – there are three trim levels available to buyers: Active, Allure and GT.

From a design aspect, the newcomer features a bold design that captures your attention. Some stand-out styling elements are the front LED lights, featuring a striking three-claw light design and “sabre-tooth” daytime running lights lower down. The body itself features prominent character lines, giving the car an edgy look and the black C-pillars and black roof give a floating roof-like illusion, adding to the visual appeal. The three-claw light design is repeated at the rear, which adds to the sculptured and somewhat artistically themed design.

It is, however, the interior that impresses most. Quality surfaces, coupled with a modern and easy to use switchgear, adds to a cocooned and ergonomic design. The dashboard is driver-focused and incorporates Peugeot’s third-generation i-Cockpit, featuring a new 3D instrument cluster. It is quite complex and takes some time to grasp – our advice would be to rather connect your smartphone via the seven-inch (Active) or 10-inch (Allure and GT) infotainment screen.

The GT model boasts a wireless charging pad, four USB ports, and a USB-C port, while music lovers can enjoy the 10-speaker Focal premium sound system. From a practicality perspective, the vehicle is equipped with a two-position boot floor, with a luggage capacity of 434 litres.

Our launch route saw us head out towards Limpopo, and despite some heavy rain, the trip was relatively hassle-free. The Peugeot offers an impressively comfortable ride quality for a vehicle in this segment, and the engine provides enough punch to deal with most overtaking situations. One big issue, however, is the cruise-control module. It is near unfathomable due to a vast array of buttons and processes that need to be pushed and done in sequence. The small steering wheel is also a bit of an odd one as when set in a normal driving position, it blocks your view of the instrument cluster.

However, all the niggles were forgotten when we reached the gravel road to our overnight destination. It was an utter muddy mess, but thanks to a clever new drive select mode called Grip Control, the 2008 managed rather well. Despite some slipping and sliding, the front-wheel-drive cross-over pulled through the thick mud with impressive ease.

In closing, the new Peugeot really did impress as an attractive and visually appealing offer in the segment, albeit not without its quirks. Additionally, the company’s dedication to fixing some past shortcomings is admirable – the brand has established a large parts storage facility in Gauteng, and they are rapidly growing their dealer network.

New Peugeot 2008: South African pricing

Active 1.2T 74kW MT6: R359 900

Active 1.2T 96kW AT6: R399 900

Allure 1.2T 96kW AT6: R429 900

GT 1.2T 96kW AT6: R479 900

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