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There was an opportunity to build an interesting, compact, and rakish estate car here, one that would have fulfilled the same design brief. But it seems Peugeot has created a heavy, aerodynamically compromised crossover that looks a bit weird.

Yep, this is the 2008, a big small car with which Pug wants to symbolize its move up market. It’s just 4.16 metres long and 1.74 metres wide, bringing together what Peugeot claims is “the robustness of an SUV with the practicality of space, comfort and modularity displayed so successfully in the Marque’s existing passenger cars.”

See more pics of the Peugeot 2008 here

Let’s start inside. The diminutive 2.54-meter wheelbase means a bit of recalibration to get five people inside comfortably. The seat backs are thinner to boost rear legroom. The rears also fold down in a 60:40 split (with an automatically retracting base cushion) to increase storage from 360 to 1,194 litres, 22 of which are under the floor.

Unbelievably, it gets sexier. There’s a seven-inch touch screen to control the sat-nav and stereo. You can also go crazy personalising its innards - Peugeot’ll be offering the option of “flashes of contemporary colours” for the vents, centre console, instrument panel and sun visor that include yellow, pink and orange…

Pimpification extends outside, too - you’ll be able to change the sills, roof bars, front grille, mirror casings, rear door decoration, and wheel centres (the wheels themselves will be offered in 15”, 16” and 17”) through the accessory program.

So, what about engines? Petrol offerings range from an 82bhp 1.2-litre e-VTi emitting 99g/km, to a 130bhp 1.2-litre e-THP. The diesel options are either a 68bhp 1.4-litre HDi emitting 104g/km, right up to a 115bhp 1.6-litre e-HDi FAP.

Making sure that Herculean power’s transferred to the road is the manufacturer’s Grip Control system, as seen on the 3008. It has three modes selectable from a dial located on the centre console - Snow, Off-Road, Sand or ESP Off.

For the city, there’s also Park Assist - just like the Kia Cee’d Jeremy drove a few weeks ago - which uses ultrasound to measure an empty space then controls the steering to position it for you. Other gizmos include cruise control as standard. You also get six airbags chucked in with every model - two front, two side, two curtain - and ESP, stability control, emergency braking assistance, and electronic brake force distribution.

Which is all very well, but do you think the manufacturer should’ve just built a nice, stylish estate instead, TopGear.commers?

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