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The new Peugeot 2008 is this week's small SUV

Inflate Peugeot’s 208 to 100PSI and this is what you get

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Just imagine it as a hardcore Dakar racer. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the seemingly angry new Peugeot 2008: a sort of jacked-up 208 hatch, battling the burgeoning class of mini-SUVs.

Like its sister cars the Citroen C3 Aircross and DS3 Crossback. And other stuff like VW T-Cross, Seat Arona, Nissan Juke, Hyundai Kona, Kia Stonic… you get the picture. There are loads of ‘em. All small and fighty.

None, we suspect, as fighty as this. It certainly looks upset about something. Peugeot explains it’s “a lively and incisive style”, and the word “robust” is deployed. In a market now saturated by these little SUVs, standing out is probably a good shout. The C3 Aircross looks positively cuddly in comparison.

All of Peugeot’s new design language signatures are on display here: the LED light ‘claws’ up front, lots of swooshes and lines, that distinctive rear. This new 2008 sits on the CMP platform (if chassis codes are your bag) and allows for a “new record” of rear-seat spaciousness from it. Peugeot also notes how there are loads of storage compartments dotted around, and that the boot folds almost totally flat. That’s really handy.

The main interior is now occupied by Peugeot’s i-Cockpit that we’ve become used to: tiny steering wheel, HD screen, a sort of nightclub-esque feel. There’s much assistance as required for this kind of car – park assist, emergency braking, lane assist, blind spot monitoring and so on – along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. There are four USB sockets, too, as well as an induction charging zone for your phone.

Peugeot is offering four trim levels (Active, Allure, GT Line and GT) and three motivational forces: pure EV, petrol and diesel. The electric version – the e-2008 – gets a 130bhp/192lb ft motor, powered by a 50kWh battery (sited in the floor of the chassis) that, claims Peugeot, offers up to 193 miles on a single charge. The battery’s got an eight-year/160,000km guarantee for 70 per cent of its capacity.

There’s also a three-pot 1.2-litre petrol version available in 97bhp, 126bhp and 150bhp guise, and a 1.5-litre diesel with either 97bhp or 126bhp. We’ll get UK-specific engine details in due course, no doubt before it goes on sale towards the end of the year.

Just in time for being pumped up for next year’s Dakar racer, too…

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