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An SUV, but without the bulk.

THE current all-consuming passion for driving more macho cars in the form of SUV models at the expense of the humble hatchback is causing a problem for some motorists.

For most of these vehicles tend to be larger than many people want or even need.

There are a few models out there, however, that look the part but have dimensions that make them easier to fit into your garage or even park at the local supermarket.

Take the newly revamped Peugeot 2008, for example. With its tall stance, black alloys, black roof bars and flared wheel arches it looks every inch the beefy SUV that's in demand but without the bulk.

And clever design work means that this little car has a Tardis-like persona. In other words it's far larger inside than it looks from the outside.

There's plenty of space for five adults to travel in comfort and, when you need to carry large items, the rear seatbacks fold down at the touch of a button to reveal the carrying capacity of a small van, with the bonus of a perfectly flat floor area.

And the interior of the GT Line model is quite luxurious, with full leather upholstery and a full-length glass panoramic sun roof. I particularly liked the translucent electric sun roof blind, which kept the heat of the day out while still letting in natural light.

For all their tough looks most SUV models tend to be two rather than four-wheel-drive, which is the case with the model driven here.

But the GT Line 2008 has a trick up its sleeve, which means it has the fuel consumption of a front-wheeldrive car - in this instance averaging over 76 miles per gallon - with the traction close to that of a four-wheeldrive model thanks to a feature called Grip Control.

It may not have quite the same traction as a full-blown 4x4 but it's certainly an excellent half-way house and as much as people will ever want.

In normal mode the 2008 pulls well on the highway. First gear is surprisingly sluggish but after that this little car becomes quite lively.

Despite its tall stance there is little body roll and in fact road holding and cornering are quite impressive.

There's good all-round vision and it's a very comfortable car to travel distances in although I found the engine noise levels a little harsh.

Like the Peugeot 208 hatch the 2008 has a tiny steering wheel allowing you to see all the relevant dials over the top of it and giving the car an even more sporty feel.

The GT Line is right at the top end of the price range of the 2008 line-up - which starts from just over PS16,000 - but there is a nice bit of kit on board and as with all cars you get what you pay for.

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The 2008 Peugeot GT Line

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Oct 6, 2017
Words:482
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