Such aggressive pricing undercuts the $23,490 Holden Trax, which was the first of a new wave of sub-compact, city car-based SUVs heading to Australia.
Ford and Renault will join the category in the forthcoming months with, respectively, the EcoSport and Captur. The Nissan Juke crossover isn't a traditional-looking SUV like the 2008 but could also be considered a competitor, and it launches later this month, also from $21,990.
It's 200mm longer and 96mm higher than the 208, and features increased ground clearance.
There are three trim grades: Active, Allure and Outdoor.
Peugeot’s price-leader 2008 is equipped with a manual transmission only, teamed with a 60kW/118Nm 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol. It’s another $3000 for an Active auto, and although it gets just four speeds, the engine does change to a 1.6-litre four-cylinder with more power and torque.
The mid-range Peugeot 2008 Allure uses that same 1.6L petrol engine that produces 88kW and 160Nm, but is available with either the manual or optional four-speed auto.
Allure starts at $27,990 in manual form, or $29,990 with the auto.
The range-topping Outdoor (pictured top) costs from $31,990 and gets a diesel engine that isn't available in the 208 – a 1.6-litre turbo diesel.
As with the entry-level Peugeot 2008, its sales are likely to be hindered by the lack of an automatic gearbox option. On the plus side, the diesel does offer a healthy torque output of 230Nm, but just 68kW of power.
Official fuel consumption for the diesel is the lowest of the three engines, at 4.0L/100km. It's middle of the pack of acceleration with a 0-100km/h time of 11.5 seconds.
The 1.2 petrol manual Active takes a long 13.5 seconds for the same measurement, though it also squeezes under the 5.0L/100km mark (4.9).
The 1.6 petrol auto Active and Allure models reach 100km/h in 11.2 seconds and claim 6.5L/100km on the combined cycle.
The quickest Peugeot 2008 is the 1.6 petrol and manual gearbox combination, with a time of 9.5 seconds. Fuel use is rated at 5.9L/100km.
Impressively, every Peugeot 2008 features a reverse-view camera, rear parking sensors, as well as seven-inch touchscreen.
The 2008 Active’s standard features also include six airbags, stability control, cruise control, height and reach adjustable leather steering wheel, electric and heated side mirrors, Bluetooth, trip computer, foglights, LED daytime running lights, and 16-inch alloy wheels with spacesaver spare.
The Peugeot 2008 Allure adds key items such as satellite navigation, rain-sensing wipers, auto headlights, panoramic sunroof, dark tinted rear side windows, and dual-zone climate control.
At the top, the Peugeot 2008 Outdoor includes 17-inch alloy wheels, and Grip Control that brings a rotary dial that allows the driver to select different vehicle settings to help the front-wheel-drive baby SUV cope with variable surfaces including mud and sand.
Options include metallic paint ($750) or pearlescent paint ($950), leather heated seats ($2000, Allure and Outdoor only), or sat-nav ($1500) for the Active.
Boot space is a relatively large 410 litres – beating the Trax's boot by 54 litres.
Peugeot Australia has also launched a longer capped price servicing plan with the Peugeot 2008. It covers five years or 75,000km, with each annual service contained at $369.
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