Peugeot 2008 GT Line is a French kiss

I’m always bustling around on the weekend, either moving from Boksburg to Springs or travelling further north to Johannesburg and Pretoria. Not being much of an outgoing person anymore, the experience usually isn’t a pleasant one. But this time I was fortunate that I had a busy couple of days ahead to explore the roads with the Peugeot 2008 GT Line.

At first, I was not as excited as I normally am when it comes to driving new cars. I simply never took an interest in Peugeots before. I was pre-programmed to believe that Peugeots are not good cars; Jeremy Clarkson, for one, always had a laugh about the brand on Top Gear back in the day.

But then I actually saw the vehicle. It was good looking, and what got me was the actual unlocking. When you press the button on the key, the lights beam, the car looks mean and it fills you with the desire to press your foot deep into the accelerator.

I jumped in, and thought it was only fitting to enjoy the only French song I know: Ramenez la coupe à la maison by Vegedream — a tribute to the French footballers who won the 2018 Fifa World Cup. 

I hit the N12 to find out whether this furious-looking Peugeot was backed up by power. The 1.2-litre turbo engine did not disappoint. 

Every time I pressed the pedal, I felt a welcome kick and serious boost in speed. When the car really got going, I almost felt as if I was moving as fast as Kylian Mbappe — the star of that World Cup winning squad.

The futuristic features of the car stood out even more than its performance. It’s always great to have a car that can get you from A to B quickly, but to actually enjoy a vehicle … that’s where the potential for romance sets in. 

Peugeot has built up this really nifty idea of an aircraft cockpit for the driver that includes a 3D computer screen, a panel of controls and a slanted LED screen with all the features needed for any type of trip.

While it is cool, the 3D screen can get a little distracting. Peugeot has opted for a different type of speedometer, moving away from the ticker, and it does what it should do, but on a 3D screen! I kept looking at it just because it was that fascinating, but when I looked up at the road again, my eyes felt almost as if I’d sat in a 3D cinema for an hour and then walked out into the light of day.

My favourite feature was being able to change the colour settings on the LED screen and the driver’s computer screen. I went with the green theme because it suited the car’s sporty, futuristic nature. 

The boot is ample, but the damned steering wheel is way too small for a car that is considered a SUV. I understand that Peugeot is offering a sporty, futuristic car, but at the end of it all, I still want to feel like I am driving a big car if I lash out the cash in this segment.

Starting at R359 000, for the speed, the features and the feeling you get while driving the Peugeot 2008, it seems to be worth the money. But you will always have challenges with maintenance and struggle to find parts for Peugeots in South Africa, as they are not freely available from regular workshops. 

Unfortunately you have to go directly through Peugeot to get them, which can end up being expensive, and this means that at the end of the day, the 2008’s longevity is questionable.

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Eyaaz Matwadia
Eyaaz Matwadia
Eyaaz Matwadia is a member of the Mail & Guardian's online team.

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