- I took this picture in a slightly foggy November morning in Northern Italy's beautiful countryside

This is our family car, but it's also my daily commuter since October. To be precise I started to drive this car on October the 21st because (thanks to Italian Law) for the first year with the driving license, people should drive cars with 55KW or less. So after a year driving my mum's Peugeot 206 (which I love and I call it "Little Rocket") finally I could shift to our other car, our family car, my dad's 2008, but I couldn't talk about it only from my dad's point of view or just after 20 minutes of driving, so I "tested" it for 2 months, and here I am...

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE BIG DAY OF ITS ARRIVAL HAVE A LOOK HERE

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BUT FIRST...SOME DATA

The lion on the steerig wheel

The lion on the steerig wheel

ENGINE: 1.6L BlueHDI 120 S&S (Diesel), 4 in-line cylinders, 8 valves, FWD

POWER: 120hp

GEARBOX: Manual 6 Gears

RANGE: 3.7L/100km

SIZE: 4.159m x 1.739m x 1.556m

WEIGHT: 1155kg - 1280kg

0-100km/h (0-60mph): 9.6 seconds

TOP SPEED: 190 KM/H, 118 MPH

SEATS: 5

INTERIORS: TEP Black Mistral and Oxford Fabric Black Mistral

WHEELS: 4 (AH! AH! VERY FUNNY!) 17'' Alloy "HERIDAN"

SAFETY FEATURES: ABS, ESP, ASR (Prevents tyre spinning), Dynamic Stability Control, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, 6 Airbags

EQUIPMENT: Rear-View camera, Rear parking sensors, Sat-Nav, Cornering lights (if you're turning right, the right fog light illuminates the right side of the road), 2-Zones Air-con, 7" Touchscreen, Cruise Control, Peugeot i-Cockpit, Grip Control

Rear View camera and Parking Sensors

Rear View camera and Parking Sensors

CORNERING LIGHTS: as you can see with the steering wheel pointing right, the right fog light illuminates the road, very useful in the darkness (OH YOU DON'T SAY)

CORNERING LIGHTS: as you can see with the steering wheel pointing right, the right fog light illuminates the road, very useful in the darkness (OH YOU DON'T SAY)

SAT-NAV, with Speed-limit indicator and traffic indicator (TOMTOM SYSTEM)

SAT-NAV, with Speed-limit indicator and traffic indicator (TOMTOM SYSTEM)

PEUGEOT i-COCKPIT

The Peugeot i-Cockpit consists in a little steering-wheel with a higher dashboard behind, this keeps your look high on the road, and you don't have to tilt too much your head to read the diles, so you can see incoming hazards and you are more concentrated on the road. It sounds a bit stupid, but it's really effective, you have a perfect sight on the dash and on the road. The little steering wheel is really good, you feel like you're driving a dodgem even if the car weights 1200 kg, it has a quick response and it's really precise, I find it very useful while parking and in narrow streets

I kept the phone more or less in my eye's position, you can see that effectively the dashboard is high and you don't see it through the steering wheel, but above the steering wheel

I kept the phone more or less in my eye's position, you can see that effectively the dashboard is high and you don't see it through the steering wheel, but above the steering wheel

This is the dasboard of a Peugeot 206, spot the differences

This is the dasboard of a Peugeot 206, spot the differences

GRIP CONTROL

The Grip Control is a device that when you select the type of surface and the ECU manages the torque delivered to the front wheels. Tecnically this makes the car behave like a 4WD car on off road paths, but I never tried it, we used it only twice: we used the Snow mode on a slippery snow-covered road and the second time we used the Mud mode on a very steep, slippery cobblestone road. The Mud mode can be used in all slippery and rough surfaces, Snow mode (guess where) on snow-covered surfaces, Sand mode on soft surfaces like dunes, beaches, ESP Off mode allows the driver to control the power delivery.

The Grip Control switch is between the Gear liver and the Handbrake (I'm sorry there's a lot of dust)

The Grip Control switch is between the Gear liver and the Handbrake (I'm sorry there's a lot of dust)

INTERIORS

In "Allure" eqipment you have LED lights embedded into the roof and they shine when it's dark

this is the roof

this is the roof

and this is how they look in the darkness

and this is how they look in the darkness

YES..YES...INTERESTING...BUT HOW IT FEELS DRIVING IT???

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First of all, you notice that it's quite big only when you park it, it's really smooth but also reactive, the handling is superb even if you're running fast on wide corners (when I'm late for work). Of course, in this cases you'll feel the slight drift of the centrifugal force moving the chassis towords the outside of the corner, so you remember that it's quite a tall car with an high centre of gravity. I've never found that unknown limit of grip (THANK GOD!!!) I've never experienced understeer and I don't want to, but I realized that it's really stable even at high speeds.

However when you stop driving it like a maniac (Like me), the 2008 is really enjoyable, the steering response, as I said before, is immediate, the driving position is really confortable also after 3h behind the wheel. It feels like you're driving a car a lot smaller

SO...IS IT BIG OR NOT?

Well...it is a compact SUV, it's plenty of space in the back, you can enjoy a 3h journey sitting in the middle back seat (wich I had tried once because I am the smallest of my family) without losing the ability to walk. Tall people sometimes can headbutt the roof, like happened to my brother (and I'm still laughing)

Size comparison with my brother's 308

Size comparison with my brother's 308

The boot is a little smaller than you think, that's because the boot-lid isn't flat, but at some point is curve and you lose quite a lot of space, as a result you will spend a lot of time finding the perfect position for every trolley and suitcase before holiday departure. When you have to load big things, sometimes you have to drop the rear seats, which is an easy procedure and then you'll have a big flat boot, so you can load a 65" TV or a refrigerator.

...AND WHAT ABOUT POWER?

This is my favourite bit...when you smash the throttle at lower gears it jumps immediately forward, and I love the wide range of engine sounds it makes at different revs: at minimum revs you hear a soft growl like a wolf menacing to attack a rival, when the revs start to climb the growl changes and goes louder, more like a bear, and then when the engine hits 3500 rpm you understand why Peugeot's logo is a lion, the growl becomes a roar and says "LET'S GO...POWEEEERRR"

Ok maybe I got carried away, but I used to drive a little 206 for a year, so when I feel 120 hp pushing me forward I am really excited.

When you are in higher gears (5th or 6th) and you push hard the throttle it takes you to the speed limit relatively fast, but the transition is so smooth and gradual that you don't even notice. Last week I was travelling at 80 KM/H in 6th gear, I pushed the throttle (not at 100%) and after a little while I was doing 120 and it kept going faster. A good reason for this is that, despite it looks heavy...it isn't, so the 1.6L engine can unleash all its 120hp giving you the best and fastest response possible. However I think that it has this incredible throttle response because it has one of the biggest engines available in the 2008 range (GT Line excluded), to make the best review about it I should try the 3 cylinders PureTech Petrol engine with 82hp or the BlueHDI Diesel with 75 hp to make a good comparison.

TAKE A LOOK FROM EVERY ANGLE

MY PERSONAL THOUGHTS

And now I'd like to leave all tecnic and logic thpughts behind, and talk about the sensations you feel holding the steering wheel... I am 19, I have only just over 1 year of experience and exept the Lamborghini Gallardo I drove in Vairano and the driving school car, I drove only 2 cars in my life, so some of my thoughts may be stupid, but this is my point of view

When I drive this wonderful big car I am extremely pleased, at normal speed it's tame and cuddles you with a good stereo or, if you aren't interested in music, with a low simphony from its cylinders, but when you put your foot down it sends a huge load of energy down your spine, it surprises you with a strong pull from the front wheels and with that note-change at 3500 rpm invites you to keep pushing after changing gear. All this exuberance can be a problem when you approach a corner, however at legal speeds the way it shuffles into corners is unexpetively funny, but always remember that it's a big car its disk brakes can stop it but not if you are far over the edge of physics and commonsense.

You can imagine a little petrolhead that always drove a little box with 68 hp, with a huge 120hp monster...the first times I got to work I heard the tyres squeal when I did a slight right corner at around 120 km/h, and another time in a strategic lone road I smashed the throttle after a roundabout in 2nd gear with wet tarmac and the ESP cut the power to stop the front tyres' spinning...like I said before I am a bit maniac...but now I'm more conscious of the 2008 behaviour

PROS

Peugeot i_Cockpit, Low fuel consumption, perfect handling, good driving confort, simple interiors

CONS

It is quite hard to find drawbacks with this car, but I'm afraid one it's the gearbox: when you select the third the gear lever gets stuck and struggles to get in, almost the same problem I had with the 206 and its reverse gear, and rarely when you insert the 2nd gear the car does a little hop, I thought I relased the clutch too early but my brother had the same problem. Another one is the Bluetooth connection for listening to the music, for the first 5 minutes the song stops for a couple of seconds and then jumps ahed some seconds...really annoying, especially when your commute lasts 15 minutes. The interiors are really simple and mimimalist, but there's a shiny bit under the dashboard and over the 7"Touchscreen that reflects the sunlight right in Driver and passenger's eyes. Another drawback is the driver's side pillar...it's in a weird angle and creates a big blindspot, especially on big roundabouts

See what I mean?

See what I mean?

But the biggest and worst drawback in my opinion is the size...it's big, but not so big, I've already mentionned the boot before, when you drive it, it feels smaller than it is, but you remember its size when you park it (in my case the parking procedures involve a lot of swear words and anxiety), Rear camera and sensors and the little steering wheel help a lot, but sometimes I feel like I'm parking the Titanic.

I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE ARTICLE, LEAVE A BUMP OR A COMMENT IF YOU WANT

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