Cat’s-paw cookie monster.
When the latest launch release from Peugeot hit my email this morning, I was deeply confused for a few seconds. I felt like Max Payne/John McClain does every morning after a binge on his standard whiskey and painkillers diet, like my brain was two steps behind my body, or the other way around perhaps. Here was a French manufacturer touting an all-new car their first in the growing segment et al, yet I opened up the pictures, as we all always do before actually reading the full text, to see that it was releasing a car which came out already, maybe two weeks ago?
Of course, that was the Citroen C4 Aircross. And this, well this is the new Peugeot 4008. Apart from the face though, you can see why I was so bemused, right?
Okay, so, let’s check those facts. Turns out the instant impression of deja vu is only further reinforced by the specs. Yep there’s a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol, delivering the identical 110kW 197Nm output. In the new Peugeot, this goes exclusively to a 6-speed CVT transmission, only available as an option in the high-end Citroen. Similarly, the 4008 can only be had with AWD, which again is only an option on high-end Aircross models.
In fact that’s what the company itself is defining as the particular niche for the 4008 to fill – the mildly off-road capable AWD compact SUV. And it’s literally that fact, the price, and the looks that separate this from a variety of cars not just its ostensibly French counterpart.
Now I’ve always been a fan of the particular style which characterises this particular brand of European flavour, and the crisp and sleek lines of the Aircross have that character in spades. But the cat’s-paw design on the face of this 4008 goes a step further still. On first impressions, on looks alone, once you get over the basically genetic similarities, it’s this new Peugeot which will leap straight into the lead of the current pack on my particular scale of winning designs.
That higher price will be the buying differentiator, but on a purely straightforward line. If you want a high-spec AWD-capable great-looking compact SUV and are able to stretch towards the R400K mark, this Peugeot 4008 will be your only real choice. But if you want most of that but could compromise in order to fit a budget closer to the R300K mark, you’ll need to talk to Citroen.
Which of course in both cars buys a lot of good, competitive equipment and trim. So yes, what more can you ask, right?
Sure. But at the same time it is, and I know this term is older than my parents and I feel double my age just saying it but, it is cookie-cutter motorcar production at its most blatantly obvious. But since that’s pretty much the norm in these economically tight times, well I suppose these days you do pretty much have to do what survival dictates. Right now this kind of multipurpose right-priced premium vehicles are the growth segment. That and high-end luxury/sports items, which is pretty ironic in itself if you think about it.
With that in mind, the new Peugeot 4008. Welcome to the jungle.
The pricing, warranty and maintenance plan details for the new Peugeot 4008 are as follows:
4008 2.0 CVT Active R363 900
4008 2.0 CVT Allure R388 500
A five-year/100 000 km warranty is standard on all Peugeot 4008 models, together with a five-year/100 000 km full maintenance plan. The purchase price also includes five years of free emergency roadside assistance.
Photographs courtesy of Peugeot SA via Quickpic.co.za
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