Sunday, 9 March 2014

COLUMN - March 2014

Here is another chance to see my column from the March edition of The Local Herald. Yet more reviews this month, and the star of the show was the all-new Peugeot 2008. This is a little car that has revolutionised the family car, and has proved that 4WD may become extinct in the mainstream car market. There were other cars mentioned this month, including a couple of Honda's, so there's plenty going on. As always, full reviews can be found on the Reviews page, so enjoy this one...

This month I have a column full to bursting with new cars, so I’ll get straight into it.

I wish to mention the Honda CR-Z; that little hybrid sports car. I tested the top-spec GT model this month, and found it extremely frustrating. It may get the lovely-looking 17-inch alloys, but at a cost of higher emissions which push up road tax from £30 to £105. Which doesn’t make sense to me. And even worse than that, it’s actually slower than the standard model. My advice; buy the sport and save yourself a few quid.

Also on test was the Honda CR-V which is a rather good car. It had Honda’s new 1.6-litre diesel engine, which is rather economical indeed; 124g/km CO2 and 60.1mpg on a combined cycle. It looks rather good too, with its daytime running lights, and high body shape. The interior is nice, and of the high quality you would expect from a Honda. My test car was ‘SR’ trim, which means you get half leather and alcantara trim, heated front seats, 18-inch alloys and active cornering lights (amongst other things).

The biggest problem with the CR-V in my opinion is the price. At £26,880 (£500 more for the White Orchid Pearl my car came in) it’s a bit steep. Yes, it’s an immensely practical family car, but I cannot help but feel you can get more for your money, which was proved shortly after the CR-V was collected from me.

Because what I had delivered next was a Peugeot 2008. It soon became apparent to me that Peugeot has undoubtedly hit the nail firm on the head with this car. I shall start with the engine. My test car was fitted with the 1.6-litre eHDi diesel engine, offering up 92PS. This is more than enough to move the 2008 and I never felt the car was underpowered. I wasn’t overly keen on the 5-speed gearbox, but if you opt for the 115PS 2008- and I would- then you get a proper 6-speed.

The 2008 is brilliantly economical. Both the 92PS and 115PS variants are £20 to tax, and both offer 70.3mpg on a combined cycle. You simply cannot want better than that. And there’s more, too. The Allure and Feline models benefit from Grip Control; Peugeot’s proof that you simply do not need 4WD in this country. With different modes for sand, snow and mud, it optimises grip levels and controls power going to each of the front wheels to ensure you stay heading in the right direction. Brilliant.

The styling is brilliant. I had the range topping Feline trim. This means you get a panoramic roof, rear parking aid, satellite navigation, 17-inch alloy wheels and automatic everything. The cabin is very nice indeed, with high quality finish and design throughout. It’s spacious too; all passengers get plenty of room, and there’s a decent-sized boot at the back.

So it drives well, comes well equipped, and is a spacious family car. It must cost the earth, is what I expect you’re thinking. Well, you’re wrong. The Feline with 115PS diesel is £19,145. Add £495 for metallic paint, and you’re looking at £19,640. I personally think that’s fantastic value, and makes the 2008 a real winner in the family car market. It proves you can still get a good car for less than £20k, and that’s probably why Peugeot are selling so many 2008’s. So head down to your local dealer and see what all the fuss is about.

As always full reviews for all these vehicles can be found on my blog. Next month I have some more sizeable cars, so keep an eye out for that one!

Dan

No comments:

Post a Comment