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The Peugeot 2008 is the latest mini-SUV, and a rival to cars such as the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur.

It's based on Peugeot's 208 supermini and uses the same range of efficient petrol and diesel engines. However, the 2008 offers tougher looks, a higher driving position and more space for passengers and luggage.

What's the 2013 Peugeot 2008 like to drive?
We tried the two most powerful engines: a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel and a 118bhp 1.6-litre petrol.

The diesel is a likeable thing, because it delivers good in-gear flexibility and is impressively refined aside from a bit of pedal vibration.

By contrast, the petrol feels gutless unless you thrash it, and it could really do with an extra gear on the motorway, where it drones away loudly.

Next year this engine will be replaced by 109bhp and 128bhp versions of a turbocharged 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol, and we'd suggest you wait until then if you are in the market for a petrol.

The 2008 feels most at home in town, where its small size, elevated driving position and light steering all combine to make manoeuvring easy.

Sadly, the steering is less impressive on faster roads, where its inconsistent weighting robs you of confidence. The fact that the 2008's body lops over in an uncontrolled way when you turn into a bend doesn't help.

The 2008 did at least ride quite well on the French roads we tested it, although the 208 struggles on the more battered surfaces you often find in the UK. We'll have to wait and see if the 2008 copes any better.

Despite the 4x4 looks, all 2008s are front-wheel drive. However, pricier versions do come with Peugeot's Grip Control system, which lets the driver optimise the car's electronics for different conditions at the twist of a dial. These cars also get all-weather tyres.

What's the 2013 Peugeot 2008 like inside?
Like the 208, the 2008 has an unusually small steering wheel that you look over (instead of through) to see the instruments. Unfortunately, if you're less than six-feet tall, you might well find the top of the wheel blocks your view of the speedo.

The touch-screen infotainment system ""“ standard on all but the entry-level trim ""“ also disappoints, because it's fiddly to use on the move and there are no shortcut buttons to help you negotiate the menus.

Where the 2008 does leave rivals such as the Juke trailing is perceived quality. Peugeot has used materials that are easy on both the eye and the fingertips throughout the cabin, while the touch-screen features sophisticated graphics.

The 2008 is also more practical than a Juke, because adults can ride in the back without feeling cramped. The Peugeot also has a much bigger boot.

The boot is easy to load, thanks to its low loading sill, and the rear seats fold completely flat.

Should I buy one?
Every diesel model averages more than 70mpg in official tests, while even the least efficient engine ""“ the 1.6-litre petrol ""“ manages almost 50mpg.

The 2008 also offers a classy, practical cabin.

Read more at WhatCar?
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