HAPPY 2017 Peugeot, let's hope it's a better one than 2016.
The French brand has some credible offerings in its current line-up - the 208 compact hatch and 308 small hatch and wagon are delightful things, particularly in hot GTi guise - but we Aussies just aren't buying very many.
Last year we bought 3129 new Peugeots, some 22% down on the previous year. Why? Strong competition for sure, plus the little Pugs are often either priced higher than rivals or don't offer the same level of standard specification. Plus, the range needs a bit of a freshen up, something being addressed in 2017.
It's no secret that most brands need a good range of SUVs in the showroom to stay competitive, and Peugeot is currently represented here with the 2008, 3008 and 4008 models - each sitting in our small SUV segment, growing in size as the number increases.
Baby SUVs are flying out the showroom doors right now, but Peugeot only sold 359 of its compact 2008s last year: a disappointing 0.4% market share.
Reinforcements are coming in the shape of a revamped 2008 arriving in late February though, closely followed by an all-new 3008 SUV and 5008 people mover.
The 2017 2008 models, available in Active, Allure and GT-Line trims, will have an all-new frontal design with a multi-faceted grille, "feline-like" headlamps with chrome and black mask and LED rear lamps which Peugeot says are "warm-coloured lion claws with a profound 3D effect". Unusual.
Gone are a diesel engined option and a manual gearbox for the base car, with all variants to feature Peugeot's turbocharged 81kW/205Nm 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine (as found in the 208 and 308) and six-speed auto gearbox.
Specification for the entry-level 2008 Active includes 7-inch colour screen, Apple CarPlay, 16-inch alloys, reverse camera and cruise control.
Mid-range Allure cars add sat nav, self parking function, active city brake, 17-inch alloys, auto wipers and headlamps and dual zone climate control.
Top spec GT-Lines add sporty red highlights to the cabin, alloy sills and pedals and specific rear bumper with chrome exhaust.
The current Peugeot 2008 has a RRP of from $22,490 (and we can expect the new 2008 to be priced similarly) but dealers are doing some compelling drive away deals on the outgoing models, including with unmatched (in Australia) eight-year unlimited kilometre warranties on 2016 cars.
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