BRAZIL: SUV/crossover invasion seen hitting other segments
Peugeot 2008 is one of three small crossovers to arrive in Brazil in one month
The invasion of compact SUVs and crossovers – three new models in less than a month – will surely impact other segments here in Brazil.
Adding the locally-made duo (Ford’s EcoSport and Renault’s Duster) and imports like the Chevrolet Tracker and Suzuki S-Cross, not to mention Chinese contenders, some changes, perhaps radical, are expected.
Estates and small monocabs (MPVs) will be hurt even more but hatchbacks and saloons, both compact and compact-medium, will also lose market share. Buyers here are avid for models with more ground clearance and that "adventure look".
The Peugeot 2008 is a typical crossover with no all wheel drive option and the range does not include a cheaper entry level version. The automaker now assumes buyers want full-trim models and has limited option packs. It is the most affordable buy (apart from the Duster) with a starting price of BRL67,900/US$22,600 (Allure) and tops off with at BRL79,590/$26,500 (Griffe).
When presenting the model to the media, the French brand's competitor analysis priced items they offer but the 2008 doesn’t. The 2008 prices were always lower at equivalent trim levels but features like plastic surface quality and four-wheel independent suspension (torsion beam axle in the Peugeot) were missing from the list.
A seven inch, colour multimedia screen includes applications for smartphones with additional functions. The 355 litre/12.5cu ft boot is larger than the EcoSport and Renegade but loses to HR-V and Duster.
The engineering team made a good job of the suspension in order to match good road manners to the 20cm/7.8in ground clearance. Powered by Brazil's first turbocharged, flexible fuel engine – 170bhp and 177lb ft — in small models (VW has one coming for the Up), the 2008 Griffe is a strong performer.
Relatively light, it is able to outrun even more powerful, larger cars: it sprints from 0 to 100km/h/62mph in just 8.1 sec when fitted with the six-speed manual gearbox. There are four traction assistants in this top version, sufficient for light off road use.
Sources say that, beginning next year, the current four speed automatic gearbox will be replaced by a six speed unit in the whole Peugeot and Citroën compact range, including those with 1.6 litre/120bhp (on ethanol) naturally aspirated engines.
In the meantime, the current four speeder has been recalibrated and now has an 'eco' mode but it has fallen behind in the technology race despite being expected to account for up to 70% of local sales according to Peugeot predictions.
One thousand 2008s will be sold monthly, the automaker said, one fifth of Honda’s objective for the HR-V.