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LATEST CAR REVIEWS

Peugeot 2008: Any engine you want so long as it’s diesel, petrol, electric

Peugeot want to make the decision about what power source to choose as simple as deciding what trim you decide. Their strategy is to offer multi-powered versions of the same car. So, like the imminent new 208 supermini, the new 2008 SUV will have a choice of petrol, diesel or electric power sources.
The first diesels arrive next month with petrols due in March and the e-2008 by May.
Petrol has been the clear choice in the outgoing car. But Peugeot reckon the electric version could account for more than 10pc of sales next year.
The new 2008 is off to a good start with its looks; it takes many styling cues from the 3008 and 5008. It will certainly be one of the most visually appealing.
It’s significantly bigger – 3cm wider and a substantial 16cm longer. That puts it on a par with many rivals from the larger C-SUV category; it might well cannibalise 3008SUV sales.
The boot gets an extra 10 litres (to 434). There’s no impact on boot space in the e-2008 as the batteries are under the floor. However, it’s unlikely there will be space for a spare wheel.
The interior scores highly too with a stylish enveloping cabin with the now familiar i-Cockpit.
Like the 208 this latest 3D generation of i-Cockpit has a heads-up display that shows key information in hologram form on the fascia.
Interior space is much improved. Rear-seat passengers of old models will be envious of head and legroom.
There’s a choice of three PureTech 1.2 petrols. The entry level now has 100hp (up from 82hp) and comes with 6spd manual gearbox only. The 130hp version is carried over and comes with a 6spd manual or 8spd auto gearbox, while there is now also a 155hp version – automatic only.
The 1.5-litre diesel comes with 100hp in manual and 130hp automatic. We drove the 155hp petrol and 130hp diesel, both with auto gearboxes, around a variety of roads in Provence.
The petrol impressed with its nippy performance and sharp handling, albeit we’d still take a regular hatchback over a crossover for a drive over country roads any time.
On the downside the ride felt unsettled over some rough surfaces. We put this down to riding on 18ins wheel in comparison with the diesel on 17ins which felt more composed while still producing decent performance. It’s a car you’d happily take on a long-distance journey.
The all-electric e-2008 uses the same running gear as the new e-208 supermini (100kW, 136bhp, electric motor, 50kWh battery).
The battery isn’t as powerful as some rivals’ but is rated to achieve 310km on one charge. Keeping the car affordable was the main reason not to opt for a bigger battery. It will charge to 80pc with a 100kW fast charger, while a home charge with a single-phase wall box should take around eight hours.
If the e-2008 is distinguished by minor features such as a body-coloured chequered front grille, the differences dynamically are also quite minor. Apart from the immediate acceleration and silent operation, it looks, feels and drives like a petrol or diesel.
That gives credence to Peugeot’s belief that customers will decide which engine best suits their needs after first deciding they want a 2008.
There are Active, Allure, GT-Line and GT trims. Prices have yet to be finalised; expect an increase.
Much improved over its predecessor, I think the new 2008 will find favour with a lot of buyers -regardless of their engine choice.

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Our 2020 sellers’ survey: How many will buy new car? What ‘fuel’ will they choose?

An Irish Independent Motors survey today reveals how many people are expected to buy a new car next year and what power- source they are likely to choose – diesel, petrol, hybrid or electric. We asked distributors and experts who have been feeling the economic pulse, checking their order books, following trends and factoring in Brexit’s impact, what they expect you to do next year.
They told us how many new cars they think will be bought and how that number will break down between diesel, petrol, hybrid and electric.
Their responses show some major differences on diesel-buying forecasts in particular.
Hyundai say buying could be level with 2019, possibly up 5-10pc as the effect on the NOx tax on older imports kicks in.
Diesel buying will fall again but by a lower amount and will likely still be the best-selling power source, according to Hyundai’s Stephen Gleeson.
He said: “People who switched from diesel into hybrids or petrol are returning to diesel because of the increased fuel costs of hybrids and petrol engines.
“Hybrids will increase as more brands introduce models. The problem with hybrids remains that they are essentially petrol engines with still relatively high CO2 that make a very limited contribution towards lowering overall CO2 levels.”
He says plug-in hybrids can offer a “real saving” as they are capable of driving on electric power for more than negligible distances. A 20pc increase in hybrid buying will mainly replace standard petrol and diesel engines. Supply will determine electric car sales but a minimum increase of 50-100pc is possible.
Toyota expects slightly fewer buyers but an increased demand for hybrids.
They “absolutely” see diesel buying falling, predicting a “significant drop” from 46pc to 36pc next year. The petrol car market has “peaked” for all but small cars. Hybrid purchases will increase “significantly” too, as much as 15pc of all new-reg sales. EV-buying will increase again (3pc to possibly 6pc) but it depends on battery supply.
Lexus expect a static overall market but also forecast a big decline in diesel. Petrol has “most likely” peaked. PHEV buying will increase to “maybe 7pc” and hybrid to 5pc. Premium EVs may go from 2.7pc to 5pc market share.
Volkswagen’s Gerrit Heimberg said that with an expected Brexit agreement, stronger sterling and the 201-reg factor, a minimum of 120,000 new cars will be bought, and it could go a good bit higher.
Due to more EVs and hybrids on the market they expect a further slight decline in diesel – still above 40pc of all cars bought – while the strong increase in petrol buying will slow. Hybrid buying, especially plug-ins, will rise. They expect plug-in buyer numbers to grow by 60pc (2,000-plus) and mild hybrids by 30pc to 13,000-plus. “We expect at least a doubling of the share of EV, from 3pc to 7pc, mainly driven by increase model choice that we didn’t have so far.”
Citroen/Subaru said buying will likely be similar to 2019 (115,000-120,000). Diesel’s share will fall from 47pc to 42pc and the 5pc difference will go more towards EV/PHEV/hybrid than petrol. Market will be 42pc diesel, 41pc petrol, 17pc other. EV sales will up market share by 1pc.
Peugeot and Opel expect buying to be similar to this year’s 142,500-145,500 cars and commercials combined. Diesel buying will dip to 42pc from 46.6pc, petrol will hold its own at 40.5pc and hybrid buying will increase. They estimate a share of 17.5pc for EVs, PHEVs and hybrids, up from 12.8pc. EVs will rise from 2.94pc to 5pc of the overall market, according to Colin Sheridan.
Renault/Dacia forecast an 8-10pc increase in new car buying, starting slowly but building over the year. Diesel will make a “comeback as customers realise the cars have low emissions”.
Renault’s Paddy Magee says petrol will be mostly bought for small cars but he anticipates an increase in diesels and hybrids in larger-car segments.
Hybrid buying, including plug-ins, has been slowed by restricting supports based on CO2 emissions and, in the case of PHEVs, electric-only mileage. The removal of the grant for EV business users has already had a “massive negative effect”. But there will be a rise in private buying and state bodies, so an increase of up to 15pc is possible.
Ford’s Ciaran McMahon anticipates a small fall-off in buying due to Brexit and weaker consumer sentiment. Diesel buying will maintain current levels but with more hybrids coming, ‘pure’ petrol engines will dip. “We will definitely see a significant increase in hybrids,” he said.
And there will be a 50pc rise in numbers buying electric next year.
Kia Ireland’s Ronan Flood expects registrations similar to 2019. Diesel’s share will get “slightly” stronger with the removal of the surcharge and the introduction of the various mild-hybrid options. Petrol buying may have peaked. “Hybrids will continue to rise as long as the Government incentives remain in place. There may be room for a 5pc increase,” he said.
EV buying will be constrained by supply. “The percentage of electric vehicles could double… if supply was freely available.”
Nissan’s James McCarthy expects a 10pc rise in buying, more so later in 2020 as used imports become a declining feature due to the NOx tax.
He doesn’t see a material shift in shares of the various engine types. “There is still strong demand for diesels – just look at the percentage of used diesel imports.” He predicts modest growth in hybrids but greater EV choice will prompt more consumers to go electric as the year moves on.
The loss of the grant for business drivers has had an impact on EV sales. “Overall I expect the final share will be around 5pc,” he added.
Mitsubishi are forecasting a 5pc drop in buying – diesel down 10pc, petrol stable, mild hybrids up 10-15pc but growth driven by PHEV sales of 150pc-plus. EV sales could increase 180pc depending on supply.
Fiat Chrysler believe buying levels will be similar – diesel will fall 15pc, petrol will be unchanged, hybrids to rise 10-15pc and EVs up 10pc.
Jaguar Land Rover project buying totals similar to 2019 but say numbers buying a new diesel will fall by 15pc. A slight increase in petrol, particularly in small cars, is forecast. Hybrid buying, including plug-ins, will fill the gap created by diesel’s decline. A high percentage rise in EV buyers is likely.
Seat are planning for a market in line with 2019 but hope it will be higher. They anticipate an increase in demand for plug-ins and EVs.
Skoda expect a largely static market with 120,000 new registrations. They report a reversal in diesel buying. Diesels account for 63pc of their 2019 sales after 58pc in 2018. They don’t expect a major change in petrol buying. Hybrid purchasing will top a 50pc-hike again, as in each of the last three years. EV buying will depend on availability and new market entrants.
Mercedes expects a flat buying market, reckoning 115,000 sales. They also feel the percentage decrease in diesel buying may not be as large next year. They expect EV demand to be strong but supply could be a problem for most manufacturers.
Volvo anticipate a flat 2020, a 5pc decline in diesel buying, 3pc increase in petrol-buying and a 2pc rise in hybrid purchasing.

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