How suited is the Peugeot 2008 Allure to the demands of town and country life with a family. We aim to find out.

What are we testing? The 2018 Peugeot 2008 Allure

Who’s running it? Isaac Bober

Why are we testing it? To find out why Aussies aren’t buying this well-kitted, good looking and capable little SUV.

What it needs to do? While we’ve got the 2008 we want to find out if it’s the real deal when it comes to the active family; needs to be able to handle the school run, trips into the Big Smoke and country adventures.

A brief look at Peugeot’s Grip Control… Most SUVs being purchased are front-wheel drive and at the “affordable” end of the market only Subaru offers a permanent all-wheel drive set-up. So, I found it interesting that a recent comment about our 2008 long-termer referenced its lack of all-wheel drive.

It got me thinking…if it had all-wheel drive would more people buy it? Probably not. Rather, potential buyers who plan on tackling a wet grassy slope or a bit of mud should think about more than just all-wheel drive as being the answer.

Thus, this week I thought I’d touch on the 2008’s Grip Control because while it’s no substitute for permanent all-wheel drive in situations where you actually need all-wheel drive. It is more effective than any other front-wheel drive SUV or on-demand system. And there are more advantages to the system beyond increased traction in ‘demanding’ situations.

See, all-wheel drive systems, even on-demand systems, add weight to a vehicle which has an impact on fuel consumption. So, the fact the 2008 doesn’t have all-wheel drive but that the engineers have thought about traction gives it an advantage if you’re after something thrifty at the bowser.

Okay, so Grip Control saves weight and fuel by not being all-wheel drive but just what is it?

Well, on the 2008 it consists of Normal, Mud, Sand, Snow and ESP Off. The system was originally intended for rear-wheel drive vehicles with the base product built by Bosch. Peugeot took it and redesigned it to suite front-wheel drive vehicles.

This means, that, say you’re driving on a slippery road; where the system would have killed engine power to stop wheel spin, Grip Control allows the vehicle to keep engine revs up and maintain forward momentum.

Grip Control uses four wheel-speed sensors, five brake pressure sensors, gyroscopes and steering sensors and many more besides to maintain momentum by controlling engine power and braking. The different driving modes all tweak the way, the speed and the amount of intervention but what’s truly impressive is the fact Grip Control is maintaining forward momentum using just two wheels.

On a recent drive onto one of our rough-road test tracks, the 2008’s right-hand wheel became light when crossing a ditch. However, the left-hand wheel maintained forward momentum; it felt like the equivalent of a human doing a one-handed chin-up.

Here’s how Peugeot describes the system:

“Mud: this transmits the maximum available torque to the wheel with the most grip, clearing the mud beneath, allowing you to drive away and enjoy your journey.

“Snow: Designed to work perfectly in snow or on a steep slope, Snow Mode adapts the spin of each front wheel according to the grip available to provide the best acceleration possible.

“Sand: The Sand Mode excels in loose ground by spinning the front wheels simultaneously, allowing the vehicle to move.

“ESP Off: This disables Grip Control up to 40km/h, at which point Standard mode is re-engaged for your safety.

“Standard/Normal: Suited for normal, everyday driving.”

Grip Control is standard fitment on the 2008 Allure and is combined with a set of 17-inch alloys wrapped in Mud/Snow tyres. These are almost an all-terrain tyre for road cars.

We’ll have a video showing Grip Control in action in the coming weeks.


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