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This lion can bea roaring success 

PEUGEOT’S 2008 hasn’t been short of appeal since it entered the SUV arena back in 2013.

More than 500,000 have come off the production line worldwide to the end of 2015 with 40,058 sales in the UK- 18,847 of these last year.

And with competition in this sector fiercer than ever, the company has added more muscle and appeal to the model.

The exterior changes have added more sparkle to the 2008 and a GT Line – popular on 108, 208, 308 and 508 models – joins the line-up.

July saw the arrival of the revamped range in the UK with prices starting at £13,970.

My test car was the flag-ship £20,920 GT Line Blue-HDi 120 – looking stunning with the new Ultimate Red colour that has been added to the range.

The front gets a much more bolder look with the new black grille featuring the lion in the centre.

The black theme continues on front and rear bumpers side sills, wheel arches, door mirrors, roof rails and spoiler with the GT also getting 17-inch brilliant black alloy wheels.

Step into the car and you discover the quality has been upped as well.

The GT has a black and red theme and the sporty look includes Peugeot’s small steering wheel.

A seven-inch colur touchs-creen sits centre of the dash and this was extremely simple to use with onbard connectivity including a link to Apple Carplay or Mir-rorLink with voice activation.

All-round vision is good with the 2008’s high seating position, and a head-up instrument panel allows you to see information without taking your eyes off the road.

There aren’t any four-wheel drive versions but the new model is capable of some soft off-roading and features scuff plates front and rear.

Enabling it to perform off the tarmac and in adverse weather conditions is Peu-guet’s electronic Grip Control system.

A dial between the two front seats allows you to select sand, snow and mud modes to increase wheel traction.

There is plenty of leg, elbow and legroom front and rear in the 2008 which also has a large boot space of 410 litres, extending to 1400 litres when the 60/40 split rear seats are folded.

A low sill also made loading and unloading easier than on some other models.

There is a long list of standard features which on the GT included a full-length sunroof with an electric blind, and reversing camera.

My test car featured a 1.6 litre diesel engine with six-speed manual transmission.

This 120bhp unit can be a bit noisy in lower gears but supplied plenty of oomph when required.

The GT was no slow coach when pulling away with a zero to 62mph time of 9.6 seconds and a top speed of 119mph allowed it to coast along smoothly and quietly at motorway speeds.

Ride and handling was above average for an SUV with good grip and no body roll when cornering at speed.

And if you’re looking for a model capable of achieving top economy figures then this one won’t disappoint.

It is capable of achieving 65.7mpg urban, 85mpg extra urban and 76.3mpg combined.

I was a bit heavy on the acceleration during my time with the GT but still averaged an impressive 64mpg.

The new-look 2008 is an attractive SUV with lots of plus points and should keep Peugeot roaring along with increased sales in this sector.