THE Peugeot range of SUVs is proving to be exceptional.

Looking for a family ferry that comes with seven seats as standard? Then I suggest that the 5008 is the best buy out there.

If you don’t need that bulk, then the 3008 should meet your requirements

And if you are looking for a compact offering… well, let me introduce you to the superb Peugeot 2008.

It has enough space for most needs, is a very practical car, comes with a price tag starting at a reasonable £20,000. It also rides well and looks really smart.

Add into that mix heaps of technology, a most comfortable driving experience and a quite luxurious interior and it’s almost a winner before you press the start button.

It’s at this point that the engine and drive seal the deal. I tested the GT Line matched to the turbocharged three-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol engine and eight-speed automatic transmission.

You immediately get the feeling that this car wants to be driven. There’s a delicious but not obtrusive engine rasp if you press on and the gearbox handles swift changes brilliantly. You can add to the fun by utilising paddle shifters but I suspect they are going to be virtually redundant for most buyers.

There’s a choice of three 1.2 petrol engines, with the GT offering the most power at 155hp, plus a 1.5 diesel offering and a full-on electric version, and four trim levels to consider.

The GT is the special one among an impressive list. Despite its raised height and extra bulk when compared with a regular hatchback, it remains a driver’s car that will enterertain as well as provide enough carrying capacity to suit most needs. The quick and light steering is a bonus that you will certainly appreciate.

The interior is near-lavish, mixing the latest technology with beautifully upholstered seating and a quite soft suspension that will appeal to most buyers.

On the downside, Peugeot has once again opted to include the fiddly climate control in the touchscreen rather than by dial and is sticking with its instrument panel view over the steering wheel rather than through it. I found it difficult to get the entire panel in view.

But these are minor niggles. You get a very good view of the road ahead and there’s plenty of help to hand when negotiating a parking spot.

In addition to the standard rear parking sensors, the GT Line version gets a rear camera that offers a 180-degree view to make reversing out of spaces that much easier and an overhead view to employ when reversing near obstacles. There’s also optional park assist technology to take care of steering for parallel and bay parking.

Entry-level versions get a seven-inch touchscreen, while higher spec cars come with a ten-inch screen.

The quality of the interior is excellent. Soft-touch materials abound and you will be hard-pressed to find a single item that does not scream premium.

There’s plenty of space upfront, but the rear passengers will find headroom limited and three adults will struggle to ride in comfort. The split and fold rear seats will drop down when you need extra luggage space.

The stylish 2008 not only looks the part but drives well too. At more than £30,000, the GT version is rather expensive but is certainly the most fun. There should certainly be something in the 11-version 2008 range to suit.

The Lowdown

Peugeot 2008 GT 1.2L PureTech 155 Price: £32,035 (2008 range from £20,590) Engine: Turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol producing 155hp Transmission: Eight-speed automatic driving front wheels Performance: 0 to 62mph in 8.2 seconds; top speed 129mph Economy: 46.6 to 41.7 mpg combined CO2 emissions: 141 g/km

Star ratings

Performance: ***** Economy: **** Ride/Handling: ***** Space/Practicality: **** Equipment: ***** Security/Safety: **** Value For Money: **** OVERALL: ****