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Road Test: Peugeot 2008 - clever, compact, crossover

Road Test: Peugeot 2008 - clever, compact, crossover

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The Peugeot 2008 could just be yet another in what seems like a sea of compact crossovers. Is it better than the rest? Motoring journalist, Tom Wiltshire finds out.

Should I buy a Peugeot 2008?

The compact crossover market is crammed with models; should you be considering the Peugeot 2008?

  • Low running costs
  • Sophisticated looks
  • Latest Peugeot i-cockpit
  • Perky turbocharged engines
  • Agile around town

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJZkym5fgbs


What is the Peugeot 2008?

The Peugeot 2008 is the sister car to the Citroen C3 Aircross. The two crossovers share platforms, engines and other tech, but – in line with Peugeot’s positioning as the up-market arm of the PSA Group – it’s a bit more mature. The formula is pretty standard, with a range of perky turbocharged petrol engines, some diesels, exclusively front-wheel drive and a compact interior packed with tech. There are a few Peugeot touches too, with the quirky ‘i-Cockpit’ dial arrangement the most obvious.


What’s new on the Peugeot 2008?

The 2008 was last facelifted in 2018, when it gained a bold, upright front end and the Peugeot badge moved from the bonnet to the grille. That makeover brought it in line with the rest of the Peugeot range, which now has a pleasingly cohesive aesthetic throughout.

The facelift also upgraded the lights, bulked up the wheel arches and added skid plates front and rear for a more rugged look. Make no mistake, though, this car only has front-wheel drive and isn’t an off-roader – though Peugeot’s ‘Grip Control’ does a fair approximation, sending torque to whichever front wheel has the most traction.

Red Peugeot 2008 driving two thirds side on with a dramatic sky


What’s under the bonnet of the Peugeot 2008?

Buyers can choose between 1.2-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel, with six power outputs between them. The diesel range offers up 74bhp, 99bhp and 118bhp power outputs, all of which are very efficient and quite smooth.

We reckon the car suits one of the peppy petrols better, though. Avoid the entry-level 82bhp petrol, which feels sluggish, and opt for either the 108bhp or the 128bhp units. Our test car was fitted with the latter, and with just 1,045kg to lug around performance was pretty effortless, especially when compared with the heavier competition such as the Kia.

Economy is strong even in the petrol cars, too. Though the diesels are capable of over 70mpg, the 55mpg we averaged in the most powerful petrol was very impressive.


What’s the Peugeot 2008 like to drive?

The 2008 drives a lot like the 208 on which it’s based – not a bad thing, but that doesn’t necessarily endow it with class-leading driving dynamics. A SEAT Arona will offer more agility, for example, though the 2008 hits back with a good ride, even on the 17-inch alloy wheels of our test car. The 2008 has a tiny steering wheel and perhaps slightly over-assisted steering, which has the twin result of improving agility around town, but making motorway cruising a little twitchy. The engines cope well with long distances, though; opt for a model with a sixth gear and they’re barely idling, improving refinement and leaving plenty of power in reserve for an overtake.

Red Peugeot 2008 driving away from you


How does the Peugeot 2008 look?

The 2008 aims to be the opposite of its C3 Aircross cousin. Where the latter car is quirky, with ‘upside-down’ headlights, brightly coloured paint schemes and swathes of plastic cladding, the 2008 is sensible and classier.

It’s smart, premium and definitely a Peugeot. Those after something a little more eye-catching would probably be better served by the Citroën C3 Aircross or perhaps something totally different, altogether.


What’s the Peugeot 2008 like inside?

The interior uses Peugeot’s ‘i-Cockpit’ system. This lifts the dials and gauges up from their usual position and places them above a smaller, oval steering wheel; ostensibly to reduce the distance the driver’s eyes have to move. Whether it’s comfortable for you will depend very much on your size and driving position.

The quality is decent, if not class-leading, and certain aspects of the cabin, especially the infotainment, feel a little dated. That said the 2008 is roomy, with space for adults in both rows and a 360-litre boot.

Touchscreen in a Peugeot 2008


What’s the Peugeot 2008 spec like?

All 2008s gain the essentials, with front electric windows, six airbags, LED daytime running lights and air-conditioning, but most will likely opt for mid-range Allure spec which gains parking sensors, tints the rear windows and adds dual-zone climate control and mood lighting to the interior.

Our car was in top-spec GT-Line trim, though, which is the stylish one of the group. It has a blacked out grille and no-cost optional black alloys, plus a panoramic glass roof. Considering the price, though, we were disappointed to see active emergency braking relegated to the options list across all grades – albeit at a reasonable, £250 extra cost.


Verdict

If you’re in the market for a likeable compact SUV with decent manners on the road, the Peugeot 2008 is a quiet contender. It doesn’t shout like its Citroën sibling, and it won’t divide opinion nearly as much as a Nissan Juke or Hyundai Kona, but its plain-but-smart exterior hides a selection of great engines and a well-equipped interior. Add in rock-bottom running costs and the 2008 could be the pick of the compact SUV crop for some.