Peugeot 2008 review
Peugeot's 2008 small crossover is a competitive, efficient and stylish Nissan Juke alternative, if not the most fun to drive
The 2008 is Peugeot's entrant into the fiercely competitive and popular compact crossover market. They combine the compactness and agility of a supermini, with the high driving position and fashionable rugged style of an SUV.
The 2008 uses an extended platform borrowed from the 208 supermini. It's very similar in style and execution to Renault's Captur, and its clear that both were designed with each other in mind. Its chunky and tall, yet curvier and more stylish than most of the opposition, if not as distinctive as the Nissan Juke or Citroen C4 Cactus.
But just because it looks like a shrunken SUV, don't expect to be ploughing through fields - the 2008 is only offered with front-wheel drive, a decision taken to keep weight and costs down. However, Peugeot switchable traction control system and all-season tyres mean it's better equipped to deal with a slippery country lane than the 208 hatchback.
It's more comfortable to drive than the 208, too, with slightly more supple suspension, while inside the boxy lines mean it has decent space inside for its size. There's plenty of room for four adults and the 360-litre boot is bigger than the Nissan Juke's.
There's a wide choice of diesel and petrol engines, but the smooth, punchy and more economical diesels are the clear choice for us. The most efficient 1.4-litre HDi model emits less than 100g/km of CO2, although it's the 1.6 e-HDi that delivers the strongest compromise between performance and economy.
Our choice: 2008 1.6 e-HDi 92 Allure
Engines, performance and drive
The Peugeot 2008 works best with the smooth 1.6 e-HDi diesel engine. It can be a little noisy when you work it particularly hard, but it’s not intrusive, and it gives the 2008 a decent turn of speed.
The six-speed gearbox is a little notchy, although it never baulks, and you really feel the benefit of the extra ratio on the road, as you’re not constantly fishing for the right gear The 2008’s raised ride height means there’s longer travel suspension, which you can really feel the benefit of on city streets.
Allure models come with 16-inch alloys, although the ride is still comfortable on the optional 17-inch wheels fitted to the car in our pictures. Add in sharp steering and a tight turning circle, and the 2008 is a surprisingly capable urban runabout.
Head for the open road, and while the Peugeot has a fair amount of body roll it never feels unstable. At motorway speeds, it’s relaxing to drive, helped by the long sixth gear, which allows the engine to turn at 1,900rpm, although the C4 Cactus was quieter and even more refined at speed
Allure models come with 16-inch alloys, meaning the 2008 is fairly comfortable. Add in sharp steering and a tight turning circle, and the 2008 is also a surprisingly capable urban runabout.
Head for the open road, and the Peugeot never feels unstable. At motorway speeds, it’s relaxing to drive and is helped by the long sixth gear, which allows the engine to turn at 1,900rpm.
The steering is quick but a little lifeless, meaning the 2008 manages to corner well but lacks a bit of the fun factor.
MPG, CO2 and running costs
The 1.6-litre e-HDi diesel is the most efficient engine in the range, with CO2 emissions of 98g/km and fuel economy of 74.3mpg when combined with the automatic EGC gearbox.
Going for the manual pushes fuel economy down to 70.6mpg, no matter whether you pick the 115bhp or 92bhp version. The entry-level 1.4 HDi diesel performs just as well, with an official fuel economy of 70.6mpg.
The petrols aren't quite as good, with the 120bhp 1.6 VTi managing 47.9mpg and the 82bhp 1.2 VTi claiming 57.6mpg. Expect the three-cylinder turbo engine, arriving in early 2014 to better both of these figures, while boasting as much as 130bhp.
Interior, design and technology
A boxy shape and chunky detailing give the Peugeot 2008 a distinctive shrunken 4x4 look that helps it to stand out from the crowd.
The nose is inspired by the 308 hatchback’s, while the stepped roofline, more traditional silver roof rails and additional chrome trim above the back windows add a bit of interest to the 2008’s shape. The large tailgate is more upright than the Citroen’s, while the lower load lip and level boot floor make loading easy.
Inside, the 2008 feels upmarket, but this quality is matched by the C4 Cactus. There are soft-touch plastics on the dash, a smart centre console touchscreen and blue-rimmed dials.
However, unlike the Citroen, you need to drop the small steering wheel into your lap to see the dials, rather than peer through the wheel. The seats are comfortable, but as in the Cactus, the driving position isn’t the most natural, although it’s something you soon get used to.
You get a touchscreen infotainment system that’s similar to the Citroen’s set-up, although the scrolling sub-menus take some getting used to. Like the Cactus’ system, the animation takes its time, so navigating through the screens isn't as slick as the system in a Skoda Yeti.
The quality of the switchgear is good, although the Citroen feels better built and has a higher-grade feel. In the back, the seats are comfortable and there’s a decent amount of headroom available, although as with the Citroen, legroom isn’t brilliant.
Practicality, comfort and boot space
The back seats in the Peugeot 2008 fold in a 60:40 split and leave a completely flat load area. There’s also space under the boot floor around the spare wheel, which has extra, hidden storage.
The 2008’s cabin feels bright and airy, but back seat space is pretty tight and there isn’t as much storage, either.
You get a small bin behind the gearlever, while the glovebox is restricted in size due to the location of the fusebox behind it. Up front, however, it’s roomy and the raised ride height is a definite bonus.
Reliability and Safety
The 208's running gear and technology have been carried over from the 208 supermini. That car has had its fair share of electrical niggles, especially with the touchscreen infotainment system. We’ve had first-hand experience of these problems in a 208, and at one point the car on our fleet had its whole infotainment system replaced under warranty.
However, 2008 owners praised the general reliability of their cars in our Driver Power 2015 satisfaction survey, so it looks like these glitches have been ironed out. High places for running costs and comfort show it's an efficient and easy car to live with.
Elsewhere, the car’s mechanicals are tried and tested, and used in other models in the line-up, so durability shouldn’t be a problem. The 2008 earned a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating, and has a similar set of safety features to the Kia, although the Captur achieved slightly better percentage scores across the board.
The addition of grip Control tailors the front-wheel-drive transmission to suit different road types and weather conditions.