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Road tests

New Peugeot 2008 facelift 2024 review: petrol power suits the updated small SUV

The Peugeot 2008 is one of the most popular small SUVs on the market, but have updates made it better than ever? We find out...

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

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Verdict

This mid-range petrol model is our pick of the recently facelifted Peugeot 2008 range, offering all the kit you’ll need, plus a simple engine and gearbox combination that’s difficult to fault. It might not be as effortless to drive as the all-electric E-2008, but the petrol-powered version is much more affordable. That said, we’re interested to get our hands on the forthcoming mild-hybrid version, which may bridge the gap between the two.

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Despite not offering the most entertaining driving experience or the roomiest cabin, the Peugeot 2008 has become one of the brand’s best sellers since the latest car launched in 2019. But being a model known largely because of its looks, we’d understand if Peugeot was a little nervous when facelifting the 2008.

We’ve already had a crack at the updated E-2008, and we were impressed with some of the improvements made to the all-electric version. But at over £36,000, it’s not the most affordable model. Thankfully, petrol power is still part of the 2008 range, and allows customers to get their hands on the snazzy-looking small SUV for less. 

The visual changes to the 2008’s front end aren’t subtle, with the new car incorporating a face that features Peugeot's shield logo and its latest three-bar lighting signature, with the vertical LED strips integrated into gloss-black inserts in the bumper. 

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The grille design has been updated with a new “lateral” pattern, too, and all but the base model sport body-coloured elements. The 2008’s three-claw LED tail-lights have also been tweaked, and there’s some new alloy wheel designs like the 17-inch ‘Karakoy’ rims on our mid-range Allure test car.

Inside, every 2008 now comes with a 10-inch touchscreen that’s handily angled towards the driver. Entry-level cars pair it with a set of analogue dials, but the rest of the range features another 10-inch display behind the almost-octagonal steering wheel. Overall the interior design hasn’t changed that much, and while it does appear a bit gloomy, the quality is superb and still puts many of its rivals in the shade.

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Sadly there still aren’t any physical climate controls. You might think that’s what the black piano keys are for, but alas, no. If you want to change the temperature or fan speed, that’s done via the central touchscreen. 

Speaking of which, our Allure trim test car came with upgraded HD graphics for the central screen. The display was certainly sharp, although we found the operating system a little laggy, using swipe transitions to cover up the thinking time the car needs after you tap to enter a menu. Thankfully, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are standard across the range.

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Of course the elephant in the cabin is Peugeot’s i-Cockpit layout that makes finding an ideal driving position troublesome. The 2008 features a much smaller steering wheel than its mechanically identical siblings like the Vauxhall Mokka or DS 3, and you’re supposed to look over to see the instrument panel, rather than through it. 

The setup doesn’t suit everyone, and we spent quite a while trying to find a natural-feeling driving position. Larger individuals may also find the cockpit to be quite cramped, and we found that the small steering wheel and tiny pedals can make you feel a bit like a gorilla behind the wheel. We highly recommend trying the setup for yourself before ordering a 2008.

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A new 48-volt mild-hybrid setup is being added to the 2008 line-up later this year that will enable the crossover to cover short distances on battery power, combined with the flexibility and lower price (versus EV) of a petrol engine. It could bridge the gap between the pure-petrol and all-electric 2008s perfectly, but we’ll have to wait to see. 

For the moment, Peugeot’s baby SUV is available only with a 1.2-litre PureTech three-cylinder petrol engine that produces 99bhp and 205Nm of torque in the entry model, or slightly more grunt – 128bhp and 230Nm – the further up the range you go. That’s more than enough for a car of this size, whether you’re pottering around town or cruising on the motorway – with the added bonus of a satisfying burbly engine note.

Buyers get a choice of a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. Unless you really want an auto, we recommend saving yourself £1,600 and going with the standard stick-shift – as tested here. It’s not the most engaging gearbox, even amongst small SUVs, as the throw of the lever is long and the shape of the shifter itself a little unconventional. But we never found ourselves searching for the right gear when changing, and the long travel of the clutch pedal makes it easy to find the biting point in stop-start urban traffic.

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Within the small SUV class, the Ford Puma remains our top choice for driving thrills. The 2008 leans quite heavily in the corners, and the light, numb steering does it few favours. The Peugeot is better suited to busy city centres than winding country roads then, where the raised driving position offers good visibility. The car can fidget a little at lower speeds, but settles down on the motorway where refinement is impressive. 

The 2008’s trim structure also got a makeover as part of its facelift, with three options available: Active, Allure, and GT. Prices start from £24,170, and base models feature kit like that 10-inch touchscreen, wireless smartphone connectivity, LED headlights, rear parking sensors, climate control, and 16-inch alloy wheels. 

However we think most people would be better served by the mid-range Allure specification. Upgrading costs an extra £3,200, but in return you get the 10-inch instrument panel, the HD touchscreen, larger 17-inch rims, front parking sensors, a handy height adjustable boot floor, and some extra USB charging sockets. 

Top-of-the-range GT will set you back a further £3,800. It adds luxuries like a wireless phone charging pad, keyless entry and go, upgraded headlights, a reversing camera, and ambient interior lighting, plus 3D graphics for the driver’s display.

Model:Peugeot 2008 Allure 1.2L PureTech 130
Price:2008 from £24,170 / Allure from £27,370 / As tested £29,070
Engine:1.2-litre 3cyl petrol turbo
Power/torque:129bhp/230Nm
Transmission:Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
0-62mph:8.9 seconds
Top speed:122mph
Economy:52.6mpg
CO2125g/km
L/W/H:4,304/1,770/1,550mm
On sale:Now
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News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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