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In-depth reviews

Peugeot 2008 review - Engines, performance and drive

The Peugeot 2008 is good around town and a surprisingly refined motorway cruiser, however it’s not fun to drive

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

Engines, performance and drive Rating

3.7 out of 5

Price
£24,150 to £40,700
  • Great combustion and electric powertrains
  • Smart ride and handling balance
  • Build quality
  • Expensive
  • Driving position won't suit everyone
  • Some rivals are more spacious
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From the start, you’ll realise that the Peugeot 2008 isn’t the sharpest-handling small SUV. That honour still goes to the Ford Puma, which feels far more rewarding and confidence-inspiring to drive.

Around town, the light steering of the 2008 makes it a great car for low-speed manoeuvres. We’ve noticed that petrol automatics have a strange vibration through the interior if you try to reverse park while controlling your speed with the brakes, though. We also found the ride can be a little fidgety at low speeds, with the Renault Captur offering much better cushioning from potholes and speed bumps.

At higher speeds, the 2008 has a decent level of grip to enable you to carry some momentum along a twisty B road, but hit a mid-corner bump, and it can be knocked off your chosen line because the suspension runs out of ability to damp the initial blow. 

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Body lean is much more pronounced than in a Puma or an Audi Q2, both of which provide a much more settled driving experience. The electric E-2008, with its weighty battery pack mounted low in the car along the floor, does help to counteract the lean of the standard car, although it still isn’t the most agile of its kind to drive. Hit the motorway, and the ride settles down. Despite a little door mirror-induced wind whistle at 70mph, refinement is impressive overall, with low road noise levels.

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Weird gear selector shape aside, the auto is great to use, shifting smoothly once on the move. In recent times, Peugeot’s manual gearboxes have been vague and rubbery, but the unit in the 2008 is a significant improvement. It’s still not as joyous to use as the manual gearboxes we’ve used in the Puma or Mazda CX-30, but it does the job.

0-62mph acceleration and top speed

For its modest power output the 99bhp entry-level 1.2 petrol gets off the line smartly, and delivers a 0-62mph time of 10.9 seconds – not enough to worry any hot hatchbacks, but lively enough for its class and beat the entry-level Captur’s pedestrian time of 14 seconds.

We’ve tested the 128bhp 1.2 petrol before against the equivalent Puma and Captur and found it to offer similar acceleration times against the clock, whether from 0-62mph or during in-gear acceleration tests. Recent revisions made during the facelift have dropped the six-speed manual's official time from 10.7 seconds to 8.9 seconds, with the engine delivering just the right amount of oomph whether you’re in town or on the motorway, along with a rather satisfying burbly engine note. The eight-speed auto is a little slower, taking the same 9.1 seconds the electric E-2008 does to reach 62mph from rest.

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