Peugeot 2008 review - Interior, design and technology
The Peugeot 2008’s unique design and build quality are let down by the Marmite driving position and laggy infotainment
While the original 2008 was a somewhat bland-looking small SUV, the second-generation model continues to look like a concept car that someone accidentally let out of Peugeot's vault. It was already an eye-catching design, with a chiselled shoulder line, blocky silhouette and distinctive front end dominated by LED lights.
But the 2008 received some extensive visual tweaks in 2023, including a new wider-looking front end that incorporates Peugeot's new shield logo and its latest three-bar lighting signature that also features on the facelifted 208 supermini, 508 saloon and 508 SW estate, with the vertical LEDs integrated into gloss-black inserts in the front bumper.
There’s a new “lateral” pattern on the grille too, which is horizontal on base models, but is replaced by a vertical pattern in the same colour as the car's bodywork for Allure and GT models. The 2008’s three-claw LED tail-lights have also been tweaked. There’s no denying the 2008 is an eye-catching car, which helps it stand out in the bloated small SUV segment, and we’re sure has allowed it to be sold on looks alone a good many times.
Inside, the 2008’s interior design, although a little quirky and very gloomy in our opinion, offers superb levels of quality for the class and puts most of its rivals, like the Ford Puma, in the shade. Sadly there aren’t any physical climate controls. You think that’s what the black piano-style keys are for, however they don’t cover many functions, other than heating the windscreen and simply turning off the air-con. If you want to change the temperature or fan speed, that’s done on the central touchscreen.
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Other highlights include Peugeot’s i-Cockpit layout, although you’ll need an Allure and above to get it with the configurable digital dash display. The digital display is similar to Audi’s Virtual Cockpit in that you can change the layout from traditional dials to displaying various trip or driving assistance screens, or – as we’ve found particularly useful – show sat-nav directions on a map. Switching between screens isn’t as easy as in an Audi, and there’s no full map-view option, either.
However some individuals might find it hard to see the dials, as Peugeot’s i-Cockpit setup also includes a small flat-bottomed steering wheel that you’re supposed to look over to read the instruments, rather than through it. When we tested the 2008, it took us a long time to find a natural-feeling driving position that didn’t involve having the steering wheel basically in our lap, but even then we couldn’t see the dials fully. The setup simply doesn’t suit some people at all, so we recommend trying the setup for yourself before buying a 2008, or indeed any modern Peugeot.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
Every 2008 now features a 10-inch central touchscreen display with Bluetooth, a DAB radio, plus wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity, but you’ll need to upgrade to Allure or GT trim to get high-definition graphics. While the graphics are visually appealing, the operating system itself is very laggy, often using swipe transitions to cover up the thinking time the car needs when you tap to enter a menu. Ultimately, it’s nowhere near as slick as the setups in rivals such as the Hyundai Kona.
Top-of-the-range GT variants also feature a 3D version of the i-Cockpit digital driver display, which looks very modern but It’s more of a gimmick than a genuinely useful feature.
In this review
- 1Peugeot 2008 reviewPeugeot’s smallest SUV is fashionable and well-built, but it’s not especially spacious nor is it particularly fun to drive
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Peugeot 2008 is good around town and a surprisingly refined motorway cruiser, however it’s not fun to drive
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsEngines for the Peugeot 2008 are frugal and cheap to run, however insurance costs and depreciation are higher than rivals
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingThe Peugeot 2008’s unique design and build quality are let down by the Marmite driving position and laggy infotainment
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceSome rivals top the Peugeot 2008 for interior and boot space; towing is respectable for the class
- 6Reliability and safetyPeugeot’s strong showing in recent Driver Power surveys promises plenty for the 2008