£14,415 - £21,365 Price range
57 - 80 MPG
As facelifts go the one Peugeot put the 2008 through in 2016 is a mild one, but the car’s redesigned vertical grille gives it a chunkier appearance and (in Allure models and above) you get wheelarch extensions and scuff plates.
The seven-inch infotainment system is now compatible with Apple CarPlay and Mirror Screen apps on your smartphone, and for the first time the car can be had with automatic emergency braking that works at speeds up to 30mph.
Engines stay the same, so you get a choice of three PureTech petrols and a trio of BlueHDi diesels. All are cheap to run with the diesels capable of topping fuel economy of 75mpg.
Basic models do without the infotainment system, but get air-conditioning, cruise control and a height adjustable driver’s seat. New to 2016 is top-of-the-range GT Line, which comes with numerous sporty touches to jazz up the car’s exterior and loads of equipment, including sat-nav and a panoramic sunroof.
Interior changes for the facelifted 2008 are fairly minor and the car keeps its love-it-or-hate-it dashboard design that sees the instrument binnacle sit above a small steering wheel. Depending on your height, that means the main dials are often obscured from view by the rim of the steering wheel.
What has changed is the infotainment system, which has Apple CarPlay and Mirror Screen, so the system is compatible with useful apps on your smartphone for things like music streaming, text messaging and sat-nav. The latter could prove to be particularly handy because the Peugeot system has, in our experience, proved to be rather temperamental.
Peugeot 2008 passenger space
Peugeot says the 2008 has stolen sales from its own 208 hatchback and if you have a family it is easy to see why. The SUV’s upright body style means the 2008 offers additional passenger space over the hatchback it is based upon, with noticeably more headroom in the back and space for six-foot adults in the rear even if the front seats are occupied by people of a similar height.
Peugeot 2008 boot space
The contrasts are starker when it comes to luggage space, where the 2008’s 410-litre load bay makes the 208’s 285-litre boot seem a touch piddly. Drop the rear seats down and the 2008 has 1,400 litres at its disposal next to the 208’s 1,076 litres – it’s a useful increase that makes the 2008 much better suited to swallowing the spoils of an IKEA visit.
After just a few minutes of driving you note the kind of things that used to put people off SUV ownership are notable only by their absence. Far from wayward, the 2008 reveals itself to be a tidy handler, with little body roll and steering that is accurate enough to make corners a doddle – fun to tackle, even.
There are no complaints about the ride either. It’s not the most sophisticated, but does everything you could hope of it at this price – it does a good job of suppressing most road imperfections, although there is the occasional thump in the cabin over larger potholes.
Unless you really need a self-shifter, we would advise staying away from the automatic gearbox. It’s modern in as much as it offers six-speeds, but the slow changes and blunt performance take some of the fun out of wringing the neck of the 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engine it comes fitted to. You can also choose a five-speed ETG automated manual gearbox, but they tend to be clunky in their operation – although we’ve not tested the Peugeot’s yet.
Despite its chunky looks and raised suspension, the 2008 can’t be had with four-wheel drive, but Allure models and upwards can be fitted with Peugeot’s neat Grip Control system. It has four modes chosen via a rotary wheel on the centre console – Normal, Sand, Mud and Snow. This may sound gimmicky, but we tested the system and it’s impressive – you won’t be able to follow a Range Rover on a trail, but muddy tracks or wet grass shouldn’t pose a problem.
Peugeot says the 2008’s sales show a 53 to 47 per cent split in favour of diesel power, but it’s best not to treat it as the default choice. Unless you cover huge miles annually, our money would got to the 110 PureTech petrol that sounds more pleasing on the ear, is quicker than all but the top-of-the-range diesel and still costs buttons to run.
Peugeot 2008 petrol engines
The 2008 petrol range has been cleansed of old fashioned petrol engines – you only get thoroughly modern 1.2-litre PureTech units to choose from. We would side-step the entry 81hp unit – its 0-62mph time of 13.5 seconds isn’t quick by any measure and it actually costs more to run than the faster models.
Our preference would be for the 109hp PureTech, which dispatches the 0-62mph sprint in an altogether more acceptable 9.9 seconds and doesn’t rule out the concept of overtaking quite like the basic model does. Fuel economy is also improved with it swallowing petrol at a rate of 64.2mpg versus the basic car’s 57.6mpg figure. Emissions of just 103g/km mean it’ll cost you just £20 to tax a year.
Top of the petrol range is the 129hp model, but its quicker 0-62mph time of 9.3 seconds will be hard to spot, it costs more to buy and requires a tenner more to tax.
Peugeot 2008 diesel engines
With just 74hp to call on, the basic diesel engine will help you reevaluate the meaning of the word ‘slow’– icebergs move quicker – but it’s the cheapest diesel to buy, returns fuel economy of more than 75mpg and is free to tax.
You have to ask why you would bother, though, because the 97hp diesel costs exactly the same to run and won’t have you pulling your hair out on faster roads. Peugeot expects it to be the most popular model here in the UK.
That leaves the top-of-the-range 129hp diesel that will bound from 0-62mph in 9.6 seconds, while costing no more than its subordinates to run. Its price is a problem, though – costing nearly £21,000 puts it firmly into the sights of Skoda’s larger Yeti – somewhere, believe us, it really doesn’t want to be.
With the previous top-of-the-range Allure trim being a popular choice in the UK (more than half of buyers went for it) 2016 sees the introduction of GT Line specification, which raises the 2008’s game still further with sporty looks and extra equipment.
Peugeot 2008 Access
Access is the cheapest way to, er – ‘access’ the 2008 range, but equipment levels aren’t too shabby, with cruise control and air-conditioning coming as standard. However, the kind of style-conscious buyers who consider a small SUV probably won’t be too enamoured by its standard steel wheels with ugly plastic hub caps.
Peugeot 2008 Active
That’s a problem solved by Active trim, which smartens the 2008’s appearance up with 16-inch alloy wheels and front fog lights. It’s also the first model to get Peugeot’s seven-inch touchscreen, which effectively gives you sat-nav – and a load of other useful features – via its smartphone-compatible Apple CarPlay and Mirror Screen programmes.
Peugeot 2008 Allure
With the arrival of GT Line trim, Allure does without the kudos of being the top-of-the-range model, but keeps the useful equipment that has made it a popular choice. That includes auto lights and wipers, tinted and electric rear windows, plus rear parking sensors. The interior is also lifted by ambient lighting, and the Allure model is the first to get the off-road-aiding Grip Control system.
Peugeot 2008 GT Line
If you’re looking for a trendily styled 2008 then GT Line represents the best Peugeot has to offer. Like the Allure model, it has 17-inch alloy wheels but they have painted black highlights that match up with the car’s glossy black exterior trim pieces, and ‘pendant’ style radiator grille. The interior is also nicer, not least because you get a panoramic sunroof that lets in lots of light. You also get aluminium door sills and pedals, GT Line floor mats and seats with (what appears to be) a part leather finish. A proper sat-nav system is also standard, although it’s not the best example of the breed.
Peugeot’s 2008 doesn’t excel in any one area, but added together its strengths form a likeable package. It’s cheap to run and never a chore to drive, while the upright body not only allows it to tick the all-important SUV box, but also makes it a more practical family car than a regular hatchback. Similarly the 2016 update brings nothing radical to the fore, but should keep the 2008 near the top of the shopping list for anyone looking to buy a pint-sized SUV.