Peugeot 2008 Review
The Peugeot has one of the most stylish interiors of any small SUV and gets plenty of kit as standard but alternatives have more spacious back seats and bigger boots.
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
- Stylish cabin
- Reasonably big boot
- Good standard equipment
What's not so good
- Odd driving position
- Cramped back seats
- Alternatives have more safety kit
Peugeot 2008: what would you like to read next?
The Peugeot 2008 is a small, yet practical family car with a stylish interior and a jacked-up body which makes it easy to see out of. In this respect, it’s quite similar to the likes of the Honda HR-V and the Suzuki Vitara.
Unlike the Vitara, the Peugeot 2008 doesn’t look like a big, tough off-roader that’s been shrunk in the wash. It’s rounded bodywork, curvy lights and thick black plastic bumper trims make it look like a small hatchback that’s wearing a Fisher Price ‘my first explorer’ costume.
Thankfully, things get much classier once you step inside. In fact, the Peugeot 2008 has one of the smartest interiors of any small SUV. You get plenty of fancy-looking materials and a great big touchscreen infotainment display with all the smartphone mirroring features you could want as standard.
Annoyingly, the Peugeot 2008 also comes with the French firms signature small steering wheel and raised instruments which aren’t particularly easy to read if you’re tall. More annoying is the fact you can’t get the Peugeot 2008 with adjustable lumbar support to save your lower back from aches and pains on long drives, which seems like a bit of an oversight on Peugeot’s part.
The Peugeot 2008 isn’t particularly spacious inside, either – even when you compare it with other small SUVs. The optional panoramic glass roof cuts into headroom in the front and there isn’t really enough space in the back for three adults to sit comfortably.
As its name suggests, the Peugeot 2008 is a jacked-up version of the small 208 city car. It’s still not quite as roomy as some other small SUVs but at least it’s pretty cheap to run.
There’s enough space for three kids, but it’s a pain to lift a child seat through the narrow door openings and the Peugeot 2008 can’t carry quite as much luggage in its boot as the more practical Honda HR-V. There’s still enough space for a few suitcases though, so there’s no reason to shy away from using your Peugeot 2008 to take the family for a long weekend away.
If you are planning to drive long distances, pick one of the Peugeot 2008’s 1.5-litre diesel engines – they aren’t quite as smooth as those in some alternatives but they’re impressively economical. If pottering around town is more your thing then one of the 1.2-litre petrol models will be a much better bet.
Whichever engine you pick, you’ll find the Peugeot 2008 is easy and comfortable to drive. Its small size makes it a doddle to thread through tight streets and busy traffic and it soaks up bumps and potholes pretty well – perfect if a few younger passengers fancy dozing off in the back. You’ll also be able to rest easy thanks to the Peugeot 2008’s standard cruise control, but you do have to pay extra for automatic emergency braking – unlike in many other small SUVs.
You shouldn’t let that put you off the Peugeot 2008, though. It might not be as spacious as some alternatives or come with as much safety kit as standard, but it’s still a stylish and well-equipped small family car that’s comfortable, easy to drive and cheap to run.
Why not check out the latest Peugeot 2008 deals to see how much you can save on one.
Plenty of soft plastics make the Peugeot 2008’s cabin feel more upmarket than its price would suggest, but its odd instrument layout and small steering wheel can take some getting used to
You won’t have any complaints about the boot space, but it’s not hard to find alternatives that have more room for your passengers
Who on earth thought it was a good idea to have no adjustable lumbar support available in a 2008? What a pain!
It’s easy to get comfortable in the Peugeot 2008 thanks to its height-adjustable driver’s seat and moveable steering wheel but you may find the top of the oddly small wheel obscures the lower edge of the dials. This will depend on how you prefer to sit and won’t necessarily be a problem for everyone.
More annoying is the fact that you can’t get adjustable lumbar support on any 2008. You may find you get a bit of backache on long drives as a result.
The panoramic glass roof in top-spec GT Line cars cuts into front headroom slightly but you’ll only notice the difference if you’re very tall. It’s much more of a problem in the back seats – anyone over six-foot tall will struggle for headroom in these range-topping models.
Try to carry three adults side-by-side in the back and things get even more cramped. There’s just about enough space for your passengers’ knees but there’s very little shoulder room and the large lump in the rear floor leaves your middle passenger without much space for their feet. If you plan to carry three adults in the back you’ll want to consider the roomier Suzuki Vitara instead.
Sadly, things don’t really improve when it comes to fitting a child seat. The Peugeot 2008’s rather narrow rear doors make it difficult to lift in a seat base and the Isofix anchor points are hidden under the thick seat padding.
The Peugeot 2008 might not be the best for carrying passengers, but at least you get a few handy storage pockets to keep its cabin looking tidy. Both front door bins are big enough to hold a 1.5 and a two-litre bottle each and there’s space behind the handbrake for a fifth large bottle and room to keep your phone tucked safely out of sight.
The rear door bins aren’t quite as big as those in the front but there’s still room for a one-litre bottle on each side. Unfortunately, a folding front armrest costs extra – even in top-spec GT Line versions – and you can’t get a folding rear armrest on any model in the 2008 range.
The Peugeot 2008 has 410 litres of boot space which is slightly less spacious than the Honda HR-V but roomier than the Suzuki Vitara.
It’s easily big enough to carry a baby buggy and some soft bags or four suitcases without removing the parcel shelf. The load height is quite low and there’s no annoying boot lip to worry about so it’s easy to slide in heavy boxes.
The standard-fit spare wheel means there isn’t any space under the floor to hide valuables out of sight but you do get a few elasticated straps and a netted cubby to stop small items rolling around.
The back seats fold down separately in a two-way (60:40) split so you can carry some long luggage and a rear-seat passenger at once. With both seats folded flat, the Peugeot 2008’s boot grows to 1,400 litres – that’s around 10% shy of the HR-V but more than 15% roomier than the Suzuki Vitara.
The Peugeot 2008’s boot floor is completely flat so it’s easy to slide heavy luggage right up behind the front seats. There’s even enough space to carry a bike without having to remove its wheels and there’s a metal scuff plate above the rear bumper so you won’t scratch the paintwork during trips to the tip.
The Peugeot 2008 is more comfortable over rutted roads than most small SUVs but its entry-level petrol and diesel engines feel wheezy at best and struggle to keep up with motorway traffic
Unlike some SUVs, the 2008 doesn’t try to be sporty – instead it focuses on being as comfortable and relaxing as a high-riding small family car can be
You can get the Peugeot 2008 with three petrol and two diesel engines and with either a manual or an automatic gearbox.
Pick the 110hp petrol if you plan to spend most of the time pottering around town in your Peugeot 2008. It’s perkier than the rather weedy 83hp model, cheaper than the more powerful 130hp version and much smoother than any of the diesel units. Peugeot claims it’ll return 50mpg, which you should be able to match in normal driving conditions.
It also comes with a six-speed automatic gearbox as standard which is mostly smooth but proves a little jerky at slow speeds – such as when you’re parking.
If you do lots of motorway miles you’ll want to consider one of the two 1.5-litre diesel models instead. These come in 102hp and 120hp outputs and both return a claimed 70.6mpg – although you’ll probably manage around 60mpg in normal driving conditions. The 102hp version is a little sluggish at motorway speeds, but the 120hp model cruises along quite happily.
Unlike the Suzuki Vitara, you can’t get the Peugeot 2008 with four-wheel drive. You do get a nifty controller down on the centre console in Allure and GT Line models that adjusts the car’s traction-control settings to help it deal with anything from muddy lanes to snow-covered roads, though. Sure, it won’t turn the Peugeot 2008 into a rock-crawling off-road monster but it’s very effective on muddy tracks.
The Peugeot 2008 is taller than most conventional small family cars, so you sit a little higher and get a better view out over the road ahead. The pillars between its doors and windscreen aren’t particularly large so they don’t create many awkward blindspots but the small rear windscreen can make parking a bit tricky.
Fortunately, all but entry-level Peugeot 2008 Active models come with rear parking sensors as standard and you get a reversing camera in top-spec GT Line cars to help make three-point turns a doddle. You can even get a neat system that’ll steer you into parallel parking spaces automatically.
The Peugeot 2008 does a better job of softening bumps and potholes around town than either the Honda or Suzuki and its light steering makes manoeuvring through tight streets a breeze.
It’s a little more roly-poly on twisty country roads than the Vitara but not so much that your passengers will feel car sick. Head out onto a motorway and it’s happy to cruise along comfortably and all models come with cruise control as standard to help make long drives as relaxing as possible. Unfortunately, you’ll hear a little more wind noise in the Peugeot than in the Honda on the motorway.
You can get automatic emergency braking – a system that’ll try to stop the car as quickly as possible if it senses an obstacle ahead – across the range for a little extra peace of mind, too.