The Peugeot’s 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
Pick the 110hp petrol if you spend most time pottering around town. It’s perkier than the rather weedy 83hp model, cheaper than the more powerful 130hp version and much smoother than any of the diesels. Peugeot claims it’ll return 58.9mpg but you can expect to see a figure in the low fifties in normal driving conditions.
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 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
Spend lots of time stuck in traffic? You’ll want to consider a 2008 automatic instead of the standard manual. It only comes with a 110hp petrol engine and will set you back an extra £1,000 but it’ll really help take the stress out of long drives.
Unlike the Suzuki Vitara, the 2008 isn’t available 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. Sure, it won’t turn the 2008 into a rock-crawling off-road monster but it’s very effective on sand and muddy tracks.
The Peugeot 2008’s dimensions make it 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 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 for £300.
The Peugeot 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.
The 2008 earned a five-star safety rating when it was assessed by Euro NCAP back in 2013 but the tests have been made much stricter since then. Fortunately, 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. It’ll set you back £430 on entry-level Active models and £250 on Allure and GT Line versions but it’s well worth paying for.