The Peugeot 2008 arrived in Ireland in 2013 when the compact crossover boom was really taking hold, but since then the popular 208-based crossover has proved to hit the right spot for its chunky looks, practical interior and affordable pricing. The 2008 is Peugeot’s bestselling model in Ireland and accounts for just over 10% of the compact crossover segment here. Despite the glut of similar models from the likes of Opel, Nissan, Renault and Mazda, the 2008 has still managed to make impact here on the market.
A mid-life refresh should further strengthen the 2008’s cause, and this summer the 2008 received some updates in the styling department, new equipment, new colours and a new top of the range GT Line trim. A wide range of new ‘PureTech’ petrol engines and proven diesels keep the car fresh and competitive too.
In the metal, the 2008 doesn’t sit that much higher than a conventional hatchback, but it’s enough to give a more raised seating position inside. Some rivals have a bit more height, but the 2008’s more low slung profile has its advantages as we will get to later in this review. A new grille, with large Peugeot lion badge at the centre might not seem all that drastic, but here it actually does give the 2008 a lot more presence, and viewed front on, the 2008 looks more like an SUV than ever before.
There haven’t been any major changes to the layout of the cabin, but it still looks very smart and there is a plush feel to it. Infotainment is provided via a 7” touchscreen on all but the base trim, and the new 2008 retains the Peugeot ‘i-Cockpit’ interior – a compact steering wheel and a head up instrument panel sitting above it. A large raked back windscreen gives the cabin an airy, spacious feel, and a panoramic glass roof on Allure and GT Line trims only amplifies this.
The Peugeot 2008 packs a lot in for what is still a very compact car. There is seating for five, and despite the compact size, the space inside is good, though like many of its compatriots, the middle seat is a bit squeezed as this car is still not much wider than a supermini. The boot is a big asset here because it’s 422 litres, so significantly bigger than your average supermini, and with a very low sill for easy loading.
Power comes from the 1.2-litre PureTech petrol in three different power outputs (82bhp, 110bhp, 130bhp) and the 1.6-litre BlueHDi diesel (75bhp, 100bhp, 120bhp). Manual and automatic transmissions are available, including a new 6-speed automatic gearbox. CO2 emissions range from just 90g to 114g/km, and all power trains keep fuel consumption under 4.9 litres/100km.
I tested Peugeot’s 1.2-litre Puretech with 110bhp in the new 2008. It offers more zip than the entry level 82bhp owing to the addition of a turbo, and is very responsive, but refinement is a key quality of this engine. It performs like a larger engine, and there is no loss of robustness here despite its small capacity and three cylinders. While this engine is available with a manual gearbox, my test car had the new 6 speed ‘EAT6’ automatic gearbox and for a small engine, they work well together with smooth power delivery.
Yes the automatic does impact on economy, but this is small according to official figures from Peugeot. They claim 59mpg for this set-up, compared to 64mpg in the manual, but both models still fall into the same tax band (€190 per year), so this is still very economical motoring. I got 46mpg during my test drive.
In town, the Peugeot 2008 comes into its own because it is so compact and the steering is light and easy. There is some noise on the motorway but it does well for this segment and is comfortable for the long haul trips. While the steering does weight up out on the open road, it can still feel a bit woolly through fast corners because there is no great sensation of resistance of the tyres against the tarmac as you turn the wheel, so a 208 hatchback is more fun in this regard. But because the 2008 is quite low-slung compared to other cars of its ilk, it’s less top heavy through corners.
Elsewhere, equipment levels are good and entry level Access models including air conditioning, Bluetooth, front electric windows, cruise control, speed limiter, spare wheel and roof bars, while Active trim includes automatic dual zone air conditioning, 7” touch screen, auto lights and wipers, front fog lights, 16” alloy wheels, front and rear electric windows, leather steering wheel, rear parking sensors, electrically folding door mirrors and rear privacy glass.
The Allure trim is more luxurious again with a panoramic roof, half leatherette trim, MirrorLink and Apple Car Play, rear view parking camera and some updated styling features.
There’s a new top of the range GT Line with 17” alloys, satellite navigation, aluminium sports pedals, gloss black roof bars, a body coloured spoiler with gloss black trim, and black door mirror shells. While the 2008 is not sold with a 4×4 option, a Grip Control advanced traction system improves traction in snow, mud and sand from a dial on the centre console, and that’s standard on the new trim.
Basic petrol models start at €19,400 for a 1.2-litre 82bhp in Access trim and the diesels start at €20,785 for the 1.6-litre diesel with 75bhp in Access trim. Active models are available from €20,445. Allure models (from €22,400) and GT Line (from €24,835) will stretch the budget a bit more with one of the more powerful engines under the bonnet.
For any buyer stepping up from a supermini, the Peugeot 2008 brings all the benefits of a compact car, but with more practicality as the boot here has great access and inside the car is a good deal more spacious too. After the facelift, the 2008 is a bit more bold in stance but the appearance of the car is still quite conservative compared to rivals.
The 2008 brings a high level of finish and maturity to this class. The cabin quality is one of the best and the design is aging well, still looking smart and with good functionality through the touchscreen infotainment system. The overall driving experience is one of refinement, and the quality of engines on offer is a big boon for the 2008. If you are looking for a small petrol crossover in particular, the Peugeot 2008 1.2-litre Puretech 110bhp has to be one of the best.
Model Tested: Peugeot 2008 1.2 PureTech 110bhp Automatic GT Line
Price: €26,435 (Range starts €19,400)
Engine: 1.2-litre turbo petrol
0-100km/h: 10.3 seconds
CO2 Emissions: 110g/km
Motor Tax: €190 per year