First Drive

First Drive: Peugeot 2008

The story: Peugeot has brought through a second generation of its small crossover 2008, launching with petrol, diesel and electric power and alongside its sister hatchback 208 supermini
Category:Small Crossover
Key rival:Renault Captur
Efficiency:46.6 mpg
On sale:Now

Small crossovers are dominating the beginning of 2020 with new entrants from Ford, Nissan, Renault and Skoda, as well as this second-generation Peugeot 2008.

The new car is a fairly radical styling shift, with the bold grille part of an all-round design that makes the car look larger than it is. That said, it really is a bit longer than most rivals.

To the rear in particular, the new 2008 is also brought more in line with its larger 3008 and 5008 SUV siblings from a design point of view, and it’s a more striking design than the subtle appearance of its predecessor.

First Drive-March 2020-Peugeot 2008-Image 4The electric version follows soon after launch, but there are also 100hp and 130hp petrol models and a 100hp diesel, as well as the range-topping 155hp 1.2 petrol driven here. The 155hp model is only available in top, and really very expensive, GT trim, but the rest of the range is more reasonably priced. It’s a shame you can’t get the 155hp petrol engine in a more affordable specification because it’s a great engine, and only emits 113g/km under the outgoing NEDC-correlated emissions standards. New WLTP figures valid from April have yet to be released.

The 130hp petrol and Allure and GT Line specs will be the most popular 2008 models, according to the brand, although the diesel will be more competitive as a company car option because it is RDE2-compliant and therefore gets a four-band BiK reduction.

The interior is a big change from that in the old 2008; a row of toggle switches sits across the central dash, beneath a row of less finger-friendly flat buttons to switch between functions on the touchscreen, which is either 7.0 inches or 10.0 inches, depending on spec, or not at all on the entry Active trim. The screen now has climate controls flanking the central display for easier access to changing the temperature, which is great, but the navigation system is neither as easy to use, nor as modern-looking as the best on the market.

First Drive-March 2020-Peugeot 2008-Image 7But otherwise the cabin is nicely designed, with a characterful feel and good array of different textures and materials. The small steering wheel still takes a little getting used to, because you’re forced to look over it to see the new 3D cockpit that is fitted standard on all trim levels.

Such a diminutive wheel is great when manoeuvring at low speed, but isn’t quite as instantly secure feeling at higher speeds.

Interior space is good for passengers, helped by the 2008’s increased length against other small crossovers; this extra length also endows the new 2008 with a bigger boot.

The ride quality is decent, and the engine range is without weak spot, although the diesel remains a little on
the boomy side.

paul barker

The verdict

The 2008 is a very credible next step for Peugeot in a rapidly growing segment, bringing the small crossover in line with the improvements seen on the 3008, 5008 and 508 models in particular.