The 2008 is an urban crossover based on the popular Peugeot 208 supermini. It marked Peugeot’s debut into the crossover automotive arena in 2013.
The 2008 combines the talents of two acclaimed Peugeot vehicles - the versatile design of the 3008 with all the features, performance and low-emission engines of the 208. It drives like a sporty hatch, and even has the same ‘shirt-button’ steering wheel the 208 has.
It sticks to the road like burnt eggs to a pan, and it’s punchy – especially if you buy the 1.6 e-HDi 115 diesel model.
However, the official fuel consumption figures are far more impressive. You can average up to 70.6 mpg and emissions are also notable. All engines emit less than 135g/km, while if you opt for a diesel the worst figure is a still remarkable 105g/km.
This means taxing the car is not an expensive business. Indeed, go for the 1.6 e-HDi 92 with automatic gearbox and you won’t pay any road tax at all.
Ride and handling
The 2008 always feels sprightly and, on the whole, it deals with potholes and poor road surfaces efficiently. In fact, the 2008 displays a real sense of ride comfort at all times, regardless of speed and terrain.
There isn’t a huge amount of feel through the steering but it’s accurate and very sharp. There is hardly any body roll either, so this makes driving along twisty roads quite a pleasure. However, in spite of its wannabe off-road airs, the 2008 is not available with four wheel drive.
However, high-spec Allure or Feline trims with 1.6-litre engines come with the French firm’s Grip Control. This feature works across the front wheels to transfer power to the one with the most grip.
So, while the limited ground clearance of the 2008 means it will never be a proper off-roader, dirt tracks or mucky fields are no issue for it. This makes it a good car to own if you live in the country or you want to take the kids on rural excursions at weekends.
The Peugeot 2008 performed well in the Euro NCAP crash tests too, picking up a five-star safety rating. Standard safety kit includes six airbags as standard and electronic stability control (ESC).
The 2008’s front seats are really comfortable, and there is a lot of legroom. Go for the Allure and Feline models and you will find height adjustment is available for the passenger as well as the driver. The rear also offers oodles of legroom. Indeed, there's an astonishingly large amount of foot space underneath the front seats for rear seat passengers.
That said, headroom is not so good. It’s limited by the large glass roof on high up the range cars. Also, irrespective of whether there is a sunroof or not, the sharply raked side windows mean the uppermost section of the doors feel close to your head if you’re a tall rear seat passenger.
In truth, the Peugeot’s back seat is great for children but only two adults will be able to sit contentedly. The boot space is splendid - it can swallow up to 360 litres of luggage with the seats in place or 1,172 with them folded.
They fold flat too, at the pull of a single lever, so taking all that junk you’ve been meaning to take to the tip for ages will be a piece of cake.
What to know before you buy
The French automaker deliberately kept costs low when the 2008 first came out because the car is aimed at young city-dwellers who, according to Peugeot, “love the urban environment but also enjoy escaping from it at every opportunity”.
That is great news if you are buying the car used because it was never that expensive when it was new. There are no Peugeot 2008 reliability problems and, while the interior doesn’t always feel especially premium, it’s made out of hard wearing materials.
The Renault Captur is worth looking at and it does stand out from the crowd, while the hi-tech infotainment system will keep you busy for hours on end. More importantly, the Captur is comfortable and has a larger boot than the 2008 and its jazzy design touches in the cabin are really appealing.
However, it can’t equal the Peugeot 2008 for build quality or driving etiquette. Furthermore, the 2008 is quicker, almost as comfortable and economical, and it handles far more convincingly than the Captur.
The Nissan Juke is also sold as a crossover, making it a potential rival to Peugeot’s 2008. While the Juke is a funky looking car, with a wholesome engine and plenty of kit, its poky cabin and tiny boot doesn’t make it a fully-fledged main family car.
The Peugeot 2008 is a satisfying and good value vehicle. It’s handsome inside and out, and offers pretty much all the practicality you could need. The low running costs and robust engines make it a good value secondhand car buy.