Mid-range diesel gives the Peugeot 2008, the firm's newest crossover, appeal but poor design in some areas spoils the ride

What is it?

The mid-range diesel option to accompany Peugeot’s new 2008 crossover at its launch. Alongside the high-power 115bhp 1.6 e-HDi we’ve already tested and the 68bhp 1.4 HDi at the bottom of the range, this 92bhp diesel is tipped to be the biggest seller.

We’re testing the Allure spec model, which gets Peugeot’s new grip control system as standard. The system re-works the car’s own ESP and traction control settings to suit a given terrain setting, and works in conjunction with all-weather hybrid tyres fitted to the car. 

At £17,145 - rising to £17,940 once options like metallic paint and parking assist are added - the 92bhp option is still over £1000 cheaper than the higher-spec 115bhp engine. 

What's it like?

The engine certainly doesn’t have the pull or acceleration we enjoyed in the higher-power 115bhp diesel, but it’s competent enough. Acceleration is clean and mid-range torque is well supplied between 1750-3000rpm. The six-speed manual gearbox we tried gives well-defined changes, and it’s pleasing to see the ratios haven’t been shortened to accommodate some off-road finesse.

Steering is weighted well and gives plenty of feel. Like the Peugeot 208, the just off-centre rack gives an immediate response, meaning driving the 2008 in an urban environment doesn’t become a chore. A good turning circle for a car of this size helps as well.

Wind noise is an issue in the car at speed, especially around the door mirrors. This seems odd because on the whole, the 2008 has a fairly handsome design, and it’s spoilt by needlessly chunky mirrors. 

Peugeot has attempted to appeal to a more upmarket customer with the 2008. The cabin is light, airy, and adorned with features which make it feel like a more premium car. We especially appreciated the subtle lighting around the roofline.

The seating position is relatively high, giving good views of the road ahead, but the experience is let down significantly by the steering wheel. Lifted straight from the 208 it feels too small for the car, and can easily obscure dials when adjusted to suit drivers of above-average height. That’s a shame because the dial cluster is where Peugeot has made some of its best progress in quality – dials are close together and compact with a driver information screen in the middle. Blue lighting – which can be turned off – lines each cluster, adding to the premium experience.

Peugeot deliberately wanted a button-less cabin, and that’s why most functions are controlled through a central infotainment touchscreen system. It works well, and the navigation system is easy to figure out, even if it can sometimes be slow to accept commands.

Should I buy one?

Fleets will find this option making the most sense, and since the fleet sector is predicted to take 42 per cent of sales in the B-segment this year Peugeot will likely be doing well from that market.

If you don't feel you need the extra power on offer from the higher-powered 115bhp diesel, then this will probably be the engine for you. Refinement issues aside, the 2008 fits into the compact crossover market well, and Peugeot should be praised for addressing the quality of its interiors in recent years. In the real world we might still go for the fun-loving Nissan Juke, but the 2008 certainly has allure.

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Peugeot 2008 1.6 e-HDi 92 Allure

Price £17,940; 0-62mph 12.8sec; Top speed 113mph; Economy 70.6mpg (combined); CO2 103g/km; Kerbweight 1160kg; Engine 4 cyls, 1560cc, diesel; Power 92bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 170lb/ft at 1750rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual

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Mini2 25 June 2013

Autocar and Whatcar don't get it.

Why why WHY do Autocar and WhatCar? hammer on and on about the steering wheel being a problem?

It's meant to be set lower, and the dials viewed over it. WhatCar? keep saying it's poor for smaller drivers, yet Autocar seem to be insistent that it is a problem for anyone of 'average' height. I fall into the small to average category as far as height goes, and I have no issue whatsoever with the 208 (and 2008's) driving position. My father is above average height, and low and behold, he doesn't have a problem either.

I honestly think AC and WC are picking faults with this because they can't find anything else to moan about; they're clearly in favour of the rest of the car's cabin.

I have a feeling that if this were a Ford or Volkswagen, they'd be calling that steering wheel arrangement 'innovative' and a 'triumph'. 

xxxx 25 June 2013

68bhp 1.4 HDi version

That must so 'painful' to live with. 

It would paint a such bad ownership experience with the buyer it may well put them off buying another Peugeot, and lord knows they need every sale they can get right how.

Suzuki QT 25 June 2013

Hmmm ...

The exterior design of the 2008 looks more cohesive than the 208, but the interior ergonomics are still questionable ... As much as the screen (as artill says) answers a question never posed, the positioning of the steering wheel and dials does the same ... Drivers have been looking through the steering wheel at dials since the early days of motoring, so why change that and then have to make the wheel so small as to look ridiculous to compensate?? ... And that handbrake just looks clumsy in the era of sublime electronic buttons ...