It’s difficult to position the 2008 because the segment’s ground is ceaselessly shifting. Within 12 months, practically every mainstream car maker will have a crossover to supplement its more conventional offerings, and the potential for aggressive pricing strategies is clear.
Peugeot seems to have parachuted the 2008 into about the right spot. The range is split into Access A/C, Active, Allure and GT-Line trims.
In entry-level form, the 2008's price point is in Dacia Duster territory, while Active trim rights the entry-level trim's wrongs. It is available with the lower-powered 1.6 e-HDi, which offers sub-100/km CO2 emissions and 74.3mpg if you opt for the EGC auto, and all for a reasonable price. It doesn’t, however, come with Grip Control; that’s reserved for the two higher tiers and isn’t an option with the cheaper engines.
If you’re prepared to forsake four-wheel drive for Peugeot’s computer-aided system, Grip Control makes impressive financial sense. The Skoda Yeti can’t be had in a similar spec for anywhere near the same price and Nissan doesn’t offer the Juke as a diesel 4x4.
Added to which, few of the 2008’s rivals live up to the 1.6 e-HDI’s claimed frugality. Naturally, one we tested fell a good way short, but 59.2mpg while touring and a 48.9mpg average still puts it towards the head of the class.
Reliability should be good too, and the running costs should be low, partly thanks to the Peugeot's frugal engine range.