Most, however, will probably sway towards the diesel units thanks to their headline-grabbing CO2 and fuel economy figures. The 1.6-litre e-HDi is offered in, 74bhp, 99bhp and 118bhp outputs, the first two are offered with a five speed manual, the latter a six-speed manual.
Judging by our previous experience of its direct rivals, the 1.6 e-HDi 118 variant of the 2008 offers a relatively impressive mix of virtues.
Under acceleration the Peugeot 2008 feels quite sprightly, with a 0-60mph time of 10.7sec. The 138bhp Skoda Yeti 2.0 TDI we tested was no quicker and the Mini Countryman Cooper D tested slightly slower.
There’s the off-boost hesitancy that’s often present in small turbodiesels, but it’s no problem to drive around once you’re rolling – particularly since the engine is quite refined at fairly high crank speeds – and it's much more punchy than the 1.2-litre petrol.
The manual gearchange has surprising definition and positivity, while the ratios are well spaced and uncompromised by any shortening for off-road use.
Peugeot's 99bhp 1.6-litre e-HDi engine certainly doesn’t have the pull or acceleration we enjoyed in the higher-power 118bhp diesel, but it’s competent enough. Acceleration is clean and mid-range torque is well supplied between 1750-3000rpm.
The 2008, if you were in doubt, isn’t a serious off-roader. Occasional use on unsealed roads is no problem, not least because Peugeot UK is fitting hybrid off-road tyres to the 2008 as standard, in order to market it as an any-weather, any-season runabout, and our test car showed exactly the compromises you’d expect.
Tarmac traction levels, wet or dry, are lower than they might be, and that reflects conspicuously in stopping distances that are about 20 percent poorer than the class norm. Hybrid tyres simply don’t have the stiffness to transmit the peak longitudinal loads of an emergency stop as effectively as road tyres.
Having said that, traction on grass, gravel and mud is much better than it would be with a road tyre – just as it would be on snow, we’d venture – and there’s no penalty to be paid in terms of economy or refinement.
Road noise is much less of a factor in the 2008 than wind noise around the mirrors and A-pillars, the latter noticeable at motorway speeds.