What is it?
Unless you've been living under a rock for the last 10 years, you'll have noticed that SUVs are big business. To be honest, even if you have been living under said rock, you'd probably still have a small SUV out front on your driveway. Peugeot knows this; it has built nearly 600,000 of its 2008s worldwide since 2013, and enjoyed more than 40,000 UK sales.
To keep it fresh, the 2008 has received new bumper, grille and light styling for 2016, as well as a more butch appearance including new wider arches and front and rear scuff plates on its two highest trim levels, together with Peugeot's Grip Control off-road advanced traction control system. Emergency city braking also now makes an appearance on the options list, as does a self-park function and two new exterior colours.
GT Line trim now sits at the top of the range acting as the sporty option with more aggressive styling, and Peugeot's proven 129bhp turbocharged three-cylinder Puretech petrol engine is available on the 2008 for the first time. It's this engine in the aforementioned GT Line trim we're focusing on here.
It's no secret, this SUV boom - plenty of other manufacturers have noticed. As such, the 2008 still needs to tempt buyers away from a wide spectrum of rivals such as Renault's Captur and Nissan's Juke.
What's it like?
Unfortunately, this GT Line isn't as exciting to drive as its name and unique black and red accents suggest. Our car's range-topping Puretech engine is certainly stout enough to cope with town and motorway work, but it often needed a lower gear to access its sweetest band on our hilly test route. It feels a little less well installed in the 2008 too, compared with Peugeot's 308, say, sending more vibration back through the controls under load. There's also a fair amount of wind and tyre noise heard in the cabin at higher speeds.
Peugeot's trademark small steering wheel remains a feature, but the 2008's relatively aggressive steering doesn't really suit its chassis. It's a little vague around its centre, but weights and speeds up rapidly just a few degrees beyond it, returning to the straight-ahead briskly while never communicating much of what's happening at the front wheels. Subsequently, it feels slightly nervous on the move, often forcing you to adjust your line in sharp bends. Push hard, and it's not long before the 2008's front wheels give up grip.
There are no suspension modifications for the GT Line, and its soft set-up ensures noticeable body lean through corners. It also allows vertical movement over undulations and the 2008's nose to dip more than you'd like under braking. It does help the 2008 soak up large obstructions well, although the GT Line's range-largest 17in alloys transfer edges to the cabin more readily than in lesser models with more rubber.
Inside there's better news. The GT Line's front seats provide decent support and both they and the steering wheel adjust generously. Two tall adults will have no problem with head or leg room, either. The back seats will struggle to sit three adults abreast comfortably, but two will find good head room, and enough leg room if the front passengers aren't too gangly. 410 litres of boot space with the rear seats in place is impressive, and it's an easily accessible, practical space at that. 60/40 split-folding rear seats open the space to 1400 litres.