What is it?
This facelift of the Peugeot 2008 is just that. Styling and equipment has been changed but little has happened beneath the skin, with the same engine line-up and chassis set-up remaining. And why should they, given that the company has shifted more than half a million 2008s worldwide? If it ain’t broke…
As well as simply keeping it up to date with key rivals such as the Renault Captur and Nissan Juke, Peugeot is hoping that the more bluff-nosed styling, which includes a higher leading edge to the bonnet and the lion badge set into the grille, will make the 2008 appeal to a broader spread of buyers.
A new GT Line trim, which replaces the previous range-topping Feline trim, brings a more sporting appearance, with gloss black roof bars and grille, red Peugeot lettering, a panoramic glass roof and red stitching around the cabin, among other tweaks. You also now get Peugeot’s ‘Grip Control’ system – an electronic system that maximises grip in the front-drive 2008 for mud, snow and sand - as standard on more powerful Allure models and all examples of the GT Line trim.
What's it like?
It’s much the same to drive, of course. The 1.6-litre 118bhp diesel motor is a staple in the Peugeot range these days, although its installation in the 2008 leaves a little to be desired. There’s a lot of boomy engine resonance in the cabin at lower revs and a general background din of suspension and tyre noise even at town speeds, while tyre noise takes over on the motorway. Still, the engine pulls with fair gusto and it isn’t hard to keep on the boil. A good thing, since rowing the notchy, imprecise gear shift is no pleasure.
Body roll is quite progressive and there’s no ungainly jarring on the bump stops to worry about, while ride comfort is pretty good. It bustles around a bit over undulating and scrappy surfaces, but bump absorption is generally pliant and you feel like you’re getting a cushy ride over most roads. You’ll be more bothered by the aggressive initial steering response, which is emphasised by that tiny steering wheel. While a fast rack and small wheel do result in a reactive, nimble-feeling turn-in that many will enjoy, it also makes the 2008 feel a touch flighty at times. It’s just too easy to whack a few degrees too much lock on and have to adjust your line subsequently.
The higher seating position of the 2008 actually suits Peugeot’s rather opinion-dividing cabin style more than lower-set hatches such as the 208 and 308. Being raised to a loftier position makes it easier to see the dials over the low-set wheel, so while some will still find it odd, most will at least be able to get comfortable while still having the dials clearly in sight. This is also the nicest looking cabin in the class, helped along by the 7.0in colour touchscreen, which you get on most trims and which now features Apple CarPlay and Mirrorlink.
There’s a enough room in the back for a couple of average-sized adults to sit comfortably behind taller adults in the front, but the short rear doors and surprisingly high sill over which you have to step means that this actually isn’t a particularly function-first small SUV. You’d struggle to get three across the rear bench, and there’s no centre rear armrest either.