REVIEW: Peugeot 2008

Peugeot has given upgrades to most of the cars in their stable in recent years. Last week I got to drive the second generation of their impressive 2008. My test car came in Orange Fusion colour which certainly got a lot of favourable comments from people I met in various supermarket cars park during the week.

No, I’m not a shopaholic, but my wife cannot drive, so I am very familiar with the best places to park in Liffey Valley, Dundrum, Carrickmines and The Square shopping centres.

When Peugeot launched the 2008 in Ireland back in 2013, they said they were moving upmarket with what they described as their first ‘world car.’ Eight years ago the compact crossover was already popular in mainland Europe with over 32,000 units sold. The sales figure in Europe for the 2008 must be in the millions by now.

The 2008 is based on the award-winning 208, which was voted Irish Small Car of the Year in the same year, 2013. Some people have said that it looks like a compact version of the Peugeot 3008 and it’s hard to disagree.

When you look at the car from a distance it’s very impressive with that strong, confident grille and the Lion logo. With the front of the car turned sideways, it seems to be stand proud as if to say come in and have a test drive.

The 208 supermini was the first new generation model in the Peugeot range to be launched giving customers the choice between petrol, diesel or electric. The platform the car is built on is designed from the start to be suitable for a combustion engine or electric powertrain.

Now Peugeot brings the same choice to the 2008 range. I drove the 1.2-litre petrol six-speed manual with 130bhp. The petrol version is also available in  100 or 155bhp.

There is a lot of talk about electric cars, but petrol power still makes a lot of sense in these crossovers, with many people spending most of their time in low speed, urban driving.

When you sit in, the first item that catches your eye is the sporty steering wheel. Straight away you get the feeling that this cute wheel makes the car feel agile and more responsive.

But, if you’re like me, you are well under six foot tall, you might need to sit up straight to see the speedometer as the top of the wheel slightly obscures the display. So you have to pay attention and sit up straight. Maybe Peugeot should copy Mazda and have a heads-up digital display on the dash.

As usual the dash is dominated by the 3D i-Cockpit with a ten-inch touchscreen  which work very well and should keep tech lovers happy.

The design and shape of the rear seats makes them more comfortable than the previous generation of the car. There is plenty of space for three people in the back seat and the middle seat doesn’t leave the passenger perched as highly.

The boot is a decent size with two levels and underneath there is a ‘mini’ spare wheel, which is always appreciated.

On the road, the 2008 has matured in terms of the comfort it offers occupants and the refinement of the drive, particularly in this petrol model.

Prices start at €24,450, while my Allure test car will cost you €28,910. Road tax is €200. To sum up in one word, gorgeous.