Peugeot 2008 Review | Select Car Leasing
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Peugeot 2008 Review


When it first arrived, the gawky-looking Peugeot 2008 was something of an oddball. A bloated, jacked-up version of the 208 supermini, it was practical and functional, but not as characterful as its pebble-shaped handbrake might suggest. This new model aims to right the wrongs of its predecessor, and it has swept onto the scene with a chiselled, modern image and a completely revamped interior.

Few traces of the old 2008 remain, and that’s a very good thing. Where once there was an uninspiring, high-riding hatchback, the new 2008 is a bona fide compact SUV with a much more attractive face. So does the transformation make Peugeot’s answer to the Nissan Juke a more appealing proposition?

Select's rating score* - 3.9 / 5

At a Glance

Let’s make no bones about it: the 2008 is a hunk. Gone is the bulbous, swollen, dredged-up-from-the-bottom-of-a-canal look, replaced with this angular, striking Adonis of a compact SUV. Big haunches, a sculpted front end and those LED fangs running down from the headlights all give it real presence, despite its relatively compact dimensions.

Inside, it feels much sportier than before, with Peugeot’s now-trademark tiny steering wheel and an angular dashboard. The quality is higher than you might expect, too, and there’s plenty of space. It’s a family car through and through.

But while it may look sporty, the 2008 most definitely is not sporty. Engines designed for economy, rather than performance and suspension that’s most definitely set up for comfort mean it’s more leisurely than loutish. But that’s no bad thing, because it means driving becomes incredibly relaxing, with no reward for hustling through corners.

Which means the 2008 is ideally suited to its target market. It’s more spacious and more funky than its predecessor, but it still feels comfortable and easy to drive. That means it’s perfect if you want an urban SUV for popping to the shops or for cruising down the motorway. But the boy racers will want to look elsewhere.

Key Features

A big part of the 2008’s appeal will be in its design. Peugeot’s current design language is striking and outlandish at times, and that isn’t necessarily a good sign. But the French company is making it work, and the 208 is now one of the best looking hatchbacks out there. The larger 508 is stunning, and so too is the all-new 308. The 2008 follows suit, with a muscular, sculpted design and bold colours that make it stand out from the crowd. It’s a really good-looking thing.

On a smaller scale, we also really like the hidden compartments that make ideal locations to store valuables and other bits. We’d never recommend leaving your phone or passport in the car – certainly not for any great period – but change and other loose items can be stowed either in the little pocket on the right of the steering wheel or in the hidden compartment below the air vents. Even when you’re just driving along, it’s a great place to keep your phone hidden away.

Performance & Drive

The 2008 comes with a choice of petrol and diesel engines, but none is what you’d call sporty. The entry-level engine is a 1.2-litre petrol with 100hp and a six-speed manual gearbox, which gets you from 0-62mph in a leisurely 10.9 seconds. Or you could go for the only slightly more powerful diesel, the BlueHDi 110 with 110hp, which cuts that time to 10.5 seconds.

From there, the only other options are the 1.2-litre PureTech 130, with 130hp, or the PureTech 155, which is another 1.2 with – you guessed it – 155hp. The former comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but you can have it with an eight-speed automatic, while the 155hp version is auto-only.

Despite having an extra 25hp, the PureTech 155 engine only makes the car marginally faster than the PureTech 130, with a 0-62mph time of 8.2 seconds. But that pace is hardly electrifying. Speaking of which, the final option is the e-2008 with the 136hp electric motor. Put your foot down, and that will get you from 0-62mph in nine seconds flat.

So no 2008 is quick, and that’s a good thing, because the chassis is tuned for comfort, not speed. The 2008 rides beautifully on motorways and in town, and although the odd pothole seems to catch it out slightly, it’s a very relaxing thing to drive. The steering is light, the clutch is light in manual models and the gearbox in automatics is generally very smooth. It has a few issues picking up from a standing start, but that’s it.

If you want a small SUV that handles, look elsewhere. The 2008 doesn’t have much precision to its steering or much control over its tall body, with the soft suspension letting it wallow through corners like a ship with a leaky bottom. Cornering quickly is actively discouraged in this car, but that’s okay, because comfort is far more important. If zealous driving performance does matter to you, may we recommend the Ford Puma and Mazda CX-30?

Perhaps more of an Achilles heel for the 2008 is a slight lack of off-road credentials. With no all-wheel-drive versions of the 2008 on offer, a Dacia Duster or SsangYong Tivoli will have more go-anywhere capability. That said, the 2008 is offered with Peugeot’s clever Grip Control system, which is basically a fancy traction control system that helps you out on slippery surfaces. It’s no substitute for all-wheel drive, but with some good tyres on those rims, it will be useful when the snow comes down.

Running Costs & Emissions

With such a wide range of powertrains, it’s easy to find a 2008 to suit your tastes and your bank balance. To save fuel on long journeys, you’ll want the diesel-powered BlueHDi 110, which will manage between 57.4 and 65.7mpg on the official economy test.

But if you really want to save money at the pumps, you can avoid internal combustion altogether and opt for the electric e-2008. With an official range of 206 miles (and therefore a real-world range of around 150 miles) it’s better suited to local journeys than long slogs, but it will be cheaper to fill – particularly if you can charge at home.

Company car drivers will certainly find the e-2008 head and shoulders above its stablemates when it comes to saving money. With zero tailpipe emissions, it incurs an ultra-low rate of Benefit-in-Kind tax, making it much easier on the wallet than either the petrol- or diesel-powered versions.

Interior & Technology

Despite the 2008’s myriad talents, perhaps the biggest surprise is the interior. Where some might expect a mid-market Peugeot to feel a little cheap and plasticky in places, the 2008 just doesn’t. The quality really is good, with some lovely soft-touch plastics joined by some tactile switchgear and an overall impression of softness.

Admittedly, it isn’t as good as an Audi or even a Mazda – there are too many slightly firm plastics around your feet and the odd slightly iffy panel gap – but it’s as good as you’ll get from Ford or Skoda, and better than the likes of Renault or Dacia. It’s very impressive.

And it’s stylish with it. Peugeot’s tiny steering wheel won’t be to every taste, and it certainly feels at odds with the 2008’s high-riding, comfort-orientated demeanour, but it’s in keeping with the thoroughly modern design. The touchscreen has piano-style hot keys to help you navigate and there’s a digital instrument cluster as standard on all but the entry-level trim level.

If there’s a weak spot, it’s the touchscreen itself. It has all the functions you want and need, but the display looks blocky and clunky, and it’s quite slow to respond to your inputs. Countless Peugeot and Citroen cars have the same issue, but that’s no excuse. Ford, Volkswagen and Mazda all have better infotainment systems.

Fortunately, the solid level of standard equipment means you get the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay tech as standard, allowing you to hook up your phone and access competent infotainment systems with ease.

Practicality & Boot Space

An important consideration for any compact SUV, practicality is key to the 2008’s success. In the cabin, there’s plenty of room for front-seat occupants, and space in the back isn’t bad either. It gets a bit dark in there, though, so it can feel slightly oppressive. Nevertheless, even those in the back have bags of headroom and sufficient legroom to make even lengthy journeys feel relatively comfortable. Fitting three across the rear bench might make it a bit tight around the shoulders, though.

Space in the boot is also decent, with 434 litres back there. That means it’s slightly more spacious than a Seat Arona, and on a par with the Volkswagen T-Roc. It’s more capacious than a Citroen C3 Aircross, too, and roomier than a Renault Captur or a Nissan Juke.


Even basic 2008s come with plenty of safety kit. There’s all the usual stuff, including anti-lock brakes, airbags everywhere and electronic stability tech, but you also get autonomous braking technology that will automatically hit the brakes if you fail to react to a hazard. Cruise control is standard, too, and you get lane-keeping assistance.

Move up the range and you get more safety gizmos, with GT models getting blind-spot monitoring to tell you when there’s a vehicle in the blind spots over your shoulders. And if you choose GT Premium trim, you get clever adaptive cruise control that maintains a safe distance to the car in front. Working in tandem with the lane-keeping system, it can help take some of the strain out of motorway miles, but it’s still a far cry from full autonomy.

With all that tech on board, the 2008 managed five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test. So even if all that technology fails and you do find yourself in a crash, you know it’s as safe as can be.


The 2008 range kicks off with the Active Premium model, which comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic air conditioning and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system. You also get rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration technology.

Moving up to the Allure Premium gets you 17-inch alloys, a digital instrument cluster and a reversing camera, plus part-leather upholstery and gloss black roof rails, as well as silver trim on the front bumper and doors.

The GT model might sound a bit sporty, but it isn’t. Instead, it’s just a solidly equipped trim level with a dark chrome grille, front parking sensors and a larger 10-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation. It even comes with heated seats and a black roof, although the bright green stitching in the cabin is an acquired taste – especially if you opt for the bright orange paintwork.

Finally, you can choose to upgrade the GT model by going for GT Premium, but all that adds is some 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and some Alcantara trim for the seats. Oh, and clever cruise control that can keep you a safe distance from the car in front and help to keep you in your lane.

With such a funky design as the 2008, though, arguably the most important option is the colour. The cool orange is standard across the range, but you can choose the stunning Vertigo Blue or Elixir Red, both of which really pop. If you want something more subdued, you can also have one of a number of whites, greys and blacks.

Aside from that, options aren’t that numerous. You can have the satellite navigation tech for the Active Premium or Allure Premium models, or you can choose the Focal hi-fi system for petrol- and diesel-powered GT and GT Premium cars. Otherwise, perhaps the most desirable option is the full leather upholstery, which is also offered solely on the two more luxurious trim levels.

Rival Cars

The 2008 has a huge number of natural rivals, thanks to the swelling number of compact SUVs now available in the UK. First of all, the Peugeot faces competition from its sister companies within the recently formed Stellantis group. In particular, the soft, chunky Citroen C3 Aircross and the new and improved Vauxhall Mokka provide stiff competition, while the Fiat 500X is a case of style over substance and the Jeep Renegade is more boxy and off-road-inspired, even if it’s only marginally more capable.

Then there are the rivals from South Korea, in the shape of the popular Hyundai Kona and the stylish Kia Stonic, although the Kona is the better of those two models. Also coming in from Asia are the rather brilliant Mazda CX-30, the funky Nissan Juke and the futuristic, hybrid-only Toyota C-HR, although that is slightly larger than the 2008. The surprisingly capable SsangYong Tivoli and Suzuki Vitara will also be solid and value-orientated options.

Over in America, there’s the fantastic Ford Puma, or you could have the much less fabulous EcoSport. Not that we can work out why you would. Other key rivals include the more European Seat Arona, the Volkswagen T-Roc and the Skoda Kamiq, as well as the incredibly well-received Renault Captur. You could have a Dacia Duster, too, or you could go for a Lexus UX to get a slightly more premium image.

In short, the list is long. And that’s before we even look at alternative family cars that sit a little lower to the ground or offer a touch more interior space. That said, the 2008 is up there with the best in class, and that’s something you could never say about its predecessor.

Verdict & Next Steps

Despite its funkiness, the 2008 is surprisingly grown up. It’s a car that does everything the original 2008 promised, but never necessarily lived up to. With practicality, comfort and style by the bucketload, it’ll be perfect for anyone who wants a fresh-feeling runabout. Of course, there are plenty of SUVs that fill that brief, but few will do it with quite such a head-turning image or quite such a relaxed vibe.

Where to next?

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**Score based on Select’s unique meta score analysis, taking into account the UK’s top five leading independent car website reviews of the Peugeot 2008

**Correct as of 12/11/2021. Based on 9 months initial payment, 5,000 miles over a 24 month lease. Initial payment equivalent to 9 monthly payments or £1922.31 Ts and Cs apply. Credit is subject to status.

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