First Drive

2013 Peugeot 2008 review

  • Peugeot 2008 mini-SUV driven in UK
  • Crossover based on the 208 supermini
  • On sale now, priced from Β£12,995
Words BySteve Huntingford

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The Peugeot 2008 is the latest mini-SUV, and a rival to cars such as the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur.

It's based on the Peugeot 208 supermini and uses the same range of efficient petrol and diesel engines. However, the 2008 offers tougher looks, a higher driving position and more space for passengers and luggage.

What's the 2013 Peugeot 2008 like to drive?

We've tried the two most powerful engines – a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel and a 118bhp 1.6-litre petrol – as well as the entry-level 80bhp 1.2-litre petrol.

The diesel is a likeable thing, because it delivers good in-gear flexibility and is impressively refined aside from a bit of pedal vibration.

By contrast, both petrol engines feel gutless unless you thrash them, and they could really do with an extra gear on the motorway, where they drone away loudly.

Next year, the 1.6 petrol engine will be replaced by 109bhp and 128bhp versions of a turbocharged 1.2-litre three-cylinder unit and we'd suggest you wait until then if you don't want a diesel.

The 2008 feels most at home in town, where its small size, elevated driving position and light steering all combine to make manoeuvring easy.

However, the steering is less impressive on faster roads, where its inconsistent weighting robs you of confidence. The fact that the 2008's body lops over in a fairly uncontrolled way when you turn in to a bend doesn't help.

Like the 208 hatchback, the 2008's ride struggles over patchier road surfaces, and the back end has a tendency to bounce out of line over mid-corner bumps.

There’s plenty of wind noise, too – especially if you go for the (Β£400) optional panoramic sunroof – although road noise isn’t too bad over most surfaces.

Despite the 4x4 looks, all 2008s are front-wheel drive. However, pricier versions do come with Peugeot's Grip Control system, which lets the driver optimise the car's electronics for different conditions at the twist of a dial. These cars get all-weather tyres.

What's the 2013 Peugeot 2008 like inside?

Like the 208, the 2008 has an unusually small steering wheel that you look over (instead of through) to see the instruments. Unfortunately, if you're less than six feet tall, you might well find the top of the wheel blocks your view of the speedo.

The touch-screen infotainment system – standard on all but the entry-level trim – also disappoints, because it's fiddly to use on the move and there are no shortcut buttons to help you negotiate its menus.

Where the 2008 does leave rivals such as the Juke trailing is perceived quality. Peugeot has used materials that are easy on both the eye and the fingertips throughout the cabin, while the touch-screen features sophisticated graphics.

The 2008 is also more practical than a Juke, because adults can ride in the back without feeling cramped. The Peugeot has a bigger boot, too.

The boot is easy to load, thanks to its low loading sill, and the rear seats fold down completely flat.

Should I buy one?

Every diesel model averages more than 70mpg in official tests, while even the least efficient engine – the 1.6-litre petrol – manages almost 50mpg.

The 2008 also offers a classy, practical cabin. However, there are basic ergonomic flaws that really should have been addressed during the car's development, and the driving experience is mediocre to say the least.

The 2008 is a better all-rounder than the more dramatically styled Nissan Juke, but that’s faint praise indeed because the Juke also falls short in a number of key areas.

If you’re after a small car that looks a bit like an SUV, then, we’d strongly advise you consider a Renault Captur or Skoda Yeti, instead.

By Steve Huntingford

What Car? says...


Nissan Juke

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