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First Drive

2016 Peugeot 2008 1.6 BlueHDi 100 review

Peugeot's 2008 small SUV receives new styling and equipment for 2016. We've driven the best-selling diesel model for the first time

Words ByRory White

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SUVs continue to be big business in the UK, and Peugeot has enjoyed decent sales of its 2008 since its 2013 launch. For 2016 it has been refreshed to ensure those buyers keep coming.

The facelift consists of new bumper, grille and light styling, as well as a more butch appearance, including new wider wheelarches and front and rear scuff plates on its two highest trim levels. Automatic city braking also now makes an appearance on the options list, as does a self-park function, two new exterior colours and a new sporty range-topping GT Line trim.

Here we're driving the best-selling diesel model, the 99bhp 1.6-litre BlueHDi diesel. Is it a better choice than other compact SUVs, such as the Renault Captur, Ssanyong's Tivoli and Nissan Juke?

What's the 2016 Peugeot 2008 1.6 BlueHDi 100 like to drive?

There have been no mechanical changes to the 2008, so this 1.6 diesel still performs well, offering enough pull from low revs to ensure stress-free town and motorway driving. Venture into the hills, though, and you'll need to work its - often imprecise - five-speed manual gearbox quite frequently.

It remains a pretty vocal engine, too, becoming noisy when pushed higher into its rev range and sending vibrations back through the steering wheel and pedals at all speeds, while road and wind noise are noticeable on the motorway. A diesel Renault Captur is smoother and quieter.

Peugeot's trademark small steering wheel still features, but the 2008's quick and inconsistently weighted steering make it feel nervous on the move, and often requires adjustments mid corner. Its aggressive self-centering also makes winding off steering lock feel unnatural.

The 2008 has a soft suspension set-up, hindering its body control in tight bends and allowing for considerable vertical movement over high-speed undulations. At least large bumps or ruts are absorbed well and our Active model's 16in alloy wheels did a better job of protecting against sharp edges than the 17in-wheeled GT Line version we also drove.

What's the 2016 Peugeot 2008 1.6 BlueHDi 100 like inside?

The 2008 is more convincing inside than it is to drive. There's good space for two tall adults in the front seats and the driver benefits from good seat and wheel adjustment, although the instruments may be obscured by the steering wheel for some.

The rear seats are good for two, rather than three adults, and as long as the front passengers aren't very tall, those two adults will get good head and leg room in the rear. Just behind, a 410-litre boot with flat floor and low loading lip is among the class's best, and the rear seats split and fold 60/40 to open up more space.

From its launch, the 2008's interior was one of the most appealing to look at and interact with, and it's still that way - hence, nothing has been done to its style or quality. A more welcome addition is Apple's CarPlay on Peugeot's 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system, standard on second-rung Active trim and up.

The system still lags behind the class best in terms of responsiveness and resolution, but CarPlay (or MirrorLink for those without an Apple device) helps make the whole experience more pleasant. It's easier to use for starters, and introduces sat-nav via your phone's in-built mapping app, rather than having to add Peugeot's expensive sat-nav option.

Should I buy one?

The Active and Allure trims make most financial sense, while the 99bhp BlueHDi 97g/km CO2 emissions make it a very attractive company car. However, we'd still recommend one of Peugeot's three-cylinder Puretech petrols - specifically the 109bhp version - first. They're similarly potent, clean and frugal, but slightly more refined and crucially, cheaper to buy.

Overall, the 2008 has one of the more spacious and practical interiors in the compact SUV class, improved infotainment and pleasing quality. However, while few rivals offer a truly exciting driving experience, the 2008 falls a long way short, and ultimately there are more rounded alternatives for less money that we'd recommend first.

What Car? says...

Rated 2 out of 5


Rivals

Renault Captur

Ssanyong Tivoli


Peugeot 2008 1.6 BlueHDi 100

Engine size 1.6-litre diesel

Price from Β£17,215

Power 99bhp

Torque 187lb ft

0-62mph 11.3sec

Top speed 112mph

Fuel economy 76.3mpg

CO2 97g/km