New Peugeot 2008 vs Audi Q2

Peugeot is building some fantastic cars at the moment, but does its new 2008 have what its takes to beat the poshest small SUV of them all, the Audi Q2?...

Peugeot 2008 and Audi Q2

The contenders

Audi Q2 35 TFSI S line

  • List price - £28,520
  • Target Price - £26,586

With sharp handling and a plush interior, the Q2 has long been our favourite posh small SUV.

NEW Peugeot 2008 Puretech 130 GT Line

  • List price - £26,100
  • Target Price - £25,470

The new 2008 is striking and packed with tech, but can it compete with premium competition?

Without Coca Cola we wouldn’t have Pepsi, without Adidas we wouldn’t have Puma and without the Blackberry there wouldn’t be an iPhone. Put simply, competition drives innovation, and nowhere is that more evident than in the design of Peugeot’s new 2008 small SUV.

Audi Q2 2020 rear corner

Unlike the original model, which, back in 2013, had a limited number of rivals in the form of the quirky but compromised  Nissan Juke and the roomy but cheap-feeling Renault Captur, this second-generation model has to make its mark in a class that now includes the ultra-practical Skoda Kamiq, the sharp-driving Ford Puma and the well-rounded Volkswagen T-Roc.

Gone is the old car’s frumpy-looking 208-on-stilts aesthetic, replaced by a sharp new design that brings the 2008 in line with its larger 3008 and 5008 brethren. It also benefits from an advanced suite of driver technology and a more spacious interior, courtesy of longer underpinnings, plus you now have the choice of petrol (as tested here) or pure electric power.

Peugeot 2008 2021 rear cornering

But none of this comes cheap, with the 2008 now at the premium end of the class. That puts it directly in the firing line of our favourite posh small SUV, the Audi Q2. Does the 2008 have what it takes to topple such a well-established competitor?


Performance, ride, handling, refinement

Regardless of trim, the petrol 2008 comes with a dinky 1.2-litre engine with 129bhp, whereas in the Q2 you can have a brawnier 1.5 with 148bhp. As you might expect, the Q2 is quicker in a sprint race, by close to a second.

Audi Q2 2020 front cornering

However, numbers don’t always tell the full story, and in the real world it’s the 2008 that’s the more willing performer. With shorter gearing than the Q2 and an engine that pulls eagerly at low revs, the 2008 feels nippier around town and copes better with a full load.

The 2008 isn’t quite as compelling through corners, though. While its steering is reasonably well weighted, the car feels a tad nervous when you start to turn its unusually small steering wheel. While you get used to this with time, the Q2, with its firmer suspension, pitches and leans far less in corners, making it more fun to drive enthusiastically.

Peugeot 2008 2021 front cornering

While the 2008’s ride is less fidgety than the Q2’s at higher speeds, its soft suspension occasionally trips up over larger urban obstacles such as potholes and speed bumps, with these sending a shudder through the car.

On the motorway, you hear less wind noise in the Q2, but there’s more tyre roar and engine noise. Overall, the 2008’s plusher ride and lower noise levels make it a more relaxing cruiser.