First Drive

Peugeot 2008 1.6 BlueHDi 120 review

Peugeot has given its 2008 a facelift and added a plush new trim level. Are these improvements enough to recommend it over rivals?

Words ByVicky Parrott

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The Peugeot 2008 has had a facelift in the most literal sense. It has a new front end incorporating a new grille, a higher leading edge of the bonnet and generally chunkier styling for this 2016 update.

A new range-topping GT Line trim also replaces the previous range-topper, and it’s this trim with the 118bhp 1.6-litre diesel (the highest powered diesel 2008) that we’re driving here on UK roads.

What is the 2016 Peugeot 2008 1.6 BlueHDi 120 GT Line like to drive?

There haven’t been any mechanical changes to the 2008 for this update, so it drives just as it did before. GT Line trim provides 17in alloys as standard and all-weather tyres to complement the standard Grip Control system, which is a clever electronic set-up that gives this dinky front-wheel drive SUV terrain-specific settings that’ll help you get out of a muddy, snowy or sandy situation.

The resulting ride comfort on UK roads is perfectly acceptable. It bustles about a bit over scruffy surfaces, but bigger bumps are soaked up easily and it’s generally comfortable enough; more so than the firmer Kia Soul.

What’s less impressive is the handling, which is a blighted by overly-quick steering response, which too often sees you whack a few degrees too many onto the steering, and then have to correct it mid-corner.

Engine noise is also below par; there’s a boomy resonance at low revs, and suspension and tyre noise at all speeds. A slicker gearbox would be welcome, too, but at least the engine delivers good response in a broad enough power band so you don’t have to down-shift too often.

What is the 2016 Peugeot 2008 1.6 BlueHDi 120 GT Line 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 some may find that the instruments – viewed over rather than through the small steering wheel - may be obscured by the wheel rim.

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. Access isn’t the best through the narrow rear door aperture and surprisingly high sill, and it’s a shame that there’s no centre armrest.

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. It’ll more than do the job for most buyers, although the parcel shelf is a bit odd since it doesn’t lift with the boot lid – you have to flip it up yourself.

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 because 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 with an Android device) helps make the whole experience more pleasant. It's easier to use for starters, and lets you introduce a sat-nav via your phone's in-built mapping app, rather than having to add Peugeot's expensive built-in sat-nav.

Should I buy one?

Probably not, and particularly not in GT Line trim. Sure, you get some great-looking style features, including the black grille, contrasting red lettering, black roof bars and contrasting red trim highlights inside.

On top of that, there’s the glass roof, sat-nav and a reversing camera, over and above the very decent standard equipment of the lower specs. However, it pushes the 2008’s price up into a circa Β£20k price range, where it really struggles to compete with other options, such as the bigger and more enjoyable Skoda Yeti.

Lower-spec Active or Allure models are better value, particularly with the lower-powered engines. At this point, the price looks competitive, and you've still got the appeal of the 2008’s smart-looking interior and its impressive CO2 emissions and economy.

However, given that a mid-spec Renault Captur offers a quieter drive and more cabin versatility, at a better price and with more equipment, the Peugeot 2008 remains an also-ran in this class.


What Car? says...

Rated 2 out of 5


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Rivals:

Nissan Juke

Renault Captur


Peugeot 2008 1.6 BlueHDi 120 GT Line

Engine size 1.6 diesel

Price from Β£20,565

Power 118bhp

Torque 221lb ft

0-62mph 9.6sec

Top speed 119mph

Fuel economy (official combined) 76.3mpg

CO2/BIK band 96g/km/19%