Peugeot 2008 long-term test review: report 3

The original Peugeot 2008 had few rivals when it was launched, but plenty of other cars have since stolen its thunder. Can this all-new version return to the top of the tree?...

Peugeot 2008 long-term test review

The car Peugeot 2008 GT 1.2L PureTech 130 EAT8 S&S Run by Alastair Clements, special contributor

Why it’s here The first-generation 2008 was a success story for Peugeot; will shifting this new model’s focus from utility to style dilute its appeal?

Needs to Do the impossible – match chic looks with ruggedness, and compact proportions with family-friendly space

Miles covered 1312 Price £28,065 Target Price £26,644 Price as tested £30,695 Official economy 43.1mpg Test economy 31.3mpg

18 May 2021 – Trouble in paradise?

Unless you’re really unlucky (or a particularly poor chooser), there’s always a bit of a honeymoon period with a new car during which it appears it can do no wrong. And that was certainly the case with my Peugeot 2008, which quickly worked its way into my affections.

The first chink in its thus far impenetrable armour appeared when I was accelerating over a rough road surface and there was a little bout of wheelspin. Nothing special there, you might think, but with a ‘bong’ from the dashboard a message appeared to tell me there was a malfunction with its Electronic Stability Programme, or ESP for short.

Peugeot 2008 long-term test review

Frustrated at the idea that I might have to pop into a dealer to get it sorted, I headed home, but the following time I started it up the message had gone. A couple of weeks later I got another random ‘bong’ and a message telling me to ‘Check dipped-beam headlights’. Once more the hard reset of turning the car off, locking it then unlocking it did the trick; the same again when the panoramic sunroof – an extremely welcome (albeit £750) optional extra – refused to close until I stood outside the car holding down the lock button on the key.

“Try turning it off and on again” may be the stereotypical response of the IT helpdesk, but in this case it really does work. None of these faults have caused me more than mild annoyance, but it does make me start to question what happens if there is a more major electronic glitch.

Peugeot 2008 long-term test review

I’ve had a few other complaints that aren’t faults, more things that I find slightly irksome – not least the ‘touch-sensitive’ buttons, which aren’t always very sensitive to touch. They’re also hard to identify at a glance from the bank of switches beneath the infotainment system, causing you to momentarily take your eyes from the road, but hopefully I'll become familiar with the layout in time.

A more fundamental complaint concerns the relationship between the engine and gearbox. Both are superb in isolation, but just occasionally they suffer a breakdown in communication that can be awkward, or in the right conditions almost dangerous; because the start-stop system  can be slow to react and there's no auto-hold function, if you stop on a hill for a moment and the engine cuts out, the car can start to roll back an alarming distance before it fires and the automatic gearbox takes up drive again. I’ve taken to flicking on the electronic parking brake whenever I come to a halt, to avoid giving tailgaters a fright when the lights turn to green.

Peugeot 2008 long-term test review

Despite these frustrations, however, the little Peugeot has an infectious personality that keeps on winning me over. I spend a lot of time driving around town at the moment, and here its small external dimensions and manoeuvrability are a boon, yet when I need it to haul people, dogs and luggage it continues to impress me with its tardis-like interior space.

And while it’s far from a ‘driver’s car’ in the traditional sense, it has an eager character and a lively feel that is ideal for the cut-and-thrust of the city; just try to avoid those awkward hill starts...

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