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Used test: Audi Q2 vs Peugeot 2008

Buy either of these two small SUVs at around three years old and you'll make a healthy saving on the price of a new one, but should you go for the suave Audi Q2 or the striking Peugeot 2008? We h...

Peugeot 2008 and Audi Q2

The Contenders

Audi Q2 35 TFSI S line

List price when new £28,520
Price today £20,000*
Available from 2019-present

As classy as a hotel spa, the Q2 knows how to swoon its passengers


Peugeot 2008 Puretech 130 GT Line

List price when new £26,100
Price today £20,000*
Available from 2019-present

It may have a striking design inside and out, but does the 2008 have the substance to match?

*Price today is based on a 2019 model with average mileage and full service history according to the What Car? Valuation service, correct at time of writing


Although What Car? doesn't pretend to be a fashion journal, it's safe to say small SUVs are certainly 'in' – and have been for a while now. What's more, if you aim to double down on that style, the Audi Q2 and Peugeot 2008 make for a couple of especially chic choices, even as used buys. 

Their exterior and interior designs do suggest differing personas, mind you. The Q2 appears sharp, subtle and sporty, while the 2008 is a touch more rugged and radical. However, as Shakespeare once wrote (or not), thou shan't ever judge a book by its cover. As such, it's worth exploring the two in considerably more detail. 

Audi Q2 2020 front cornering

Here we have the Q2 and 2008 at three years old, and this means you can grab a bit of boutique fashion at something closer to a supermarket price – a saving of more than £5000 from new, to be exact. In this test, both are petrol cars with manual gearboxes. 

Which small SUV provides the most VFM? Read on to find out. 

Peugeot 2008 2021 front cornering

Driving

Performance, ride, handling, refinement

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

Audi Q2 rear 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 convincing 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 rear

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; impacts with these send a shudder through the car when encountered.

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.


Next: What are they like inside? >>

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