Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
The 2008’s petrol engine lineup opens with the entry-level 99bhp 1.2 Puretech 100. We’ve not tested this in the latest 2008, but it proves sufficient in other Peugeot models. In contrast, the range-topping 1.2 Puretech 155 is eye-wateringly expensive, yet doesn’t have the straight-line pace to trouble the more performance-focused small SUVs. Peugeot expects the mid-range 129bhp 1.2 Puretech 130 to be the best seller, and we reckon it’s the best fit for the 2008. It offers impressive, flexible performance that’s relaxing if you're in town or on the motorway.
The 1.5 BlueHDi 100 diesel offers plenty of extra pulling power from low revs, so you don’t have to change up and down gears too often for an even more relaxed drive. It's a good fit for anyone thinking of towing a caravan. Click the link to find out how on the fully electric e-2008 drives.
There is an eight-speed automatic gearbox available. It's a little hesitant when pulling away from a standstill and to change down gears.
Suspension and ride comfort
At low speeds, the 2008’s soft suspension struggles to deal with larger lumps and bumps, sending the odd shudder up through the base of your seat. It’s a problem that simply doesn’t afflict the better-controlled Volkswagen T-Roc.
That said, this issue isn’t enough to make the 2008 uncomfortable to travel in, and, happily, things flatten out at motorway speeds, when it feels generally quite settled. It’s just a shame that GT Line and GT trims are only available with large 18in alloy wheels; we suspect Active and Allure-spec cars will ride better on their smaller alloys.
If you’re looking for country-road entertainment, the 2008 won’t do much to fire your passion, but its manners won’t disappoint when pressed into the kind of urban duties that small SUVs typically face.
The 2008 has a small steering wheel (see more about that in the interior section) that could've almost come from a go-kart, but the steering doesn’t build weight progressively when you attack a corner. It gets heavier with speed, but artificially so, and doesn’t provide much feedback to help you gauge how much grip the front wheels have on the road.
You’ll feel the body leaning over if you carry a bit of speed through a corner, too. The Ford Puma and Audi Q2 certainly feel more agile and better tied down, while offering more communicative, naturally weighted steering. Still, the 2008 inspires more confidence in its handling than the Citroën C3 Aircross does.
Noise and vibration
The 2008 provides a pleasantly quiet interior; its petrol engines are hushed and there isn’t much road roar to contend with. There is a bit of wind noise at motorway speeds, though, and the diesel engine is rather boomy when you accelerate hard.
The clutch, brake and accelerator all feel naturally weighted, but the six-speed manual gearbox doesn’t have the pleasant slickness of the 'boxes you find in some of its rivals, such as the Puma, T-Roc and Skoda Kamiq. Also, the automatic gearbox isn't particularly smooth during changes.
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