Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
The choice of petrol engines available in the 2008 ranges from the entry-level 99bhp 1.2 Puretech 100 up to a 153bhp 1.2 Puretech 155. Peugeot expects the mid-range 129bhp 1.2 Puretech 130 to be the best seller, and it certainly offers impressive, flexible performance that’s relaxing around town and easy on the motorway.
However, the 1.2 Puretech 100 is well worth a try; while we’ve not tried it in the latest 2008 it proves sufficient in other Peugeots and will be less expensive to buy and run than the other petrol engines. In contrast, the more powerful 1.2 Puretech 155 is eye-wateringly expensive, yet doesn’t have the straight-line pace to trouble the more performance-focused hot small SUVs in this price bracket.
The 1.5 BlueHDi 100 diesel offers more pulling power from low revs, but will only be tempting for high-mileage drivers after improved fuel efficiency.
Suspension and ride comfort
At low speeds the 2008’s ride can feel a little firm, with lumps and bumps troubling it in a way that the Volkswagen T-Cross is immune to. This issue isn’t enough to make things outright uncomfortable, but it can irritate; we’d certainly advise avoiding the bigger wheel options for the best chance of a comfortable ride. Things flatten out at motorway speeds, where suspension movements feel well controlled, but the T-Cross is more comfortable overall.
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. Its steering is light but accurate, so threading it through busy town roads is stress-free.
At higher speeds, though, it feels less composed, and you’ll feel the body leaning over if you carry a bit of speed through a corner. The Seat Arona and Audi Q2 certainly feel more agile and better tied down, while offering more pleasant, naturally-weighted steering. Still, the 2008 inspires more confidence through its handling than the Citroën C3 Aircross.
Noise and vibration
The 2008 provides a pleasantly quiet interior; its petrol engines are with 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 accelerating hard.
The clutch, brake and accelerator all feel naturally weighted, but the six-speed manual gearbox doesn’t have the pleasant slickness of equivalent boxes from rivals like the T-Roc and Skoda Kamiq. There is also an eight-speed automatic gearbox available which shifts smoothly. However, plant your right foot to accelerate hard from a standstill and you’ll find it a little hesitant.