Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
The 1.2-litre petrol is available in three outputs, badged 82, 110 and 130.
We haven’t driven the lower powered version, but the 110 feels punchy and flexible, and willing to rev. However, if you do a lot of motorway miles it may be worth considering that the 110 gets a five-speed manual, where the 130 gets a six-speed manual that sees it hold lower revs at motorway speeds.
A 1.6 BlueHDi diesel is also available in three power outputs – 75, 100 and 120. We haven’t driven the lower powered version, but both higher powered diesels offer good flexibility.
The higher powered versions of the 1.6 diesel and 1.2 petrol, when bought in mid-spec Allure trim or up, get Peugeot’s Grip Control – effectively a more advanced traction control system.
Suspension and ride comfort
The 2008’s ride is a weak point. At lower speeds, rippled roads and potholes send thumps through the cabin, and as speed builds those same imperfections feel less harsh initially, but still cause the 2008’s body to become unsettled. Sticking with the smallest wheels possible will keep sharp-edged bumps at bay to a degree, but you’ll still feel them more than in rivals.
Should you just want to weave through urban traffic, then the 2008 does a good job. Its light steering makes it easy to nip in and out of lanes, while low-speed manoeuvres such as parking are made that bit easier.
However, with more speed comes less composure, because tight turns cause the 2008’s body to lean and the front wheels lose grip sooner than some of its better-driving rivals.
The light steering might be a boon in town, but it doesn’t help matters at speed. It gives you very little idea of what the front wheels are doing, and feels overly reactive initially, so it’s too easy to apply a bit more lock than you need and have to correct it mid-corner. It just doesn’t inspire much confidence.
Noise and vibration
The 1.2 petrol is actually the most refined of the range. It never becomes too noisy, and apart from some slight buzz through the pedals at its top end, it’s generally smooth.
The diesels are a little clattery at idle, and start to send noise and vibration into the cabin beyond 3000rpm, but their good torque means you shouldn’t have to push them too hard to make progress.
Get up to motorway speeds and you’ll notice a fair amount of wind noise around the door mirrors, and quite a bit of road noise echoing around the cabin as well, while suspension noise is a noticeable noise at lower speeds. The manual gearbox isn’t the slickest, either, and the five-speed automatic can be jerky.