2018 Peugeot 2008 Review
Isaac Bober’s 2018 Peugeot 2008 Review with Price, Specs, Performance, Ride and Handling, Ownership, Safety, Verdict and Score.
In a nutshell: Refreshed 2008 is priced well, has loads of kit and is comfortable to drive yet it goes almost unnoticed in the compact SUV segment. Hmmm.
2018 Peugeot 2008 Allure Specifications
Price From $33,869 driveaway Warranty five-years unlimited kilometres Safety five-star ANCAP Engine 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol Power 81kW at 5500rpm Torque 205Nm at 1500rpm Transmission Six-speed automatic Drive front-wheel drive Dimensions 4159mm long, 2004mm wide with mirrors, 1556mm high, 2538mm wheelbase Turning Circle 10.8m Boot Space 410 – 917L Spare 15-inch full-size Fuel Tank 50L Thirst 4.8L/100km
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The Peugeot 2008 is sometimes rather cruelly referred to as the invisible SUV. And that’s because when it was first launched here it’s engine mix and transmission choice just weren’t embraced by buyers and so the thing effectively stayed on the shelf. Ignored and unloved.
Then, last year, Peugeot refreshed the thing and rejigged the engine and transmission line-up, admitting it got the set-up wrong first time around. Rejigging meant limiting choice to just one engine and transmission, rolling out a refreshed design that heralded the look of the bigger 3008 and 5008. Peugeot added more kit which saw pricing jump slightly but only for the entry model. Since the refresh there’s been an importer change and the welcome confirmation of a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty.
What’s the price and what do you get?
When the 2008 was refreshed, the range was tweaked with the entry-level Active, Allure continuing while the top-spec GT-Line replaced what was called the Outdoor bringing naming into line with the rest of the range. As mentioned, the 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine took over as the only engine available with the 1.6L petrol engine dropped.
Our test car is the mid-spec Allure which is priced from $33,869 driveaway and, over and above the entry-level features, adds: park assist (self-parking functionality), native sat-nav, active city brake, 17-inch alloys, fog lights with cornering functionality (meaning when you turn the steering wheel whichever way the wheels are pointing that fog light illuminates), rain-sensing wipers, dial-zone climate control and Grip Control.
It’s well featured and the driveaway pricing keeps it in-line with key competitors, like the Hyundai Kona and Mazda CX-3 but it is more expensive in this mid-spec trim than others like Holden Trax and Mitsubishi ASX, but it’s also better equipped than those vehicles, so it’s all swings and roundabouts, I guess.
What’s the interior and practicality like?
The 2008 features a version of Peugeot’s i-Cockpit and the design is unique, you’re not going to mistake this for anything other than a Peugeot. But it’s not without its quirks, and the steering wheel is my major bug bear as it is in some other PSA products, and that’s because for me, at my height, no matter how I adjust the seat or steering wheel the top of the thing still manages to cut off some of the speedo. In more recent product, the interior designers have tried to work around this by chopping the top of the steering wheel and making it square.
And my other bug-bear is the centre console bin with its roll-top lid which is right were you place your elbow when climbing into the car and if it’s closed and you lean on it you’ll go straight through it. Frustrating. And the centre console bin is too low to rest your elbow on while driving and the window sill is too high.
The seats are comfortable and supportive in all the right places, both driver and passenger have manual adjust seats only but they offer good movement forwards and backwards and up and down and the back rest reclines through small increments. There’s good vision right around the vehicle from the driver’s seat aided by a reversing camera and parking sensors.
There’s not a heap of storage in the front of the 2008. There’s the centre console which is small, a couple of cup holders at the base of the dashboard but these will only take cups; there isn’t enough clearance for water bottles. There’s also a glovebox and door bins that while they’ll take a 500ml water bottle don’t have a dedicated bottle holder like you’ll find in a lot of other cars. It just means your water bottle will fall over and slide around…as long as it doesn’t leak this probably isn’t a major issue.
In the back of the 2008 and there’s decent room for a six-footer like me and what I particularly like about the back seat is that it’s a bench-style. That’s not to suggest it’s featureless or uncomfortable because it isn’t just that the middle seat is usable for an adult because of the shape of the seat overall. There are ISOFIX mounts on the two outboard seats and top tether anchors for all three seats.
There are no rear air vents, not even underneath the front seats but the air vents in the front of the car are positioned perfectly to ensure good airflow into the back of the 2008.
Around in the boot there’s an impressive 410 litres of storage space with the rear seats in use rivalling some of the best in class, indeed the Honda HR-V only just pips it with 437 litres. Drop the 60:40 split fold back seats and this grows to 917 litres to the window line or 1400 litres to the roof.
There are two small storage bins at the outer edge of the boot and up to 22 litres of storage beneath the boot floor. Below this storage space is a full-size 15-inch spare. One of the great things about the boot is the non-existent load lip which sits just 60cm off the ground; it makes loading and unloading very easy but you will have to be careful that loose items don’t tumble out of the boot when you raise the tail-gate. And some will find the tail-gate tricky to close; the struts are strong and there’s no grab handle so you’ve got to put a bit of effort into closing the thing.
What are the controls and infotainment like?
Being a Peugeot everything is just ever so slightly different but that’s not different in a bad way…just different. While the controls are easy to use the design and materials used makes it hard to see the buttons for the climate control and, indeed, the climate controls are mounted quite low and so some familiarity is required.
And then there’s the infotainment system. This is a 7.0-inch unit and in our Allure tester it’s got native sat-nav which works very well with clear well timed instructions as well as smartphone mirroring via Apple CarPlay (there’s no Android Auto connectivity). I had no issues connecting to my iPhone and, interestingly if you’re using the sat-nav and then connect your phone the system won’t automatically throw you out of the sat-nav and into your phone’s interface.
What’s the performance like?
Under the shapely bonnet is a 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine making 81kW and 205Nm of torque with 95% of the grunt being delivered at 1500rpm. It’s worth noting this engine is a multiple engine of the year award winner and while three-pots are uncommon in Australia, in Europe they’re becoming popular.
The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission which is perfectly matched to get the best out of the thing with good throttle and brake response. Peugeot claims 4.8L/100km but in our week of testing we saw 5.0L/100km but that involved a full day of slower, heavier going off-road.
The good thing is although the engine is a sipper, it doesn’t feel like it’s been specifically tuned for economy with the thing responding well to the throttle and feeling plenty lusty into the bargain even with the whole family on-board. Indeed, in some situations the grunt churning through the front wheels can occasionally overwhelm the grip but that was only from a standing start on a hill. And there’s no torque steer, even if you pin the throttle.
What’s it like on the road?
The 2008 might be short-ish and tall-ish compact SUV but it doesn’t feel like that on the road. The suspension’s been tuned to smother the worst of the road’s imperfections with good body control.
Quite often car makers can go for comfort and hang the handling, but that’s not the case with the 2008. Sure, it’s comfortable, as buyers would expect from an SUV, but there’s enough spring in the thing’s step that it won’t fall over in corners. Indeed, the 2008 can be driven with relative enthusiasm.
The steering is well weighted and direct in its action, in fact, the 2008’s steering is more feelsome than either the bigger 3008 and 5008. Indeed, the handling on a whole is more precise than either of those vehicles which is possibly down to the fact it’s much lighter on its feet.
Now, it’s not all good news, for some people perhaps anyway, see the tiny-tot engine isn’t the quietest. For me, the engine note is characterful but one tester thought it sounded like a diesel. The gruffness is only noticeable under hard acceleration and it falls away once you reach a cruising speed.
What’s it like off the road?
This is where the 2008 impresses. Peugeot doesn’t offer all-wheel drive for any of its SUVs but it’s developed what it calls Grip Control which is standard on Allure and GT-Line; this swaps out standard road tyres for chunkier winter rubber. So, what is Grip Control?
Well, in a nutshell, it’s a terrain-based, speed sensitive traction control system; there’s a dial down near the gear shifter and you can choose from Standard, Snow, Mud, Sand and ESP Off (which will kill everything up to just over 40km/h. Snow will work up to 50km/h, Mud will work up to 80km/h and this system does a great job of maintaining momentum, even on a rutted track when you’ve got a driven wheel off the ground, and this works up to about 80km/h. Sand mode is active up to 120km/h and is designed to let the wheel spin freely so as you don’t get bogged down.
In our test, we played with Mud and it worked very well indeed allowing the 2008 to keep climbing up a rutted section of hill even when I had the left-hand wheel dangling in the air. Yeah, that meant the thing pulled itself forwards with just one wheel. Impressive. Beyond Grip Control, though, the fact the 2008 only weighs 1045kg (with 160cm of ground clearance) is another reason it’s so capable in the rough. In fact, I’d go so far as to suggest that only a Subaru XV would go further than the 2008 when the going gets rough – the ground clearance and the risk of grounding the 2008 is its achilies.
Does it have a spare?
Yes, a full-size 15-inch steel wheel.
Can you tow with it?
The 2008 has a braked maximum towing capacity of 920kg.
What about ownership?
Peugeot offers a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty across its range as well as five-years roadside assistance to match. The 2008 also features capped price servicing which, depending on the service (12 months/15,000km) runs from $366 to $616 per service.
What about safety?
The Peugeot 2008 has a five-star ANCAP rating based on a EuroNCAP test of the 208 which shares the same platform. Beyond this there are six airbags, traction and stability controls, Grip Control, reversing camera and parking sensors as well as Active City Brake which is autonomous emergency braking which works at speeds of less than 30km/h. According to Peugeot, it’ll bring the car to a complete stop and avoid an impact if you’re travelling less than 15km/h. The 2008 also offers City Park which allows the vehicle to ‘steer’ into a parking space just 20cm longer (at the front and rear) than the vehicle; the driver controls acceleration and braking.