How suited is the Peugeot 2008 Allure to the demands of town and country life with a family. We aim to find out.

What are we testing? The 2018 Peugeot 2008 Allure

Who’s running it? Isaac Bober

Why are we testing it? To find out why Aussies aren’t buying this well-kitted, good looking and capable little SUV.

What it needs to do? While we’ve got the 2008 we want to find out if it’s the real deal when it comes to the active family; needs to be able to handle the school run, trips into the Big Smoke and country adventures.

2018 Peugeot 2008 Specifications

Price From $33,869 driveaway Warranty five-years unlimited kilometres Safety five-star ANCAP Engine 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol Power/Torque 81kW/205Nm Transmission Six-speed automatic Drive front-wheel drive Dimensions 4159mm long, 2004mm wide with mirrors, 1556mm high, 2538mm wheelbase Boot Space 410 – 917L Spare 15-inch full-size Fuel Tank 50L Thirst 4.8L/100km

Meet the latest member of the Practical Motoring family. The Peugeot 2008 is the baby of the French car maker’s SUV line-up but it was the first cab off the rank to launch some of the gear on the newer models, like the 3008 and 5008.

And, locally, the 2008 first launched here in 2013 but it was completely unloved. It had a short warranty and an engine range that no-one wanted. See, Peugeot mucked up the engines and transmissions it offered here.

So, last year the updated 2008 was released here with only one engine and transmission across the three-variant line-up, and that is a 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine making 81kW and 205Nm of torque. This is mated to a six-speed automatic only.

Don’t let its small capacity fool you, this engine is a multiple award winner in its class and sees service in the 208 and 308 hatchbacks.

But the 2008, despite its good looks inside and out and impressive standard features and active safety as standard, not to mention its five-year unlimited kilometre warranty remains invisible in the compact SUV segment.

And that’s why we’ve asked for one. I mean, my family is exactly this car’s target market…I’ve got two small kids and like to pretend I lead an active lifestyle which seems to be code, these days, for I need an SUV.

Our long-termer is a mid-spec Allure and it’s also been fitted with Grip Control which I was really pleased about. And that’s because, in most cases, a 2WD SUV is like putting lipstick on a pig. Pointless.

Don’t get me wrong, Grip Control isn’t a substitute for permanent all-wheel drive but it is better than a standard 2WD SUV and most on-demand all-wheel drives. Having had the 2008 for just over a week now it’s time has been spent running the kids to school, the supermarket and Mrs B took it to work too. But I was keen to see whether Grip Control really was as good as Peugeot had told me it was. It’s worth noting that with Grip Control come a set of winter tyres which have a chunkier more aggressive tread pattern.

2018 Peugeot 2008 Allure Long Term test

And they were right. The light little 2008 was taken out west of the Blue Mountains and run across a selection of tracks from rutted gravel hills, to mud-puddle ruts and slippery, muddy corners. The first job was to run around in Normal which is intended for use on the road. And, yeah, the thing broke traction and skidded and bogged down at times I didn’t want it to. At one stage I only had one driven wheel on the ground and process was halted.

Fiddling with the terrain modes, and I mucked about with Sand and Mud, saw me clamber up tracks without breaking traction, not that I could notice anyway, when in Normal the thing had scrabbled. I didn’t have a second car with me as support in case I got stuck and so I’ll be heading back out into the bush soon to run some proper tests on Grip Control and will both video it and write about it. Stay tuned for a future update.

Beyond the dirt road sojurn, I can report that early indications are the 2008 will be a good little runabout. The three-pot engine has plenty of grunt, even with the family on-board, it’s light and manoeuvrable and is quiet inside the cabin. Speaking of the cabin, you’ll never mistake the thing for anything other than a Peugeot which is both good and bad, see the i-Cockpit is not without its quirks, like the steering wheel that some drivers (me) will find obscures the speedo; in newer vehicles Peugeot has cut the top off the wheel to ensure clear vision of the speedo.

And then there are other quirks with the infotainment. Apple CarPlay is featured and, like in other applications, is a cinch to connect but the screen doesn’t automatically default to CarPlay. And I haven’t yet worked out if that’s a good thing or not. More on this down the track.

One thing I’m totally not sold on is the roll-top lid for the centre console storage. See, it’s right where you place your elbow when you climb into the car; I’ve pushed it in twice now. Grrr. Sorry Peugeot.

Beyond these gripes, I’ll be interested to see how the interior holds up to family life (and while I know how to park a car just fine I’d like to try out the self-parking functionality; I suspect it’ll be fine and I’m super impressed by the bench-style back seat. It looks flat and featureless but it isn’t, not when you sit on it anyway. Because of the bench-type design it means an adult can sit in any of the positions in the back and not feel like they’ve drawn the short straw if they’ve got to sit in the middle.

Over and above the entry-level car, our Allure tester gets:

  • Park Assist (Self-Parking)
  • Satellite Navigation
  • Active City Brake
  • 17-inch Eridan Alloy Wheel
  • Grip Control
  • Fog Light cornering function
  • Automatic Wipers
  • Automatic Headlamps
  • Electro-chromatic Rear View mirror
  • Rear Privacy Glass
  • Dual-Zone Air Conditioning
  • ‘Oxford’ Premium TEP/Cloth Trim

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober