In the UK, motoring journalists are very influential, perhaps a little bit too influential. You can see this influence in the Peugeot 2008, UK motoring journalists have particular tastes. They like a responsive steering setup, above all anything, this is the most important factor that can elevate a car’s standing in “their” minds eye.
They want everything to handle like a sports car, doesn’t matter about the size, if it’s a bus it must have good steering, if its a tank it must have good steering feedback, if its a bear riding a unicycle that bear must have a unicycle with steering feedback that ‘speaks’ to them.
In this regard, UK motoring hacks have too much influence and should really be sent to Guantanamo Bay or be water boarded because their opinions have ruined the 2008’s steering. It’s too responsive at low speed and unsettled at high speed. Bloody UK motoring hacks. Real world consumers would most likely prefer a slightly more relaxed steering setup.
However even this minor faux pax does little to hide the 2008’s all round brilliance, it’s everything you need in such a small package. The 2008 is based on the 208 platform so essentially transfers over the underbelly and innards of the 208 and we don’t have a problem with that. No estate version is planned so this mini crossover is the stylish other half and we’re fine with that decision.
The 2008 is available in six trim levels and has a fine range of petrol and diesel engines. When dressed in Allure trim, the 2008 looked like it was going on a night out at a five star rated restaurant in Paris. The spec list is impressive and would make a Mini Countryman owner look like they are overpaying for more but getting significantly less, which is what they are getting.
“The Peugeot 2008 came fitted with over £1,500 worth of extras which included metalic paint, a Panoramic glass roof, Sat-Nav and Brilliant Black Alloys. In total this bumped the price up too just over £17k. Not even Bernie Madoff could get this level of kit at that price in a Mini Countryman”.
The 2008 Allure on test came fitted with Peugeot’s strong and punchy 1.6 litre, 4-cylinder turbodiesel which is offered in a choice of 92bhp and 115bhp versions. The 92bhp fitted to the test version looks underpowered on paper but had plenty of give and take thanks to an impressive 230 Nm of torque.
The interior is borrowed from the 208, in Allure spec its bedecked with a few interior enhancements. The much-talked-about steering wheel size initially feels a little on the small side and adjusting the steering to a comfortable reach and rake does interfere with the instrument display but eventually, you find a settled driving position and get used to the environment in next to no time.
Being classed as a mini crossover you would expect space to be tight, it isn’t upfront although rear passenger space may be tight for six-footers, especially the headroom. Boot space is usefully good at 345-litres with the seats up and the space is increased to a very accommodating 1,194 litres with the seats folded fully flat.
Ride and handling are suitably comfortable and defined and those long cruises are covered with no fuss or back aches. The diesel engine is refined and quietly settled at speed although gruff when being revved through the long-geared 5 speed transmission. It all combines to give an economy of 60mpg which will win the 2008 a lot of fans.
The 2008 doesn’t have AWD, its all front wheeled machismo but it is offered with Peugeot’s “Grip Control” which is a five mode advanced traction control system. Operated by a centrally mounted dial, Grip Control , can offers 4 different driving functions such as mud, snow, gravel and off-road. Its really a light weight off roader but nonetheless as good as an AWD setup but without the extra weight penalty of the AWD system hampering fuel economy.
The Peugeot 2008 has to stare down and face off some tricky little competitors such as the Nissan Juke, Skoda Yeti and Mini Countryman. The test version came fitted with over £1,500 worth of extras which included metallic paint, a Panoramic glass roof, Sat-Nav and Brilliant Black Alloys. In total this bumped the price up too just over £17k. Not even Bernie Madoff could get this level of kit at that price in a Mini Countryman.
But really the fight is between the Yeti and the 2008 and its your choice which one to go for, we say never listen too motoring journalists but we do we recommend you first look at Peugeot’s fiance offerings and there you will find better more affordable deals for the 2008 than any of the above and you get a decent car in return.