Six years after launching the 2008, Peugeot gave it a stylish revamp. In its second generation, it would be produced in the form of a sharp, striking SUV, whereas before it was a bland compact people carrier.
The new 2008 is based on the Common Modular Platform, which also underpins the Citroën C4, DS 3 Crossback and Vauxhall Mokka. But don’t think the 2008 is another clone in the crowded crossover class, because its bold design and accessible drivetrains make it really stand out.
The petrol offerings kick off with a 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine with three power levels: 99bhp (with a six-speed manual gearbox for 62mph in 10.9sec), 128bhp (good for 9.1sec to 62mph) and 153bhp (where you gain the option of an eight-speed automatic for an 8.2sec sprint time). The sole diesel in the range is the 101bhp 1.5-litre BlueHDi, which completes the same run in 10.6sec.
Alternatively, you can step into the future with the e-2008, which has a front-mounted electric motor and a 50kWh battery. A 206-mile range is higher than the 180 miles offered by the 39kWh Hyundai Kona Electric but significantly lower than the 273 miles from the MG ZS EV. The 2008 offered four trim levels at launch: Active, Allure, GT Line and GT.
Entry-level models have 16in alloy wheels, automatic emergency braking, a 3.5in digital screen within the dial cluster and a 7.0in infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Allure adds an extra flair to the 2008’s styling, with 17in wheels, longitudinal roof bars and a gloss black rear bumper, while the cabin gains seats lined with leather-effect materials, a 3D digital instrument panel and an adjustable boot floor.
Technology improves further on the GT Line, with a 180deg reversing camera, 3D sat-nav, ambient lighting, heated front seats, automatic LED headlights and two-tone 18in alloys.
For maximum safety, consider the top-rung GT, with its adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistance and blindspot monitoring. You will get a number of other premium features, of course, such as Alcantara seats and a panoramic sunroof to bring more light into the cabin.
Speaking of which, step inside and you will be greeted by opulence. The build quality is excellent, with premium-feel, soft-touch materials that match those in the Audi Q2.
Practicality, on the other hand, isn’t the car’s strong suit, as the 2008 is only slightly bigger inside than a family hatchback. The lack of physical buttons to change the air conditioning settings will be off-putting for some, as might the oddly shaped, low-set steering wheel.
The driving experience is generally pleasant, with the soft suspension handling smooth motorways and winding A-roads easily. That said, the Skoda Kamiq and Volkswagen T-Roc are comfier still, while the Ford Puma is considerably more dynamic, with more responsive handling.
Need to know
Trim levels for the 2008 were recently realigned. If you buy a very recent used example, they’re Active Premium, Allure Premium, GT and GT Premium. Equipment levels are largely similar to the four original trim levels.
Prices for a used 2008 start at £17,000 for the smaller, 99bhp engine. Expect to spend more than £20,000 for one with our favourite 128bhp unit or as much as £29,000 for a 153bhp car with a high specification. An e-2008 will cost at least £27,000. Many of those with range-topping trims top £30,000.
The 2008 scored a respectable four stars in its Euro NCAP testing, with 91% adult safety and 84% child safety. Cars with a higher specification level are even safer, thanks to the added driver aids.
Data plan: GT and GT Line cars get a three-year subscription to Peugeot’s live traffic, weather, speed camera and fuel price data. Some are coming to the end of this period, so consider this potential extra cost when shopping.
Stop-start system: The stop-start system is reportedly overly keen to act when you’re slowing down. It can make the engine judder when coming to a standstill, too, or make the car lunge forward when crawling in traffic.
Small boot: The 2008 offers 434 litres of boot space, which is beaten by the Volkswagen T-Cross (455 litres) and the Renault Captur (536 litres if you make use of its sliding rear bench). It does have a height-adjustable boot floor, though, which usefully removes the lip for easier loading and unloading.
1.2 Puretech 130: The 130 version of the turbocharged 1.2-litre triple has more than enough power to satisfy, hitting 62mph in 9.1sec, and it’s the most popular motor on the used market.
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Our top spec
Allure: This second-rung trim offers plenty of kit at a reasonable price. Smartphone mirroring as standard means you don’t need to shell out for sat-nav or the larger touchscreen.
E-2008 50kWh: The electric e-2008 may have a much higher list price, but lower servicing and refuelling costs should keep ownership costs in line with those of a 1.2 Puretech 130. Some will be put off by its relatively paltry range, though.
Ones we found
2020 Peugeot 2008 1.2 Puretech Allure Premium, 10,000 miles, £21,369
2020 Peugeot 2008 1.2 Puretech 130 GT Line, 15,000 miles, £25,000
2020 Peugeot e-2008 50kWh Active, 2000 miles, £27,241