Peugeot's 2008 is now an even more sophisticated small SUV. Jonathan Crouch takes a look at the revised version.
Ten Second Review
Peugeot's second generation 2008 is a small SUV that offers an arguably more sophisticated take on the kind of little urban Crossover-style design popularised by cars like Nissan's Juke. Supermini-based, it offers all the advantages of that compact runabout you were thinking of, together with the kind of added space, style and light off road driveability you probably never expected to be able to enjoy on a small car budget. This revised version of the MK2 model gets a smarter look and a new full-Hybrid engine option. There's a bigger battery for the all-electric version too.
Fashion can take many forms, especially when it comes to segments in the automotive market. Here, we're going to look at one of them, the supermini-based compact SUV Crossover, epitomised in this case by this improved version of Peugeot's second generation 2008. Its chosen sector may be fashion-led but here's a car that still emphasises sense and sensibility in what has become an ever-more competitive class.
This MK2 model first arrived in 2019, was Europe's best selling B-segment SUV in 2021 and has sold 700,000 units since launch, helped by the success of the e-2008 full-electric variant, which in 2022 accounted for 17.4% of sales. The key changes with this updated 2008 model range include a visual overhaul, a new Hybrid engine option and a larger battery for the EV version. Will it all be enough to allow this contender to retain its place as one of the more popular picks in this sector? Let's find out.
Despite its beefy looks, the 2008 is still front-wheel drive only. Engine-wise, there are three very different powertrains to choose from. If you know the Peugeot brand, you might not be too surprised to hear that the available petrol unit is the usual 1.2-litre three cylinder PureTech powerplant, in this case developing either 100 or 130hp with a choice of 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission. What's more surprising is that this long-running powertrain doesn't feature the 48V mild hybrid tech recently introduced in the only slightly larger 3008 SUV.
Instead, there's a stronger dose of combustion-based electrification further up the range with the introduction of a full-Hybrid version, which combines PureTech petrol power with an electric motor to produce a total output of 136bhp and features a battery that's able to recharge at low speeds around town. Peugeot reckons that this powertrain can operate more than 50% of the time in electric mode in urban conditions. This powerplant replaces the previous 1.5-litre BlueHDi diesel unit. As for the all-electric e-2008 version, well that now gets a larger 54kWh battery (up from 50kWh) now good for 252 miles (up from 214 miles), this power source driving an electric motor boosted in power by 18% to 153bhp.
As before, as you'd expect in a modern supermini-based small SUV, you can get all the usual driver assistance features. Things like lane keep assist to stop you from drifting out of your lane, with subtle steering intervention to ease you back to where you ought to be. And an autonomous parking system which is capable of automatically controlling acceleration, braking and steering when entering or leaving a parking space. There's also a traffic sign recognition system that can work with the integrated speed limiter and make sure that you never exceed the stated limit of the road you're on.
Design and Build
Not too much is different about this revised 2008, which gains a slightly more aggressive front end, complete with the latest Peugeot brand badge and a light signature inspired by the recently revised 508, characterised by three vertical light claws integrated into the gloss black inserts on the bumper. There are revised LED tail lights too, made up of three super-imposed horizontal double slats, which help to visually widen the car's stance. Wheel sizes are between 16 and 18-inchers and, as before, GT-spec models are distinguished by a black bi-tone roof.
There are subtle differences inside too, where the innovative 'i-Cockpit' dash design (which sees you viewing the instrument gauges over the rim of the steering wheel rather than through it) has been updated, primarily with a fresh look for the 10-inch digital instrument cluster, which features a 3D display on GT versions. All models get a 10-inch central touchscreen as standard. The steering wheel gets new brand badging and houses buttons for the infotainment system, as well as the voice control set-up. Plus there are new upholstery and dash fabrics used throughout, including a smart alcantara option for GT versions.
Otherwise, things are much as before. The cabin's pretty practical; even with a six-foot tall driver up-front, someone of similar height could sit behind comfortably. And this interior continues to set the class standard for cabin quality, with more soft-touch surfaces than you'll find in the various rival Volkswagen Group small SUVs. With all powertrains, there's a 434-litre boot with a false floor that can be positioned to create additional space beneath.
Market and Model
Previously, the 2008 wasn't the most affordable supermini-based SUV on the market - and it still isn't. Pricing sits in the £24,000 to £41,500 bracket. There's a choice of 'Active', 'Allure' and 'GT' trim. As before, Peugeot expects the 'GT' variant to be particularly popular; this comes with 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, LED headlamps, a black tailgate spoiler, a contrasting black roof, a dark chrome radiator grille and a sporty body kit with a matte chrome chin spoiler and a faux diffuser.
On 'Allure' trims and above, the 2008 is available with Peugeot's 'i-Connect' infotainment system, which offers full connectivity through wireless phone mirroring ('Apple CarPlay'/'Android Auto'). The system can be controlled via the central 10-inch high-definition touchscreen or via natural voice recognition, activated by saying Ok Peugeot. The 'i-Connect Advanced' system is available as an option across the range, which adds a high-performance TomTom connected navigation system with over-the-air updates.
For easier and safer driving, the 2008 comes with a range of driver assistance features, including Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Automatic Emergency Braking, Extended Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Keeping Assist, Driver Attention Alert and Blind Spot Monitoring. For enhanced traction, Advanced Grip Control, together with all-season tyres, is also offered, which provides access to three additional driving modes: Sand, Mud and Snow.
Cost of Ownership
The engines that have been announced for this 2008 are some of the most economical units that Peugeot make, so running one of these vehicles shouldn't break the bank. Expect the 1.2-litre PureTech petrol variants that most will buy to be very acceptably clean and frugal. With the 100hp manual model, you can expect to manage up to 52.6mpg on the combined cycle and return a CO2 reading of up to 123g/km, which is pretty good going for a car in this segment. The 1.2-litre 130 PureTech model manages up to 52.7mpg and 126g/km of CO2. Pay extra for the new full-Hybrid version and you should get returns that are similar to those of the old 1.5-litre diesel variant.
But of course if you're really interested in ecological efficiency, there'll be just one variant of this car that'll interest you, the all-electric e-2008. For this derivative, Peugeot now claims a WLTP-rated driving range between charges of 252 miles. And fast charging the 54kWh battery at the rate of 100kW is available via a CCS socket hidden behind the fuel cap, with an 0-80% charge achievable in around 30 minutes. If you install a wallbox at home, you can recharge the battery from empty in around five hours if you have an 11kW electricity supply - or in around eight hours with a 7.4kW supply. Bear in mind that the e-2008 is around 350kgs heavier than the ordinary version.
This improved version of Peugeot's second generation 2008 certainly makes a more overt style statement than before, but it's kept the sensible attributes that endeared its predecessor to plenty of buyers. As with most models of this kind, on paper, the advantages being offered over a standard supermini in space, styling and potential driving flexibility appear at first glance to be small. In practice though, they add up to a car that feels a far more rounded, more complete family tool - not as a primary runabout perhaps, but a perfect second family vehicle.
Of course, there are things Peugeot could still improve. Not everyone likes the unusual 'i-Cockpit' steering wheel and instrument set-up for instance. We think though, that this car needs design innovations of this sort. Models of this kind ought to be fashionable, innovative and just a little controversial. If that's what you want in this segment, then you probably need to try this car.