Peugeot 2008 Review (2013-2019)
The Peugeot 2008 is a stylish, small SUV with a large boot and a high driving position. Thanks to a range of fuel-efficient engines, it’s also cost-effective to run.
Published: 28 November 2022
If you want a compact, cost-effective car that gives you the raised driving position and tougher looks of an SUV, the Peugeot 2008 could be what you’re looking for. This first-generation model was introduced in 2013. It shares many parts with the Peugeot 208 of the same era but it’s a slightly larger car, sitting higher off the ground, with more interior space and a larger boot.
An update in 2016 brought some new design details, minor changes to the interior and the introduction of a new GT Line trim. The engine line-up has changed over time but most are very fuel-efficient.
- Fuel-efficient engines
- Big boot
- Good interior quality
- No hybrid or electric options
- Limited headroom on models with sunroof
- Lacks safety equipment of newer SUVs
Dashboard & tech
Most 2008 models have a touchscreen infotainment screen in the centre of the dashboard that controls things like the radio, Bluetooth and sat nav (if fitted). Cars built following the 2016 refresh also have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for seamless smartphone connectivity. Only range-topping Feline and GT Line trims have sat nav included as standard. It's worth noting that the old Access trim, which was dropped in 2016, had a rather basic radio and CD and no touchscreen.
All models of the 2008 feature air con and electric front windows, while higher-spec versions have dual-zone climate control, electric rear windows and a reversing camera.
Like most modern Peugeots, the 2008 has an unusual dashboard layout. The steering wheel is smaller, and lower, than you might expect – you look at the driver display (the speedo and other dials) above it rather than through it. It may take some getting used to and although there are a lot of ways to adjust the steering wheel and driver’s seat, not everyone will feel comfortable with the display. Most models also feature height adjustment for the front passenger seat, which is a bonus for anyone else riding up-front.
Rear parking sensors are standard on high-spec models and optional on others, while some cars feature a park-assist function for automatic parallel parking. Once you’ve found a space, all you need to do is control the brakes and accelerator while the car does the steering for you. All models have cruise control for relaxed motorway driving.
The interior of the 2008 feels more upmarket than in rivals such as the Ford Ecosport and the Renault Captur. This is especially true following the 2016 update when Peugeot improved the quality of the materials and the overall finish. All models following this have a leather-trimmed steering wheel, gearstick and handbrake lever, while the high-spec GT Line has aluminium door sills and pedals, premium interior trim and plush carpet mats. Feline and GT Line trims also have a panoramic glass sunroof with an electric blind and ambient lighting.
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Practicality & boot space
The 2008 is taller and longer than Peugeot’s 208 hatchback, which means there’s more space on the inside. Headroom is excellent for a car of this size, while passengers in the back will appreciate the extra legroom. There’s room in the back for two adults, plus a third in the middle, although the centre is better for children. Cars with a panoramic sunroof have an airy feel although the surround for it means you actually get less headroom in the back.
Storage space for passengers in cars before the 2016 facelift is a little disappointing, but things improved on later models when Peugeot added storage areas for your odds and ends.
You get more boot space in the 2008 than you do in many mid-size hatchbacks. The 422-litre boot in the post-2016 2008 is significantly larger than that of the Volkswagen Golf (380 litres) or the Ford Focus (375 litres). That’s enough room for a folded pushchair or the luggage for your family holiday. There’s also a flat lip for easy loading and unloading of heavy items, and unlike in some rivals, there’s a space-saver spare wheel rather than a can of tyre foam. Cars built before the facelift have a 360-litre boot, which is still good for a car of this size.
All models have 60/40-split folding rear seats which can be lowered at the touch of a button. They go almost completely flat, increasing the load capacity to 1,400 litres on the post-facelift cars, up from 1,194 litres before the update. Think of all the flat-pack furniture you could squeeze into the back!
If you want a compact SUV that’s easy to park and feels reasonably responsive, the 2008 should fit the bill. It’s nimble, and it takes very little effort to turn the small steering wheel but the downside is that it can feel a bit fidgety at speed. The ride is smooth enough considering this may serve as transport for families but things can get bouncy on bad roads, especially on higher-spec models with larger wheels and lower-profile tyres that give you less cushioning from lumps and bumps.
The raised ride height is great for dealing with potholes and speed ramps, however, and some models are fitted with Peugeot’s Grip Control system, a useful, cost-effective alternative to a proper four-wheel drive system that controls how much power goes to the wheels to help prevent them losing grip. Using a dial between the seats, you can select different driving modes, including snow, mud and sand. It can help keep you moving when the going gets a little tough, or simply provide extra reassurance in poor driving conditions.
The 1.2-litre petrol engine (which Peugeot calls PureTech) is a popular choice. There are three power options – 82bhp, 108bhp and 128bhp – and each one is easy to recommend. The lowest-powered version is great for making short trips in the city, while the more powerful engines are great for longer trips. The old 1.2 and 1.6-litre VTi petrol engines are fine, but the PureTech units offer a better blend of performance and economy.
There are also three 1.6-litre ‘BlueHDi’ diesel engines, available with 75bhp, 99bhp and 118bhp. They are well suited to long journeys and for anyone running a car on a tight budget. You’ll also find pre-2016 cars with the old 1.6-litre e-HDi diesel engine. Most 2008s have a five- or six-speed manual gearbox, with a six-speed automatic arriving as part of the 2016 refresh.
Fuel economy & CO2 emissions
According to official figures, 2008 models with a BlueHDi diesel engine can give an average fuel economy of 76.3mpg and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of just 96-97g/km. This makes it one of the most economical small SUVs you can buy, with free Vehicle Excise Duty (car tax) on some models, another bonus of owning a 2008.
The 1.2-litre PureTech engines are just as impressive. These can give 57.6mpg to 64.2mpg depending on the power output and gearbox, so they might make more sense than the diesels if you spend most of your time in the city or on short trips. Even the pre-facelift engines are more economical than some more-modern crossovers.
Value for money
Given the excellent fuel economy, premium interior and level of equipment, the Peugeot 2008 represents solid value for money. It’s more affordable than some of its rivals and you can also look forward to lower running costs.
Reliability & Warranty
Reliability is generally good for the 2008, with few issues reported. Peugeot finished top of the table in the J.D. Power 2019 UK Vehicle Dependability Study, while the 2008’s engines have been tried and tested in a wide range of models.
Peugeot offered a three-year, 60,000 warranty on the 2008 when it was new, so most will be out of warranty now. This level of cover is mirrored by lots of rivals, but there are some that will give you longer. For example, cars from Toyota and Hyundai are covered for five years from new, and Kias for seven years.
The 2008 was awarded a maximum five-star rating when it was assessed by the safety experts at Euro NCAP in 2013, scoring highly for adult and child protection. That said, testing standards have moved on, so cars like the newer 2008 will likely perform better in a modern test. All 2008s have six airbags, three Isofix mounts for child seats, tyre pressure sensors and cruise control with a speed limiter. Cars fitted with Grip Control offer greater reassurance on slippery roads and during the winter.
Trims & Engines
Few people bought the basic Access model, with most buyers opting for the mid-range Active and Allure. Following the 2008 facelift, the range was trimmed to three models: Active, Allure and GT Line. The high-spec model features a range of cosmetic upgrades for the interior and exterior, along with a panoramic sunroof, sat nav and reversing camera. The old Feline is the pre-facelift equivalent of the GT Line.
There were also a couple of special editions, including Crossway and Urban Cross. Both come with Grip Control as standard, along with a long list of desirable and otherwise optional features. The Urban Cross has the look of a rugged SUV, with stainless steel scuff plates, 17-inch alloy wheels, roof bars and side decals.
The 2008’s turbocharged petrol and diesel engines offer a terrific blend of performance and fuel economy. The 1.2-litre PureTech petrol is particularly good and is available with three power outputs, from an 82bhp unit that’s great in the city to a 128bhp engine that’s brilliant on long trips and for overtaking. The 108bhp version sits in the middle to offer the best of both worlds.
For commuters and long-distance travellers, the 1.6-litre BlueHDi diesel still makes a lot of sense. It’s capable of delivering excellent fuel economy and extremely low running costs. Non-turbocharged petrol and diesel engines were available prior to the 2016 facelift, and while they offer low running costs, the turbocharged engines come highly recommended.
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