The Peugeot 2008 is a small ‘urban crossover’ that has an official economy figure of 70.6mpg and it can even cope in slippery conditions despite being just front-wheel drive.
The small crossover segment is expanding at a rapid rate. If a manufacturer doesn’t have a vehicle in this segment then they’re missing out. Hence why Peugeot has introduced the 2008.
Although the 2008 is designed to look like a 4×4, it’s not four-wheel drive. Buyers in this segment like the look of SUVs, but cars in this class are used for school runs, not driving up mountains. So while the 2008 has the styling of a small 4×4, it’s just front-wheel drive. However in an effort to give the car some of the capability that its styling promises, Peugeot has fitted the 2008 with all-season tyres and ‘Grip Control’. Grip Control features a dial near the gear lever which gives you the option of standard, snow, mud, sand and ESP off.
A key feature of the modern-looking interior is the small steering wheel. Peugeot has decided that it’s so small that you can’t see any dials by looking through it, so it has positioned the speedo above the steering wheel. There’s also a large central touchscreen.
This 2008 has a 1.6-litre diesel engine mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.
Take the 2008 down a winding back road and it’s a reasonable amount of fun. The small steering wheel does contribute to this, as does the relative light weight of the car. However the steering wheel does block off an area of the instrumentation, even for a person of average size; this is likely to be worse for a smaller driver.
As the 2008 is fitted with all-season tyres and Grip Control we couldn’t resist trying this out. Unfortunately there was no snow or ice, but with surplus quantities of rain over recent months, there was plenty of mud. Despite only having front-wheel drive, the 2008 negotiated the mud very successfully. Although the car has Grip Control with its five settings, the car’s capability in slippery conditions is primarily likely to be due to the all-season tyres rather than the car’s electronics.
Overall this diesel 2008 could benefit from being slightly quieter and having more refinement; there’s some road noise, the engine can be noisy, and the five-speed box isn’t that slick. Interestingly, the recently-launched Peugeot 308 is very refined, highlighting the lack of this quality in the 2008 even more.
Another ergonomic issue with the interior of the 2008 is the cruise control hidden behind the steering wheel. Why not put it somewhere you can see it?
One of the 2008’s trump cards is economy and emissions. The official fuel economy of the 2008 1.6 e-HDi 92 is 70.6mpg, along with 103g/km CO2. For a crossover, this is impressive. We were obviously never going to match this figure in real-life driving, but we did manage 62.7mpg at motorways speeds, and overall we averaged 54.7mpg.
The Peugeot 2008 Allure 1.6 e-HDi 92 costs £17,245. Our test car had the option of metallic paint (£495). The 2008 comes in four trim levels, Feline, Allure, Active and Access+. You can also choose from the following petrol engines: 1.2 e-VTi (3-cylinder) 82 bhp Stop & Start – 99g/km CO2 (mpg currently to be confirmed); 1.2 e-VTi 82 bhp – 114g/km CO2 (57.6mpg); and 1.6 e-VTi 120 bhp – 135g/km CO2 (47.9mpg). The three diesel options are the 1.4 HDi FAP 68 bhp (70.6mpg); the 1.6 e-HDi FAP 92 bhp Stop & Start (70.6mpg) or with the 6-speed ‘piloted’ transmission 74.3mpg, or 98g/km CO2; and the 1.6 e-HDi FAP 115 bhp Stop & Start (70.6mpg).
The Peugeot 2008 exists due to the demand for small ‘urban crossovers’. This is what people seem to want, so this is what Peugeot has provided. Of course there’s not usually too much mud in city centres, and four-wheel drive costs more, adds weight, and reduces efficiency. So Peugeot has opted for front-wheel drive with all-season tyres and Grip Control, and this works well in slippery conditions. The small steering wheel suggests that some fun is on offer, and the 2008 does indeed offer a degree of agility – even though the wheel does block the view of some instruments. It’s mainly the area of refinement that lets the 2008 down; if you’re looking at a 2008 and you’re not planning on driving lots of miles on motorway then we’d recommend opting for a petrol engine. Overall the Peugeot 2008 is awarded a Green-Car-Guide rating of 7 out of 10.