By the end of my week with the Peugeot 2008 and about three hundred and fifty miles, this French car had firmly become ‘mon ami!’ Or, as it’s built in Spain, ‘mi amigo!’
Whatever, and to recall two great English racing drivers friends of the fifties, Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins, who called each other ‘mon ami, mate’, any combination of friendliness will do.
Because, provided a price of as much as £28,000 for a B-segment crossover SUV is acceptable and manageable, New 2008 owners will not be disappointed.
As ever, variations on the theme abound.
Our test car was the Pure Tech GT Line version with PSA’s lively 3-cylinder 1.2 litre engine delivering 129 bhp.
3-cylinder engines, with their previous lumpiness and exaggerated fuel economy claims, have, I admit, taken a while to win me over. Now, I really quite like them.
This Peugeot 2008 surges spiritedly forward in a happy sort of way whenever you want, with its distinctive growl adding to the theatre. You’ll get to 60mph in less than nine seconds through the first three of six super-slick manual gear changes.
Overtaking is non-problematic, given a reasonable road ahead or on motorways thanks to 170lbs/ft of torque.
From the driver’s point-of-view, the position of the petite steering wheel in relation to the main instrument display (which is Peugeot’s fun I-Cockpit with its 3D variable hologram effect) means that you probably have to set it lower than normal in order not to compromise the view of the instruments while still being able to set the seat high enough also for a proper view of the road ahead. But you get used to it.
Handling is secure. I have a favourite motorway exit onto dual-carriageway junction that gets tighter and tighter. If all’s clear, well, within the speed limit, I just go for it! The 2008 passed with flying colours. A slight expected lean but absolutely no deviation from my line and no tyre squeal from the Michelin tyres on GT Line 18” wheels. Assistance no doubt supplied by Peugeot’s Advanced Grip Control system.
By the way, the ride from these tyres was just fine and, in fact, on another regular motorway stretch where I often get horrendous tyre-slap over those regular gaps in the road surface, the Michelins rubber covered them more quietly than any other in my experience.
The 2008 may be on the relatively small platform of other PSA group cars, but it actually feels rather bigger, particularly at the front end when negotiating tight roundabouts…an observation, not a complaint.
When talking about the cost of 2008s, a look around the interior answers questions. The materials used and the overall design puts this car into the premium-challenging class.
The minor controls are set out like a mini piano keyboard in the central console; once you get the hang of where the main one you use (heater, navigation, audio) without having to look at them, they are a pleasure to operate. Peugeot claims that the car’s controls react in 0.5 seconds to the driver’s action, an interesting statistic that I admit is a first for me.
Some manufacturers, including Peugeot, sometimes go far too big on audio alarm systems. This time, I really did appreciate the cheeky-sounding speed camera alerts…keeping me within the speed limits.
At night, the instruments are easy to read, and a nice feature is the ambient lighting that can be selected in a choice of three different colours in subtle lines around the car’s interior (now that we are becoming more aware of the variety of challenges that some families face with such conditions as autism, features such as these may be able to relax or entertain).
A family of four should love this car. The rear space is comfortable and the boot easy to access and extend and with a double floor. I was able to transport a bicycle without having to remove its front wheel.
The petrol 1.2’s WLTP fuel consumption figures are 43.7-50.6 mpg; the test car’s trip computer recorded 47.0 mpg overall. Very acceptable, although the increments on the display as I drove along, moved up or down, strangely, at 0.7 mpg rather than 0.1 mpg.
The Peugeot 2008 is thoroughly recommended!
Car reviewed: Peugeot 2008 1.2L PureTech 130 S&S GT Line, on the road price £22,185 0-62mph 11.2secs Top speed 111mph Engine 1199cc 3-cylinder unleaded Euro 6.2 Fuel Economy Combined 55.4mpg CO2 emissions 118g/km Max Power 131hp@5000rpm Torque 230Nm@1750rpm Transmission 6-speed manual
Tom Scanlan has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, particularly the Reading Evening Post for ten years, having got into motoring journalism in 1973 via the somewhat unlikely back door of the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BFBS produced a weekly radio motoring show for the services overseas and Tom produced it, as well as interviewing experts and eventually reporting on cars.
He is into classic cars and has owned Porsche, Ferrari, pre-war Alvis and Rileys and currently owns his fifth old Alfa Romeo, a 1984 GTV 2.0.
In his spare time, Tom is a professional cricket coach.
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