It is one of the only sectors of the automotive market that hasn’t seen decline despite the harsh economic environment the industry has had to endure. Crossovers demonstrate many of the qualities the modern car buyer wants from a product such as a high driving position, practicality, but also for the car itself not to be too big overall. These baby SUVs have boomed over the years and with the automotive industry seeing things improve over the past year in particular, they are only set to increase in their popularity. Peugeot have joined the sector with their new 2008.
Aiming to take on rivals such as the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, not to mention the up and coming Ford EcoSport, the 2008 has some strong competition. However, with keen pricing and a model range offering some of the latest technologies, Peugeot feel that their newest car is well equipped to mount an offensive against its peers.
Our test car is the Allure model equipped with an 82BHP 1.2 litre engine. Representing Peugeot’s push to promote a more premium appearance, the 2008 is a visually attractive machine with high levels of design detail such as chromed features and a bold silhouette. The front facia, thanks to those angled headlights, looks purposeful giving this crossover plenty of character. Its overall size is right on that sweet spot of not being too big, but clearly not small enough to be mistaken for a supermini. Sporty 16 inch alloy wheels are another eye catching feature. The roof rails and front scuff plate provokes the idea that this car is not just about glamour and appearance, but function.
It is inside where the 2008 really impresses with a modern and stylistic interior that is a very nice place to be. Blue light bathes the cabin and creates an atmosphere not to unlike something you would find in a posh wine bar. Every surface is textured and the aluminium features set a tone of high quality. Its almost full length glass roof is a nice feature, and in my opinion worth the extra £400. The console is dominated by a touchscreen navigation system that gives you access to all of the cars infotainment. Seating in the front is excellent, genuinely some of the best seats in the class, offering high levels of bolstering and lower back support. In the rear, though headroom in good, the middle passenger may find leg room restrictive. The Peugeot 2008 has a generous boot with a low loading lip making those trips to the supermarket a little bit easier.
Driving the Peugeot 2008 VTi 82 reveals a competent package. The steering is responsive and the cars little steering wheel does make it feel very agile. The brakes are also something to compliment as they have good feel and are very capable of stopping the vehicle in a hurry. Body roll is noticeable through tight turns but this is due to the cars hight, often a trade off in this class. Another factor in the lateral movement of the car is its suspension as whilst the ride isn’t too harsh, the softer set-up does not help the body movement. The 1.2 litre engine engine pulls well but like any small capacity petrol engine the majority of the power is higher up in the rev range meaning a bit of a noisy hum under hard acceleration. Its 5 speed manual gear box worked well in combination with the engine and the two are perfectly happy to cope with prolonged motorway journeys. The refinement in the cabin makes the driving experience relaxing and setting the cruise control on long journeys further reinforces this. This 2008 also did well on fuel averaging over 50MPG after a a series of motorway and urban drives. On the subject of urban environments, our car was fitted with “Park Assist” a £300 option that gives the 2008 the ability to parallel park by itself. It is very impressive and in the busy streets of London it didn’t miss a beat. Visibility is good thanks to large windows and in tandem with this cars proportions, makes it easy to drive.
The Peugeot 2008 Allure VTi 82 is very good effort from the French company and whilst the diesel option my well be a sound choice for continuous motorway pounding, in a populated town or city the little petrol was an enjoyable drive. Pricing is orchestrated well with one of these Allure models costing a competitive £15,095. A good all-round package that offers style and something a bit different from its competitors, the 2008 will no doubt sell well.