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REVIEW ➤ Peugeot’s refreshed baby ‘Double-O’

02 Feb

By Wayne Gorrett

The three ‘Double-O’ models from French manufacturer Peugeot – 2008, 3008 and 5008 – seek to build on recent successes by off-spinning a wider model range from its core hatchback and saloon models. They represent diverse, niche offerings in a seemingly insatiable but fiercely competitive crossover/SUV bullpit.

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Yay      Strong petrol and diesel engine range.
Yay      Good kit levels, even on entry Access trim.
Nay      Awkward, aviation-style handbrake.


 

➤ What is it?

The smallest of Peugeot’s ‘Double-O’ family – the 2008 – is a compact five-door soft-road crossover. It competes in one of the most cluttered and fastest growing areas of the new car market and is manufactured at PSA’s Mulhouse plant in Alsace, France.

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Peugeot is the world’s oldest car nameplate, introducing its first automobiles in 1889, having built bicycles for the previous 60 years. So it comes as no surprise the French marque wants to retain its trendsetter image, which it does successfully in the refreshed 2008.

Originally launched in 2013 to replace the 207SW (Peugeot had no plans for an SW variant of the new 208), this restyled 2008 was introduced in Q2/2016. Currently priced from £14,415 to £21,365, the 2008 goes head-to-head with rivals such as Nissan’s oddball Juke, the stylish Renault Captur, Citroen’s rudimentary C4 Cactus and the ungainly Ford EcoSport.

Riding high on the modular PSA PF1 platform currently deployed beneath the Citroen C4 Cactus and DS3, the Peugeot 2008 shares the same underpinnings as its smaller 208 hatchback sibling.

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➤ The Style Factory

The refreshed 2008 was the first of Peugeot’s models to introduce the bold pug-nose front end with its new almost vertical grille, not unlike KIA’s new Sportage. It is available in four trim levels; Access, Active, Allure and the visibly sportier GT Line.

Both the lion emblem and ‘Peugeot’ lettering have been relocated from the bonnet to the grille, placing the 2008 in line with the brand’s heritage. The tail lights feature a claw-like LED pattern.

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➤ The Inside Story

On the inside the refreshed 2008 shows little change. The dash switchgear is classy and the raised instrument binnacle and diminutive, multi-function steering wheel are easy to get used to and is a Peugeot quirk that I’ve never had an issue with.

The dash switchgear is classy and while most of the upper cabin plastics have been upgraded, the same cannot be said of the coarse, scratchy plastics lower down.

The seats remain stylish and roomy and four grown-ups will fit comfortably inside the 2008.

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At 422 litres, the boot of the 2008 is a very decent size. The rear seat upright is split 60/40 and when folded flat via a clever quick-release mechanism, a very practical 1,400 litres of space becomes available so the 2008 can still carry plenty of cargo.

➤ Engines & Transmissions

The expansive range of Euro6 compliant petrol and diesel engines is definitely a 2008 strong point.

Peugeot’s award-winning 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder PureTech petrol engine is available in three states of tune; 82, 110 and 130 bhp and have an emissions range from 102 to 114 CO2 g/km.

The super-efficient 1.6-litre 4-cylinder BlueHDi diesel power plant is also available in three states of tune; 75, 100 and 120 bhp, with emissions reading only 96 or 97 CO2 g/km.

Five and six-speed manual gearboxes are available across the range, while automatic transmissions in either 6-speed conventional torque-converter guise or 5-speed ETG (manual with auto clutch) are available only with the PureTech petrol engines. Oddly, there are no automatics available on any of the diesel range.

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Grip Control is available as standard on ten of the 18-model 2008 range, in the Allure and GT-Line trims only.

➤ Safety & Security

The refreshed Peugeot 2008 achieved five stars in the tough EuroNCAP crash test, ensuring the car is one of the safest in its class.

Standard safety kit across the 18-model range includes ESP with hill assist, ABS with electronic brake force distributor, emergency brake assist, automatic hazard light activation under emergency braking), child safety door locking, seatbelt alarm, six airbags, dual rear seat three-point ISOFIX location mounts, tyre pressure sensors and daytime running lights.

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The full range is fitted with a Thatcham-approved Category 2 immobiliser, while an alarm is standard on all trims except the entry-level Access.

➤ On-Road Cred

With its well-balanced chassis, there is a confident feel to the Peugeot 2008 when under way as it displays reasonably good road manners for a compact crossover and – depending on engine choice – a semi decent turn of performance. It won’t set any records in the sports department, but it makes calm, controlled and civilised progress.

However, should an ‘enthusiastic’ mood take you, it feels grippy and entertaining through the twisty bits and, while there is little body-roll to mention, a tad more lateral support in the driver’s seat would be welcome.

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In a triumph of fashion over function, Peugeot has given the 2008 a chunky, aviation-like handbrake lever that looks ridiculous and is ergonomically awkward to use. Pop on a conventional handbrake with a push-in button any day, or revert to the electronic device deployed elsewhere in the current Peugeot model range.

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➤ Off-Road Cred

Traversing the 2008 up and down the ski slope at the Tamworth Snowdome at its original 2013 launch indelibly demonstrated the excellent effect of Peugeot’s Grip Control traction technology.

Simply put, Grip Control optimises traction in low-grip conditions. It adapts to the terrain by acting on the front wheels, using the electronic components already present on the vehicle. The driver remains in control and can decide at any time to move from Standard mode using the dial located on the centre console, choosing instead Mud, Sand, Snow or ESP Off.

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The feature is available only for petrol or diesel engined models offering in excess of 100 bhp and shod with 17-inch alloy wheels.

➤ ICE & Connectivity

A seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system that’s a tad below best in class is now standard from Active trim, as are the desirable Apple CarPlay and Mirror Link (for non-Apple devices).

A handy USB socket and 3.5mm jack for external audio devices are standard, as is Bluetooth and six-speaker sound system. DAB radio is available on all but the entry-level Access trim.

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➤ In the Forums

A brief rummage through Peugeot 2008 owner’s forums; boot release issue, heater stopped working, irregular and rapid tyre wear, folding mirrors stuck in closed position and cracking door seals. Most were commonly accepted niggly-nagglies, none of which appear to have been deal-breakers. Dealer service reports vary from ‘reasonable’ to ‘excellent’.

➤ Warranty, Servicing & AfterCare

There is the industry-standard three-year manufacturer’s warranty. Like all new Peugeots, the 2008 comes with 12 months breakdown assistance service which is provided by the AA and valid in both the UK and Europe. Service intervals are every 12,000 miles or 12 months, whichever is sooner.

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SUMMARY

Numbers talk, particularly impressive ones – ask any bean counter sporting a broad smile. Peugeot has sold more than 600,000 model 2008s around the world since 2013, 41,600 of them in the UK.

Priced from just £14,415, Peugeot has an immensely likeable car in the 2008. Its stylish appearance, comfortable cabin, expansive engine range, light off-road capability and good on-road handling continue to make this compact crossover an attractive proposition.

The 2008 is not without its shortcomings but, with its rugged good looks, inexpensive running costs and everyday practicality, is worth considering alongside its Juke, Capture or MokkaX rivals.

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In mid-spec ‘Active’ trim, fitted with one of the less powerful (but cheaper and super-efficient) engines, you could do a lot worse than park a 2008 in your driveway.

However, while a full-ish suite of bells and whistles is appreciated on some cars, you’d be wise to stay clear of the expensive GT Line trim as there are better cars elsewhere for that kind of money.


 
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Posted by on February 2, 2017 in Driven

 

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