The line between mainstream and premium is increasingly blurred in recent times by models like the Peugeot 2008. Competing in the compact crossover segment, it’s designed for those who want to drive something a little more special than the usual players like Hyundai Kona, Toyota C-HR and Volkswagen T-Roc, but not wanting to splash on premium offerings like the BMW X1, Lexus UX and Audi Q2.
Welcome to the so called semi-premium motoring. It’s obvious in the Peugeot 2008’s pricing strategy. In Australia, the simplified range for 2022 now consists of three variants – the 2008 Allure priced at $34,990, the mid-spec GT at $38,990 and the top-spec GT Sport asking $43,990. All prices exclude on-road costs.
The 2008 costs about $6,000 more than equivalent models from mainstream brands, but to get to premium it’s another $8,000 stretch. The higher-than-mainstream, not-quite-premium pricing is what makes the 2008 a niche offering in a saturated segment.
It’s not all just about exclusivity though, as the 2008 justifies its price tag with good looks and a high perceived quality. This is easily one of, if not the boldest compact crossover on the market. Its mix of angular shapes and contemporary French style works wonders against a background of blander, predictably styled rivals.
The new Peugeot front fascia makes a strong visual statement with the large grille and ‘three claws’ daytime running light motive, while in the GT and tested GT Sport range topper the blacked out roof and side mirrors befit its sports intent – though they are not that obvious on our black test car.
The overhangs are short and the wheels are pushed out wide at all four corners, lending it an athletic stance. GT and GT Sport models get full LED exterior lighting and 18-inch black alloy wheels.
Inside, the 2008 impresses with one of the coolest and chic interior presentations in the segment. The layered dashboard features bright green contrasting stitching that is also used on the leather wrapped steering wheel and door grab handles. It’s complemented by neat strip lighting of the same hue (customisable colours) on the lower dashboard and door cards.
The overall vibe is very premium, with soft touch surfaces where appropriate and quality materials and trimming throughout. But the most standout of all is the so called ‘Peugeot 3D i-Cockpit’. Essentially, it features a compact steering wheel and an instrument binnacle that is viewed from above the wheel and not through it. Not everyone likes the idea and it takes a bit of getting used to, but for us it’s never an issue.
Peugeot has been featuring the i-Cockpit in its entire range of models for quite some time now, but what makes the one in the 2008 slightly different is the ‘3D’ part. In addition to the main digital instrumentation display, a second LCD screen sits hidden in the top part of the binnacle housing. It faces downward to project information in hologram form in the foreground of the main display. The result is a naturally 3D display with more important information layered in the foreground and closer to the driver’s eye-line. It’s an ingenious design and one that works very well and looks even cooler. The position of the instrumentation binnacle high up and close to the bonnet eliminates the need for a head-up display (HUD).
The infotainment system is a 7-inch touchscreen in the Allure and 10-inch widescreen for GT and GT Sport. It operates climate control, media and navigation, the latter is featured only in the GT and GT Sport. It also supports DAB digital radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, all fitted as standard across the range. The display serves up high clarity graphics and the interface is intuitive and very responsive to the touch.
The 2008’s compact dimensions means it’s never a chore to park, but handy in the GT and GT Sport is a 360-degree surround view camera. It works well when it does work but quite often it fails to properly load the camera vision. For such a common feature, you’d expect it to be fault-free.
Another annoyance is the touchscreen operated climate control. It never works well on the move as you need to takes your eyes off the road to guide your finger to the onscreen buttons. Nothing beats the good old rotary knob for function like this. Thankfully though, a knob is fitted in the console to operate the radio/volume.
There is wireless phone charging at the front and in addition two USB ports are fitted at the front and two more at the rear, enough to keep the most tech savvy of families happy. Elsewhere, the 6-speaker sound system is decent, with punchy bass and enough clarity at high frequencies. However, at this price point the lack of rear air-con vents and rear seat drop-down arm rest is disappointing.
The front seats are snug, thanks to the heavy bolsters, while the rear bench can comfortably fit two adults, or three with a bit of a squeeze. In the GT Sport, the seats are upholstered in Nappa leather, with heating for the front row and electric adjustment and massage function for the driver’s seat. The latter is a simple seat back lumbar massage only and not the full blown massaging seat you see in high end luxury cars.
Cabin space is generous for a compact crossover, with plenty of space to move about at the front and good leg and foot room in the back. The boot measures 434 litres in capacity which is also decent. Drop the rear seats and the space expands to 1467 litres.
Powering the Peugeot 2008 range is the company’s 1.2-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine in two states of tunes. In the Allure and GT, it develops 96kW @ 5500rpm and 230Nm @ 1750rpm, while in the GT Sport it makes a more potent 114kW @ 5500rpm and 240Nm @ 1750rpm.
Three-cylinder engines are not usually known for their refinement due to their imbalance nature but the one in the 2008 is one of the more refined 3-potters we have sampled. Without looking at the spec sheet, one would believe that it’s got an even number of cylinders.
The more powerful engine in our GT Sport tester gets up and going swiftly, with more than enough poke to keep up with urban traffic or execute a brisk overtake on open country roads. Packing the 2008 to the rafters will demand more revs to be fed but at no point will it feel sluggish. The 2008’s 0-100km/h sprint time is rated at 8.7 seconds, with a top speed of 213km/h.
Perhaps the weakest point in the drivetrain is the 8-speed automatic gearbox in the GT Sport (other variants get 6-speed auto). Despite being a conventional torque converter auto, it felt jerky at low speeds which got us thinking whether it was actually a dual-clutch. It could certainly do with a bit more polishing, but at least the gear selection was right most of the time.
Traction on tarmac is good for a front-wheel drive and handling is sharp for a high-riding crossover. Low speed ride comfort around town isn’t the plushest, but it’s far from firm. And at higher speeds bumps and ruts are generally rounded off nicely.
Not that owners are ever going to take the 2008 off the black top, but weirdly it offers sand, mud and snow drive modes – in a front-wheel drive! That said, we did take the 2008 for some light off-roading and traction was good for the most part.
As with most European cars, the 2008 runs on 95RON premium unleaded fuel. Peugeot’s claimed average fuel consumption of 6.1L/100km is a little optimistic, as you’ll more likely see figures closer to our recorded real world average of 8.2L/100k, which is a bit on the high side for a small SUV.
In terms of safety the top-spec GT Sport is comprehensively equipped with features like Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Keep Assist and Hill Descent Control. Other driving aids include Auto Highbeam, Tyre Pressure Sensor and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go function.
Design & Comfort
Performance & Handling
Equipment & Features
- Bold styling
- Generous cabin space
- Premium interior
- Competent performance
- Some electronic gremlins
The Peugeot 2008 is a good middle ground between mainstream crossovers and luxury offerings. But with the segment below and above already seeing fierce competition, to sway buyers away from the two camps the 2008 needs to be either really good or really different. We think the latter is true for the 2008.
In its quest to be a semi-premium product, the 2008 may not be better to drive or have higher performance than the mainstream players, but it certainly has the style, cachet and exclusivity of its premium counterparts. If that’s what you’re looking for, the 2008 may just fit the bill.
2022 Peugeot 2008 GT Sport Pricing and Specification
|Price (Excl. on-road costs):||$43,990|
|Warranty:||5 years/Unlimited kilometres|
|Country of Origin:||France; Manufactured in Spain|
|Service Intervals:||12 months / 15,000km|
|Engine:||1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol:|
114kW @ 5500rpm, 240Nm @ 1750rpm
|Power to Weight Ratio (W/kg):||90.2|
|Combined Fuel Consumption (L/100km):||Claimed: 6.1/ Tested: 8.2|
|Fuel Capacity (L):||44|
|Body:||5-door SUV, 5 seats|
|Safety:||5-star ANCAP, 6 Airbags, ABS, ESC, TCS, EBD, BA, Reversing Camera, 360-degree Surround View Monitor, Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, Adaptive Cruise Control|
|Dimensions (L/W/H/W-B) mm:||4,300/1,770/1,550/2,605|
|Kerb Weight (kg):||1,287|
|Towing Capacity (kg):||Braked: 1200kg / Unbraked: 660kg|
|Entertainment:||10.0-inch colour touchscreen with Satellite Navigation, DAB, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, USB, 6 Speakers|