What is it? Mid-life refresh for the Peugeot 2008 compact SUV.
Key features: Subtle styling changes, upgraded interior.
Our View: The range-topping Peugeot 2008 GT Line models are expensive, but Allure models in particular are well worthy of consideration.
Type of review: First drive
The Peugeot 2008 arrived in 2013 as a compact SUV sister to the 208 supermini to take on the likes of Ford’s B-Max and the Vauxhall Meriva. Since then 40,000 have been sold since to UK buyers, part of half a million produced for the European market, so there seems to be no need to be too radical in penning this mid-life refresh.
Therefore the recipe for the facelifted version, arriving in UK showrooms in July 2016, is a familiar one, focusing on subtle changes to the styling and updating the cabin to keep pace with the relentless march of interior technology, along with adding a new trim level, while leaving the mechanical package well alone.
According to its creators, the visual changes to the Peugeot 2008 give it a more ‘robust’ look, while keeping it in tune with the brand’s latest design language. They concentrate on the front end – the grille is more vertical, with the Peugeot lion logo placed prominently on it, and combined with revised bumper and light designs.
In effect , the more muscular look is confined to those models from Allure – third of the four trim levels – and achieved by new wheel arch extensions to give the car a wider stance, and scuff plates. A new exterior colour option also debuts, dubbed Ultimate Red.
The major changes are within – with Peugeot’s i-cockpit evolving into the crossover, complete with its signature small steering wheel, seven-inch multifunction colour touchscreen and head-up display.
The eight-strong powertrain range remains as before – all of the five petrol options are 1.2-litre units, starting with an 81bhp version with either five-speed manual or six-speed electronic auto gearbox. The latter offers the better efficiency figures with 64.2mpg combined cycle fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of 102g/km, compared to the 57.6 and 114 of the manual.
There is also a 109bhp variant in both manual and auto formats, the latter claiming best-in-class figures of 58.9mpg and 110g/km, these replicated in its 128bhp sister.
Three versions of the 1.6-litre diesel are on offer with 74, 99 and 118bhp, each with a manual gearbox, all with quoted CO2 emissions of sub 100g/km and best-in-class claims for the 74 and 118 units.
What remains not on offer is all-wheel-drive, reflecting the trend to crossovers appealing to those who want the prominent road presence witohut the complexity. But a degree of extra capability is provided by Peugeot’s Grip-xtend traction control system – this boasts standard, snow, mud and sand modes, plus one which turns off the electronic stability program to make the most of all traction available.
There is also now more choice in trim levels – the familiar Access, Active and Allure are topped by the GT Line, following the example of other Peugeot models. Bespoke items include gloss black detailing instea of chrome on such areas as the front grille surround, fog light covers, mirror casings and roof bars, and on the alloy wheels, stainless steel sills on the interior, aluminium pedals and red stitching on the floor mats, seats door armrests, gear level surround, handbrake lever and steering wheel, the latter both in leather.
The GT Line certainly does add an extra premium presence but the interior is of particular quality at all levels. And certainly it’s easy to see why of the existing trims more than half of buyers choose Allure instead of the cheaper options. The touchscreen infotainment is a welcome addition at this level, if not quite as user-friendly as those in some rivals, while also welcome is the smartphone compatibility in the form of Apple Carplay and Android Mirrorlink systems.
There is plenty of space – the 2008 is a roomy SUV, with certainly capable of accommodating five adults, with a good-sized 410-litre boot, extending to 1400 litres with the rear seats folded. And it’s all contained inside a shell that strikes a satisfying pose on the road, the 2008 looking stylish without tending to the radical.
On the road the car is familiar, as are the engines. The diesels are preferred by 53 per cent of buyers and it’s easy to see why as they have good low-end pulling power and refinement – we liked the 99bhp version for the best combination of economy and performance.
For those who prefer petrol, the 81bhp version feels its size and as there is no efficiency drawback from the 108bhp version, this is certainly the better choice.
Cruising on the motorway the 2008 is very assured and feels well planted despite its high body stance. It also corners with confidence, though it one feels slightly detached – it is competent to drive as opposed to fun to drive. The steering is light allowing easy negotiation of slow-speed urban roads, and body roll when cornering at pace is also generally well controlled.
Overall, the update to the Peugeot 2008 is not exactly headline-grabbing, but it does keep this model firmly in the thick of the ever more competitive compact crossover battle. Whether the GT Line justifies its range-topping price tag of £18,815 and above is open to question but Allure models in particular are well worthy of consideration against rivals.
Peugeot 2008 SUV – key specifications
On sale: July 2016
Range price: £13,615-£20,565
Insurance groups: TBA.
Engines: Petrol 1.2 x 3. Diesel 1.6 x 3.
Power (bhp): 81/ 109/ 128. 74/ 99/ 119.
Torque (lb/ft): 87/ 151/ 170. 170/ 187/ 221.
0-62mph (sec): 13.5 (15.4)/ 9.9 (10.3)/ 9.3. 13.8/ 11.3/ 9.6.
Top speed (mph): 105 (106)/ 119 (117)/ 124. 103/ 112/ 119.
Fuel economy (combined, mpg): 57.6(64.2)/ 60.1(58.9)/ 58.9. 76.3/ 76.3/ 76.3.
CO2 emissions (g/km): 114(102)/ 103(110)/ 110. 97/ 97/ 96.
Key rivals: Renault Captur, Nissan Juke
Test Date: June 2016.
*Figures in brackets with auto gearbox