Impressive new 2008 line-up can challenge best small compacts

CarsBy Robbie Farrell
The revised Peugeot 2008 gets it spot on
The revised Peugeot 2008 gets it spot on

Peugeot 2008 Range

Like a fine French wine, the new Peugeot 2008 has matured with age.

First revealed back in 2013, this small, compact SUV went on to become the best-selling car model in Ireland for the Lion brand.

To date – since July 2013 – Peugeot Ireland has sold more than 2,350 units to satisfied customers all over the country.

This represents a 10.3 per cent of the B-SUV market in Ireland in 2016 – which is quite an impressive figure considering all the compact SUVs available on the market.

However, we have to admit, we weren’t overly impressed with the all-new 2008 when it first reached our shores in 2013.

Although it was based loosely on the amazing 208, it just didn’t tick all the boxes for us, and Peugeot’s first entry in the compact SUV market was a little behind some of its closest rivals on a few fronts.

Now, though, with the launch of the new model the designers and engineers have worked to put absolutely everything right and produce a car that can now challenge the best of the small compacts.

For 2016, the new 2008 benefits from new equipment, new colours and a new upmarket GT Line version (which we test drove last week), as it takes on a more assertive, robust appearance.

The range now offers customers a choice of nine colours, with the new Ultimate Red and Emerald Crystal colours standing out in the range. 

Peugeot 2008 1.6 BlueHDi

We’ve said it in this column before, Peugeot’s 1.2-litre petrol engine is one of, if not the best, small engines currently available.  

For the low miler it’s perfect, but I’m a 1,000kms-a-week guy and it’s diesel for me.

The 1.6 diesel in my 2008 is a great fit for those who want a small Crossover with low running costs.

Peugeot has been championing real-world fuel economy figures lately and, truth be told, they are one of the few manufacturers who aren’t that far off the claimed figures.

I averaged around 5.1 litres per 100kms during my week-long test drive. 

The company claim you can get a very low 3.8 litres, but with a lighter right foot and some better driving I think mid-fours is achievable.

My week was on every road and various conditions, so that’s pretty impressive economy. 

It’s not a boring engine, either, with plenty of performance.

The 120bhp is plenty for the 2008 and it has a good amount of torque to stop you grabbing the gears too often. 

The 2008 handles quite well and you can have a bit of fun when the mood arises.

It has plenty of grip and the steering gives good feedback.

There’s minimal body roll and being a smaller crossover it’s more like a sporty hatch than a people carrier. 

A much-needed update sees the addition of a GT-Line spec, which includes gloss black roof rails, boot spoiler, bigger alloys and chrome trim. 

The tiny wheel, now a mainstay in many Peugeot models, is neat and the GT Line gets a flat-bottomed version that you see in the GTi.

The 2008 is Peugeot’s best-selling car in Ireland, so this updated model should attract even more new customers to the brand.

I really enjoyed the diesel, but can’t help but think the 1.2 petrol is the one to have.

Either way, the latest 2008, especially in GT Line spec is a very good car. 

The updates, especially the front end, have really transformed the 2008 into a very desirable car.

These tweaks and additional spec will see the 2008 continue to lead the charge for Peugeot in Ireland. 

Peugeot 2008 1.2 puretech

We also test drove the brands much sought-after little petrol engine in the 2008.

We have mentioned before that it is so good even BMW made inquiries about it at one stage.

My test car was the 2008 1.2 PureTech 110bhp petrol engine matted to an automatic gearbox.

Winner of the 2015 and 2016 International Engine of the Year award in the 1.0-litre to 1.4-litre category, Peugeot PureTech is an advanced 3-cylinder petrol engine technology that offers a drive and performance normally associated with much bigger engines, but with significantly improved fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

We have raved about this engine before and it does work so well in Peugeot’s smaller cars.

However, it may just be a little bit too small to power the slightly heavier 2008 – as I discovered when I was averaging more than 7l/100km during my daily commutes.

So maybe the diesel is the better option to go for after all if you’re getting 5.1l/100km.

Whichever engine you do choose,  you won’t be disappointed in this smart, compact SUV. 

Model: Peugeot 2008 1.6 BlueHDI GT-Line
Price: From €19,400 test car (€27,280)
Road Tax: €180 per year
0-100kph: 10.2s
Max Speed: 200kph
Fuel Economy: 3.8-litres
Boot Space: 410 litres