Driven: 2016 Peugeot 2008 1.2 PureTech
Peugeot is no stranger to the crossover game, and the company launched a significant refresh of the 2008 range this year. In today’s review, we are writing about the Peugeot 2008 facelift.
This model was updated just three years after it came to market, but the automaker from Sochaux decided to do this to ensure sales momentum is maintained for this model, which it considers a sales success.
Peugeot’s 2008 is based on the 208, the brand’s B-segment hatchback. If you are wondering how the company created this car, they already have an answer prepared - instead of making a 208 SW, the estate version of the hatchback, Peugeot devised a crossover. Therefore, the car comes with all the advantages of the 208, and with more room inside, thus the added “0” in the name of the model.
There is not much history behind the 2008 name, as Peugeot made it up in 2013. The SW (Peugeot’s term for the estate versions of its cars) were not that old either, as they were introduced for the 206 model, launched in the late 90’s. So, instead of discussing the lineage of the Peugeot 2008, let’s understand what this model is supposed to be.
What is it meant to be?Peugeot devised the 2008 as a car which has a small footprint on the road but comes with a roomy interior. They did more than just expand the body of the 208, and the result is reasonably looking.
Since the PF1 platform is shared, the 2008 features the 208’s rolling gear, engines, transmissions, and road holding abilities. Tech and safety equipment are also shared, while the body is the main difference between the two.
The 2008 from Peugeot does not feature all-wheel-drive, not even as an optional feature. This is the same route that rivals at Renault followed with their equivalent, the Captur. Sister brand Citroen shares the same strategy with the similarly-sized C4 Cactus.
Moreover, they have a point - over 90 percent of crossover clients never go off-road, and they never need to use an all-wheel drive system. Therefore, the Peugeot 2008 is a front-wheel-drive crossover, without any possibility of ordering all-wheel-drive.
Instead, the French brand proposes a “Grip control” solution, which is just an elaborate description of a switch which lets the ESP and traction control systems provide alternate programs for low-grip conditions, where more wheel-spin might be allowed, depending on the selected option.
DesignPeugeot’s 2016 makeover for the 2008 led to a vertical front grille, the most prominent change introduced in the range. The car also has new wheel arch extensions, black and chrome headlight casings, new stoplights, and more rims on offer.
Peugeot engineers are already testing the 2008’s replacement, a model which will be built on a joint platform with the next Opel Meriva. That model is at least two years away from its reveal date, so there’s plenty of time to consider the facelift of the first generation 2008.
Other improvementsPeugeot’s 2008 has not lost its unusual elements with the facelift. However, the French automaker has toned them down so we can observe an improvement concerning usability and ergonomics.
This means that the controls have received an increased adjustment range, and you do not feel like you keep the steering wheel on your lap while driving.
The new look suits the 2008 well, as it gives the crossover more personality, as well as a more masculine design. Much of this change was accomplished with the upright grille, which made a difference in the look of the car.
Inside, the 2008 facelift has more storage options, improved materials, enhanced connectivity through Mirror Screen and Apple CarPlay, as well as LED dome lights.
Engine options have become more efficient, and the rolling gear was adjusted for less noise and reduced friction. The facelift seems to have corrected the minor issues which were found in the first version of the 2008, as we explained above.
Engine and transmissionThe version of the 2008 we drove was fitted with the 1.2-liter gasoline direct injection turbocharged unit. Peugeot Calls the engine PureTech, and sells it in three power versions.
We drove the middle proposition, which provides 110 HP and 205 Nm (151 lb-ft). Our test car featured a five-speed manual transmission.
The engine behaves well, as it has been calibrated for low vibration and noise while providing a level of elasticity which you would normally expect from a diesel engine. On rural roads, this engine is enough to haul the 2008 with driver and three passengers without having to go near the redline.
The three-cylinder unit gets perceived as loud only when you reach about 5,000 rpm. Otherwise, the 1.2-liter engine is rather silent. At idle, if the Start-Stop is deactivated, the engine can barely be heard while running.
The transmission itself has received a shorter throw when compared to the traditional feel of Peugeot models while shifting feel is precise. The clutch pedal provides sufficient feel, without being heavy in any way, thus reducing fatigue level in case you happen to drive in rush hour traffic.
On a negative note, the 1.2-liter gasoline engine is the only spark-ignited option for the 2008. The most powerful unit provides up to 130 HP, while the entry-level only comes with 82 HP. We do not recommend the latter, as it might be insufficient for those with dynamic ambitions.
Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes 9.9 seconds, while top speed is rated at 192 km/h (119 mph). These figures do not impress, but we cannot say they disappoint. After all, it is a crossover with a 1.2-liter engine, not a race car.
We found that the 2008 provides suitable throttle response, especially in the mid-range of the rev counter, while performance is as expected from a car with these specs.
Average fuel economy is rated at 4.4 liters/100 kilometers in the NEDC combined cycle, meaning the equivalent of 53.5 mpg US. For the city, average fuel economy is noted at 5.3 liters/100 km (44.4 mpg US), while highway driving is supposed to deliver a rated 3.9 liters/100 km (60.3 mpg US).
As usual with press drives, we did not get the occasion to attempt to hypermile the 2008. Therefore, the only figures we can provide are 8.5 liters/100 kilometers in city driving in rush hour traffic and seven liters/100 kilometers in the mixed cycle.
The figures above were achieved with three passengers onboard, A/C on full blast, and a heavy foot on the throttle from time to time.
InteriorFacelifts do not bring extreme changes to car interiors. Instead, they provide those exact modifications to things that were overlooked when a model was first launched, as well as various updates.
This was the case with the Peugeot 2008, which has now received a better driving position, thanks to minor changes to the driver’s seat and steering column.
Materials have not been drastically improved, so there are still surfaces with hard plastic, but we noticed improvements to the appearance of some textures onboard, which makes a difference.
Just look at the trim on the dash, which looks better than ever, and the upholstery also has new patterns. The roof liner can be fitted with LED lights, a feature which you do not find in any other model of the segment.
While the rear door cards could have been softer, comfort is evidently a priority for Peugeot, and passengers get one of the nicest interiors of the segment from this point of view. Opel’s Mokka exceeds the 2008 concerning interior space, but that is about it.
All in all, this model does not stray from what modern Peugeot cars have already shown us. Trim elements do not go too far on the funky side, while perceived quality is on the better part of average. The parts that get touched by the driver’s hands have received particular attention, as we have discovered.
Peugeot has maintained its idea of using a smaller than average steering wheel, as well as the unusual placement of the gauges. The French automaker sees this as a solution to avoid fitting a Head-Up Display, and they are almost right.
Evidently, the cluster of indicators is no match for an actual HUD, but it is better placed than on a conventional car. Sun glare is not a problem for it, either.
The driving position is a bit higher than in a conventional hatchback, but lower than an SUV, if you go to the lowest setting available. Controls are easy to use and within reach. Headroom is impressive in any seat you choose onboard the Peugeot 2008.
TechnologyPeugeot updated the 2008 with the addition of Apple CarPlay compatibility, as well as support for the Android Mirror Link. The infotainment’s display has not changed, and the menus look just like before.
However, the gauges on the instrument cluster have received a new chrome trim strip instead of the old ornament, and the new look is much more appropriate for this car.
The multimedia interface is easy to use, just like on the 208, but does not bring any breakthrough in the segment. Facelifts rarely do, nor one should not expect this from any model, as dramatic changes are rarely done with mid-cycle refresh operations like Peugeot did for the 2008.
On the other hand, the 2008 has a fair package when it comes to features, as the car does not seem to lack any relevant highlight, at least not in the “Active” trim level tested by us and seen in the photo gallery of this article. It is worth noting that Peugeot presents more features for this model as optional equipment, but nothing that its competitors do not have.
Handling & ComfortThe Peugeot 2008 has become more silent with its facelift, as the car seems to have received better soundproofing. Compared to the pre-facelift, the French crossover has not changed dramatically, but there are improvements. Steering feel is sufficient to let you know what the front wheels are doing, without being too tiresome to use.
The raised ride height, when compared to the 208, has not dramatically affected handling, as the crossover is light on its feet with an unladen weight of 1,090 kg, or 2,403 lbs. The result is a model which is not a segment leader in what’s known as a “driver’s car,” but it fares through corners with dignity.
Unless you attempt to drive it like a madman, the 2008 will not show signs of understeer on the road. It can even tackle light-offroading, but we are only talking about unpaved roads, and nothing with serious mud or sand.
The suspension has been configured for a blend between road-holding and comfort. It was evidently not made to carve corners, but no crossover is fully fit for this task. Instead, the Peugeot can handle a spirited drive without bothering your kidneys.
Comfort seems to have improved when compared to the pre-facelift, possibly by different bushings and other modifications to the suspension. At the end of the day, the spacious crossover from Peugeot fares well on the road without being tiring to drive.
ConclusionThe cheapest Peugeot 2008 is not the most affordable car in the segment, but not the most expensive out there. Peugeot has positioned itself slightly above Renault concerning pricing, making the 2008 more expensive than the Captur in some configurations.
The version we tested, 1.2 PureTech Turbo Active, starts at 16,200 euros. The Active trim level is the middle of the range. The top trim level, Allure, with the most expensive diesel engine, a 1.6-liter unit, starts at 20,964 euros.
We must mention that diesel engines are not available with automatic or automated gearbox options, which is a minus for some potential Peugeot 2008 customers. Gasoline engines are available with both automated manuals and conventional automatic gearboxes, depending on the selected variant.
The facelift applied by Peugeot in this range has adapted the 2008 to the requirements of customers in 2016, while bringing a fresh look in the portfolio. We expect this model to remain available until 2018, when its successor comes to market.
Those looking for something with a more funky look could turn to the Citroen C4 Cactus or the Nissan Juke, while customers that are wanting a more conventional car ought to look at Opel’s Mokka or Ford’s EcoSport. Mazda’s CX-3 is also a car worth checking out if the Peugeot 2008 has not won your heart over.
Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.