I’ve been test-driving cars on and off now for about eight years and I’ve gone through a lot of them. It’s not that often that I pick up a car and find that the public is drawn to it. I’ve driven some very flash vehicles over the years but I’ve noted that Joe Public has generally ignored them. On occasion however I’m surprised by the reactions some vehicles get from passers-by. Take for example the SsangYong Korando Sport I drove some months back, everybody wanted a look. People would pull up beside me at the lights and ask what I was in, price, engine size, and even how comfortable was it to drive. Similarly the Golf GTI made it difficult for me to even pull out of a driving space on account of people knocking on the window to ask me what it was like. This week I test drove the Peugeot 2008 and I was utterly surprised that it got the same reaction from Joe Public. It got to the stage that I would walk outside and see people with their noses up to the window to have a google-oo. On occasion I even let said onlookers in to have a look. Seriously, this surprised me; I wasn’t expecting this kind of reaction at all from the car.
The interior of the 2008 is beautifully laid out and the panoramic glass roof in the model I was driving had a very attractive blue LED illumination surrounding it. This illumination also surrounds the dials – it is a nice touch, sure it doesn’t serve a massive purpose, but it is nice! For your information this lovely lighting is only available as standard on the Allure spec.
The dash contains a touch screen which looks great but could do with being a little less complicated. The model I was driving (Allure 1.6 Hdi Crossover 115bhp) came with duel zone climate control, a rear parking aid, steering wheel remote controls and cruise control, all of which added to a more comfortable journey.
I often say this when I’m talking about both Citroen and Peugeot, when it comes to space both of these manufacturers know what they are doing. This is a small vehicle, but once you get inside it feels so much bigger. The 2008 is of course the big brother of the 208, therefore they are made up of a lot of the same components, but the 2008 has a longer wheelbase and larger dimensions which allows for that extra room and that more spacious feel. Even the boot is surprisingly large offering 360 litres of luggage room, and of course if extra room is needed the back row can go down flat to increase the literage to just under1,200 litres.
This is what I was talking about at the start of this article when I said that I was surprised to see Joe Public constantly checking out this car, to me it’s an unusual looking car and very untypically Peugeotesque – I’m not saying that this is a bad thing, I actually think that this Mini-SUV is a good-looking automobile, I’m just surprised that others agree with me.
The 2008 is based on the 208 and it’s a meaner looking vehicle which holds a nice mini-SUV stance. The use of chrome on the surrounds of the 2008 is very nice and adds a bulkier look to this small vehicle. The headlights run quiet high into the bonnet and the grille sits higher than the 208.
The model I drove was the Peugeot 2008 Allure 1.6 Hdi Crossover 115bhp. A nice optional extra with the vehicle is a “Grip Control” system, what this does is offer maximum traction to the wheels of the car in snowy or muddy conditions. To have that type of grip control on a front-wheel-drive car can only be a good thing.
I found the vehicle to be perfectly suited to city driving and on the open road the 115bhp delivered from the engine is nifty enough. I also found that the steering was quick but precise and that it cornered very well.
Fuel Efficiency, CO2 emissions, etc.
So, I’ve mentioned already that Peugeot understand how to make small spaces feel bigger, well another thing they fully understand is how to make cars drive further. I drove their HDi 1.6 model and their concept of fuel saving techniques is brilliant. On paper this car uses 4.0l/100km. Usually I’m very careful to say “on paper” when I talk about figures like this but I have to say that this figure was not too wide of the mark for me. Like anyone who is testing a car for review I tend to push it a bit harder and I still had difficulty emptying the tank. The car is fuel efficient. Enough said.
The good news is that it is also inexpensive to tax on account of very low CO2 emissions. The model I tested burns 105g of CO2 per km. This means it falls into tax band A3 and at today’s tax rates you will be paying €190 per annum on road tax.
The CBG.ie verdict
This is a surprisingly pleasant mini SUV, I only wish it was available in four wheel drive as I imagine it would make this into a much more exciting car. Once again Peugeot have nailed it in the space and fuel efficiency department. The main competitors for the 2008 would be the Opel Mokka and probably the Captur from Renault (which I will be testing over the coming weeks).