Fun fact: the Peugeot 2008 was Europe’s most popular SUV in 2021. It was also the fifth best-selling vehicle in the EU overall last year.
It makes you wonder why its performance in Australia is the opposite. With just 625 registrations throughout the course of 2021, the Peugeot 2008 accounted for a paltry 0.5 per cent of one of our nation’s fastest-growing new vehicle segments.
By comparison, the Mazda CX-30 returned 13,309 registrations and the Volkswagen T-Roc managed 4838 yearly sales – and both are pitched as bridges between the mainstream and premium segments like the Pug.
Why is this the case? We’ve hopped behind the wheel of the 2022 Peugeot 2008 GT to see if this top-selling compact crossover (in Europe at least) is a diamond in the rough.
Prices are up across the board for 2022, with the mid-spec 2008 GT now breaking the $40,000 barrier at $40,940 before on-road costs. That’s an increase of $1950 on the 2021 car.
Our tester features the optional $1990 panoramic sunroof, although it does without the available Nappa leather seat package ($2690).
2022 Peugeot 2008 pricing
- 2022 Peugeot 2008 Allure: $36,740 (+$1750)
- 2022 Peugeot 2008 GT: $40,940 (+$1950)
- 2022 Peugeot 2008 GT Sport: $48,290 (+$4300)
All prices exclude on-road costs
That price puts it at the pointy end of the VFACTS Small SUV segment, although its spec is a little down compared to high-spec rivals.
Key rivals include:
- Hyundai Kona Highlander: $38,300
- Kia Seltos GT-Line: $45,290 D/A
- Mazda CX-30 G20 Astina: $40,890
- Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Exceed 2WD: $38,990
- Skoda Kamiq 110TSI Signature: $41,990 D/A
- Toyota C-HR Koba Hybrid: $37,665
- Volkswagen T-Roc 140TSI Sport: $42,700
All prices exclude on-road costs unless specified
Highlights in the 2008 GT include:
- 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Satellite navigation
- Apple CarPlay/Android Auto (wired)
- LED headlights with “3-Claw” design
- Auto high-beam
- Fog lights with cornering function
- Dual chrome faux exhaust tips
- Keyless entry
- Wireless phone charging
- Front parking sensors
- Ambient lighting
- Rear privacy glass
- Gloss black side mirrors
- Black headliner
- Perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Stainless steel door sill scuff plates
The available Nappa leather seat option pack ($2690) which adds:
- Nappa leather-accented seats
- Heated front seats
- Power driver’s seat with massaging
A panoramic sunroof is also available for $1990.
The Peugeot 2008 has a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on Euro NCAP testing conducted in 2019.
It received an adult occupant protection score of 93 per cent, a child occupant protection score was 87 per cent, a vulnerable road user protection score of 73 per cent, and a safety assist score of 72 per cent.
All models come standard with:
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Lane-keep assist
- Driver attention monitoring
- Traffic sign recognition
- Front, front-side and curtain airbags
- Reversing camera
- Rear parking sensors
While all 2008 models feature AEB, the GT and GT Sport gain low-light pedestrian and cyclist detection, plus automatic high-beam and blind-spot monitoring. The GT Sport also adds lane-positioning assist (lane centring) and adaptive cruise control with stop/go.
French brands are known for doing things their way, and Peugeot’s latest interiors embody that.
Dubbed i-Cockpit, the Lion brand’s quirky approach to interior layouts and ergonomics places a small steering wheel almost in your lap with a funky 3D digital instrument cluster sitting up high. There’s also toggle-style switchgear along the centre stack, sitting below a high-set infotainment touchscreen.
While some of my colleagues bemoan the Peugeot interior layout, I personally don’t mind it – though it’s not perfect by any means.
I like having the steering wheel fairly low – as the brand intended – and can get the wheel into a position where the upper rim sits below the instrument cluster for a good view of the virtual instrumentation. The sporty two-spoke wheel, with GT badging in this guise, feels good in the hand and almost video game-like.
Most of the toggles and switches fall easily to hand, and are mostly logically laid out. There is still a learning curve for certain functions, however.
Take the roller switches on the steering wheel for example. One skips and rewinds tracks/stations, the other switches up the layout of the instrument cluster. Even after a week of driving this thing, I still got it wrong… because you control the volume with buttons on the left-hand side of the wheel, but the scroll wheel to change tracks is on the right.
It’s a similar story with the HVAC controls, which are embedded within the infotainment system. It’s fiddly to use if you try to change the temperature on the move, and the infotainment unit’s slow response times further frustrate.
Since we’re talking about infotainment, this system is not my favourite. As is the case in other Peugeot and Citroen products, load times and response times are leisurely. The graphics are adequate, and offer something a little different to the stuff out of Germany, but it’s almost different for the sake of it rather than bringing any benefit.
The inbuilt satellite navigation works well enough, although again it’s laggy or grainy at times, and Apple CarPlay (via wired connection) worked as well as anything during our time with the 2008.
Quality and tactility is cause for celebration in the Pug, which boasts an upmarket design and plenty of soft-touch materials dotted throughout the cockpit. It’s not Mazda CX-30 good, but it’s up there with some of the segment leaders – at the 2008’s asking price, it needs to be.
Haters of gloss black plastics won’t like Peugeot’s heavy-handed use of piano black, but keep it clean and there is a nice Mercedes-Benz-like feel to the front row. The green contrast stitching in the GT, however, doesn’t really fit with our tester’s lovely blue exterior finish.
The back seat isn’t quite as capacious as the front, mainly due to the panoramic sunroof which eats into headroom. That aside, knee- and legroom are decent, and two average-sized adults should fit in reasonable comfort.
Unfortunately there are no air vents for rear passengers, but there are two USB-A charging ports, and ISOFIX or top tether anchor points on the outboard seat positions.
Rounding out the rear-seat amenities are map pockets behind the front seats as well as bottle holders in each door.
The boot measures a competitive 434L with the rear seats in place, expanding to 1467L with them folded.
In addition to its healthy volume, the luggage area is wide and square, which is fairly typical of European vehicles.
The modular floor means you can maximise volume or create a flatter space to minimise the load lip, and even out the area with the rear seat backs when folded.
A space-saver spare wheel lives underneath the boot floor.
Peugeot 2008 Allure and GT variants are powered by a 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine outputting 96kW (5500rpm) and 230Nm (1750rpm), sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.
The higher-spec GT Sport gets an uprated version with 114kW and 240Nm, and gets an eight-speed auto instead of the cheaper six-speed unit.
According to the manufacturer, the lower-output 1.2-litre three-pot claims a 9.3-second dash from 0-100km/h, and a combined fuel consumption claim of 6.5L/100km.
Peugeot recommends 95 RON premium unleaded as a minimum for the 44L fuel tank.
As some of my colleagues have found in previous reviews of the 2008, the little Pug is a fun thing to drive.
Riding on the Peugeot-Citroen CMP architecture, it combines a willing, rumbly three-pot engine with keen dynamics and a surprisingly pliant ride.
The 1.2-litre turbo engine is common to numerous Peugeot and Citroen models, and we’ve long praised its thrummy, torquey nature. It can get a little gruff under load and occasionally sends some vibrations through the controls, but overall it’s a good little unit that punches above its weight.
Shifting gears is a six-speed automatic sourced from Aisin, which does the job well enough. However, the six-cog auto means specification drawbacks when it comes to driver assistance.
For some reason, Peugeot doesn’t fit features like adaptive cruise control and active lane centring to models with the six-speed auto. Instead, you have to step up to the flagship GT Sport ($48,290) to make them available.
It’s a key omission, given those features are becoming standard equipment in cheaper rival models. Surely it should be made available as an option – or we should get this engine with the eight-speed auto like overseas markets.
While the 2008 GT won’t offer you semi-autonomous capability on the highway like most competitors, it does offer a drive that’s more engaging than most, with an impressive balance between comfort and dynamics.
The small steering wheel is hooked up to a relatively direct, well-weighted and accurate rack, while the light kerb weight (1247kg) and keen chassis makes for a fun steer.
It may only make 96kW (at 5500rpm), but the three-cylinder turbo’s meaty 230Nm from 1750rpm means you get effortless performance off the line, which inspires confidence when making gaps in traffic or getting up to freeway speeds.
Peugeot has dialled in a great suspension tune, too. The ride is comfortable in just about any situation, likely helped by the chubby 215/60 R17 tyres.
In town the 2008 irons out pimply city streets and tram tracks, and once the speed climbs it settles nicely with big car-like maturity. You can see why Europeans are buying these in droves, particularly with their higher-speed freeways.
Road and wind noise are likewise well-suppressed for the class, though in turn that means you hear more of that rumbly engine note – whether that’s a pro or con is up to you.
It’s really a shame the Allure and GT grades don’t offer Peugeot’s higher-end assistance systems, because that would grant this vehicle an extra layer of ability and refinement when touring long distances.
The Peugeot 2008 is covered by the company’s five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty with roadside assistance and Service Price Promise program for the same five-year period.
In 2021, the first five years of servicing were priced at $2235 in the Allure and GT, and $2466 in the GT Sport.
Just 625 examples of the new Peugeot 2008 were registered in Australia during its first full year on sale, but this doesn’t reflect the quality of the little French crossover.
The 2008 certainly deserves more attention – it’s cool to look at, has a nicely-finished cabin, and a fun drive. However, high pricing and specification compromises remain barriers, much like other Peugeot models.
For the asking price, Peugeot should have the eight-speed auto and enhanced assistance suite standard on all models, which would make up a lot of lost ground on the competition. At nearly $41,000 plus on-roads the 2008 GT is priced against top-spec rivals that offer much more for your money beyond just assistance technologies.
There’s an allure to the 2008 though – excuse the pun. I love the look, especially in this blue, it’s reasonably comfortable and practical, and it’s something different in a hugely-competitive segment.
Should you buy one? Well that’s down to whether you can live without the above features. The 2008 otherwise is a well-rounded package that’s screaming for your attention – mon Dieu!
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MORE: Everything Peugeot 2008