The Peugeot 2008 is one of the most eye-catching small SUVs on the market, with a distinctive front end resembling a robotic chipmunk. But does it have the substance to match its style? I got behind the wheel of the new 2008 to find out.
What’s new for 2023?
The Peugeot 2008 was launched in 2019 as a replacement for the previous generation, which was essentially a 208 hatchback on stilts. The new model is bigger, bolder, and more sophisticated, with a sleek design that stands out from the crowd of bland crossovers.
The new Peugeot 2008 also offers a range of powertrain options, including petrol, diesel, and electric. The latter is known as the Peugeot e-2008, and it boasts a 50 kWh battery that provides up to 214 miles of range on a single charge. The e-2008 also has some subtle visual cues to differentiate it from its combustion-powered siblings, such as a body-colored grille and blue accents.
For 2023, the new Peugeot 2008 compact SUV gets minor updates, such as new paint colors, new wheel designs, and additional features. The most notable change is the introduction of the GT Sport trim level, which is the top-of-the-line variant for both the petrol and electric versions. The GT Sport adds some sporty touches, such as black exterior elements, red brake calipers, and Alcantara seats. It also comes with a more powerful engine for the petrol version: a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque.
How does it drive?
I tested the GT Sport petrol version paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. I first noticed how responsive and agile the Peugeot 2008 felt on the road. The steering was light and precise, the suspension was firm but not harsh, and the brakes were strong and progressive. The engine was smooth and punchy, delivering brisk acceleration and decent fuel economy. Peugeot claims that the GT Sport can sprint from zero to 62 mph in 8.2 seconds and achieve up to 45.4 mpg in the WLTP combined cycle.
The 2008 also impressed me with its handling, which was surprisingly sporty for a small SUV. The car felt stable and composed around corners, with minimal body roll and good grip. The compact steering wheel and the high-mounted instrument cluster added to the fun factor, giving me a sense of control and engagement. The only downside was the lack of feedback from the steering, which made it hard to judge how much grip I had at times.
The Peugeot 2008 also performed well on rougher roads, thanks to its generous ground clearance and good visibility. The car absorbed most of the bumps and potholes without compromising comfort or stability. The cabin was also well-insulated from wind and road noise, making it a pleasant place to be.
How is it inside?
The interior of the 2008 is one of its strongest points, as it combines quality, technology, and style harmoniously. The dashboard is dominated by a large touchscreen infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system is easy to use and has crisp graphics, but it can sometimes be slow to respond, and some functions are buried in menus.
Below the screen are some physical buttons and knobs for climate control and other settings, which are welcome additions for ease of use. The center console also has a wireless charging pad for smartphones.
The highlight of the interior is the 3D digital instrument cluster, which is standard on all but the base trim level. The cluster displays various information in a layered fashion, creating a sense of depth and dynamism. The cluster can be customized to show different modes and themes, such as navigation, driving aids, or media. The cluster also changes color depending on the driving mode selected: blue for eco, green for normal, or red for sport.
The seats are comfortable and supportive, with plenty of adjustment options. The GT Sport trim level adds Alcantara upholstery with contrast stitching and GT logos. The rear seats are spacious enough for adults, with decent headroom and legroom. The boot space is average for the class, at 434 liters (15.3 cubic feet), but it can be expanded to 1,467 liters (51.8 cubic feet) by folding down the rear seats.
How much does it cost?
The new Peugeot 2008 starts at $24,500 for the base Active trim level with the 99-horsepower petrol engine. The mid-range Allure trim level adds the 3D instrument cluster, LED headlights, and 17-inch alloy wheels, and costs $26,800. The GT Line trim level adds some sporty features, such as a black roof, a rear spoiler, and 18-inch alloy wheels, and costs $29,400. The GT Sport trim level is the most expensive, at $34,600, and comes with the 153-horsepower petrol engine or the electric motor.
The Peugeot e-2008 starts at $36,600 for the Active trim level, and goes up to $46,700 for the GT Sport trim level. The electric version also benefits from a $1,650 government grant and lower running costs.
Is it worth it?
The new Peugeot 2008 is a compelling choice for anyone looking for a small SUV that stands out from the crowd. It offers a striking design, a high-quality interior, a range of powertrain options, and a fun driving experience. It may not be the most practical or the most affordable option in its class, but it is certainly one of the most interesting. The new 2008 is a robotic chipmunk that packs a punch.