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Review: The Peugeot 2008 SUV is classy and understated but how does it drive?

We took the popular compact SUV for a test drive to see how well it handles Irish roads.

Image: Melanie May

THE PEUGEOT 2008 is the French manufacturer’s best-selling model in Ireland – and with its blend of good looks, practicality and efficiency it’s easy to see why this compact SUV is so popular.

The car starts at €19,400 and is offered in Access, Active, Allure and GT Line trim.

This test car is the Allure model and it’s powered by the 1.6-litre 100hp BlueHDi engine with Stop & Start technology mated to a six-speed manual transmission. It will cost you €25,075 with annual road tax of €180.

Source: Melanie May

Let’s start with the outside. The Peugeot 2008 is a good-looking car and it is understated in this Cumulus Grey colour. The upright bonnet and rear spoiler give it a sporty look, scuff plates and roof bars provide practicality and extended wheel arches make it appear a bit rugged.

I really like the two-tone black and chrome headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights and the full LED rear light clusters with the 3D ‘claw’ signature design. Both add a bit of flair to the exterior.

Source: Melanie May

Inside, the cabin is neat and elegant with a soft-touch dashboard, subtle chrome highlights and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. There aren’t too many buttons as most of the functions are operated via a central seven-inch touchscreen. I found this system easy to use, but there is a bit of lag.

The test car came with MirrorLink and Apple CarPlay and once my phone was paired to the system via Bluetooth everything worked really well.

Source: Melanie May

The cabin also features Peugeot’s i-Cockpit, which is designed to help focus your attention on the road ahead. The i-Cockpit has a head-up instrument panel that allows you to view essential information above the steering wheel and not through it – therefore, you take your eyes off the road less.

There is also a small steering wheel that sits lower than normal. This brings your arms lower and closer together, which reduces driver fatigue and offers more precise steering and improved manoeuvrability.

However, this set-up may take a little getting used to – and it took me a while to find the perfect seat and steering wheel position that allowed me to fully see the dials. So if you are taking the 2008 for a test drive, make sure you spend a while adjusting everything.

Source: Melanie May

The seats are supportive and both the driver and passenger seat are height adjustable. Space is great up front and adequate in the back, but six-footers may find it a bit of a squeeze. Wiggle room is also a bit tight as the rear bench is quite narrow. There is also very limited legroom for the middle seat rear passenger, but this should be fine for a child.

Source: Melanie May

The boot is a good size at 410 litres but this expands to 1,400 litres when the seats are folded. The seats fold flat and there is no lip on the boot so loading and unloading are easy – and there is a metal scuff plate to protect the car when sliding cargo in and out. Included in the boot are hooks for securing items

The visibility is good – the high driving position helps. The A-pillar is quite large and does create a bit of a blind-spot, but this seems to be an issue I’ll have to get used to as due to safety standards the pillars are getting fatter.

Source: Melanie May

As for how the car handles? Well, it is set up for comfort, not fun. The ride quality is fine with well damped suspension and I felt mostly protected from what was happening underneath the wheels as I was tackling the bumpy roads of the Wicklow Way.

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It also has plenty of grip but it doesn’t have four-wheel drive. However, as an option on Active and Allure models you can specify Grip Control, which is an adapted traction control system. (Grip Control comes as standard on GT line models.)

Source: Melanie May

The 2008 is an easy car to manoeuvre and it has a nice tight turning circle, which is perfect for urban driving and getting out of traffic jams. It feels confident when cornering, with little in the way of body-roll and it is stable at higher speeds.

Apart from an acceptable level of wind noise, it is quite refined on the motorway due in part to its nice long sixth gear. In fact, the six-speed manual transmission is quite high-geared, which is great for overtaking or making a fast getaway as you can let the car rev a little.

Source: Melanie May

Is this the right car for you?

If you are looking for a car that is easy to drive, with a classy interior and practical boot but rear passenger space and four-wheel drive aren’t a priority, then the Peugeot 2008 is certainly one to consider.

If passenger space is a priority, then check out the Opel Mokka X, as head and leg room for rear passengers is a little bit better. The Opel Mokka X starts at €21,495.

If space isn’t a priority but you are looking for a car that is more engaging to drive then check out the Mazda CX-3, priced from €20,995.

If you want a compact SUV with all-wheel drive then check out the Suzuki Vitara, which starts at €28,495 for models with AllGrip.

READ: Car Review: The Peugeot 308 GTi >

READ: Car Review: The Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 >

About the author:

Melanie May  / https://www.melaniemay.com

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