New revised Peugeot 2008 Crossover first drive

Peugeot 2008

Peugeot 2008 With new car sales expected to continue at record levels in September as the new 65 plate became available, Peugeot introduced their revised 2008 range of five door Crossover models with prices starting at an affordable £13,195.

Through Access, Active, Urban Cross, Allure and Feline levels of specification and with the choice of new Euro6 BlueHDI four cylinder turbodiesels and the International Engine of the Year PureTech three cylinder petrol units, prices range up to £20,345.

First launched in 2013 as a compact Crossover competing in the B supermini segment, the 2008 combines the SUV styling and interior packaging of their larger 3008 and the low running costs of their successful 208 supermini.

The 2008 was, and still is, the right vehicle at the right time due to the huge and still growing demand for SUVs and Crossovers in the UK. With close to 300,000 UK registrations last year the Dual Purpose sector (its official SMMT listing) showed a 63% increase in sales over 2013. Much of that growth has come from demand for fuel efficient compact Crossovers such as the Peugeot 2008 as well as the significant increase in new models being introduced to the market place.

In the supermini sized compact Crossover market are such models as the Nissan Juke, Ford EcoSport, Mini Countryman, Vauxhall Mokka, Skoda Yeti, Renault Captur, Fiat Panda Trekking/4×4, Fiat 500X, Dacia Duster and the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross. Most offer models with 2WD or 4WD or a system like Peugeot’s Grip Control where clever electronics and grippier tyres improve the traction provided by the front wheel drive system. The Grip Control function is dependent on the engine and spec level chosen but it is standard on petrol and diesel powered Urban Cross and Feline variants.

UK sales of the Peugeot 2008 are averaging 15,000 units a year, certainly not the sector leader as the Nissan Juke reached close to 40,000 UK sales last year alone. So the Peugeot 2008 is somewhat of an overlooked model range and really deserves more attention. Its weakness has probably been the engines on offer and now that has been rectified with the latest Euro6 power units in the new range.

It could also be that Peugeot have also been targeting the wrong age group of customers. In their PR blurb and marketing campaign they say the 2008 “is intended for young city dwellers who love the urban environment but also enjoy escaping it.”

My observations are these new generation compact Crossovers/SUVs are being bought in the main by older people, empty nesters and such like who like the status of the SUV styling, the compact size, elevated seating positions, good visibility, affordable pricing and low running costs. Peugeot is yet another manufacturer in this instance of pigeonholing their models by customer- age, why do it? In this competitive market sell to anyone young or not so young and to make that happen there are many attractive ways of funding available.

Peugeot 2008 Peugeot 2008 Peugeot 2008 Peugeot 2008 Peugeot 2008 To help with the 2008’s affordability customers can use Peugeot’s innovative ‘Just Add Fuel’ finance package. Combining all motoring costs into a single monthly payment, the starter model – the £13,195 Active PureTech 1.2-litre 82bhp is available for £199pcm, over 36 months, following a deposit of £2,080 (4.9% APR).

Putting new life into the latest Peugeot 2008 range are new engine options. Customers can choose either the new 1.2-litre three-cylinder PureTech petrol engines with power outputs of 83, 110 or 130bhp or the revised 1.6-litre BlueHDI or e-HDI turbodiesel four cylinder units with power output choices of 75, 92, 100 and 120bhp. Whilst the new petrol engine has been judged International Engine of the Year, the BlueHDI diesels, as far as running costs go, are the headline news with a Combined Cycle fuel economy as high as 78.5mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 95g/km so that means it is road tax free – just like a bicycle. The BlueHDI technology incorporates an AdBlue function – the injection of urea and water into the exhaust system to reduce emissions, including NOx and particulates.

My recent re-engagement with the Peugeot 2008 was with the 1.6 BlueHDI 120bhp turbodiesel with Feline specification and Grip Control carrying a price-tag of £20,345. If I had chosen a new 1.2-litre three cylinder turbocharged 130bhp petrol version with the same Feline/Grip Control specification the price would be £18,995. This petrol unit officially returns 58.9mpg in the Combined Cycle with CO2 emissions of 110g/km and VED road tax of £0 then £20 for year two. The diesel I tested officially returns 76.3mpg with CO2 emissions of 96g/km so VED is FREE every year. When it comes to comparing outright performance the petrol model has a top speed of 124mph with zero to 62mph taking 9.3-seconds. The diesel figures by comparison are 119mph and 9.6-seconds.

So the question is, is it worth paying the extra £1,350 for the diesel over petrol? For higher mileage drivers the answer is a definite yes and I think the extra torque the diesel gives, 300Nm versus 230Nm, is well worthwhile for most rural users making it that bit more responsive for mid-range acceleration and low down ‘grunt’ on country roads. Sixth gear is an overdrive ratio, fine for motorway and open road cruising, so be prepared for a significant requirement for changing down gears to keep both engines in their sweet-spots for power delivery when not driving on open roads.

With the 1.6-litre diesel my test driving covered almost 800-miles, half of that being motorways where the real life fuel consumption was an impressive 61.3mpg. With the remainder of my driving done on winding and hilly Cornish lanes and Cotswold minor roads the overall figure was 57.5mpg. That fuel economy and free road tax, despite the higher purchase price of the vehicle, made the 2008 choice of turbodiesel over petrol the right one – for me anyway.

No matter which engine is your final choice the latest Peugeot 2008 is rather an overlooked choice in the compact Crossover market losing out to the bolder styled Nissan Juke and the Renault Captur seemingly favored by younger buyers. My headcount of who is driving what compact Crossover during my test driving period saw more middle-aged and older owners in Vauxhall Mokka, Skoda Yeti, Mini Countryman and Peugeot 2008 models than younger drivers. Older drivers seem to value practicality and low running costs from their vehicles rather than flashy styling.

The 2008 Crossover is really a higher ground clearance version of the five door Peugeot 208 supermini hatchback. The exterior design is on the conservative side and not as noticeable as the ‘bug-eyed’ Nissan Juke as an example. The interior is smart and upmarket and above all comfortable with seats that give good support. The 60-40 split folding rear seats offer a versatile combination of load and passenger carrying although leg room in the rear for adult passengers is on the small side but no worse than a conventional supermini hatchback. With all the five seats in use there is 360-litres of boot space and this expands to 1,194-litres with the rear seat backs folded down. A wide tailgate and a low height rear sill allow easy access to the load area. Thankfully a space-saver spare wheel, standard for all models, is provided and stored under the load floor of the boot.

The fascia of the 2008 is well laid out with easy to use controls with a cockpit style instrument panel viewed over the small diameter steering wheel. For most versions in the centre of the fascia is a multifunction touchscreen, which on the Feline specification includes sat-nav. This screen also controls the sound system including DAB radio on most versions. Thankfully Peugeot has not included heating/ventilation and air-con operations in the touchscreen which it has on their larger 308 models.

Some of the additional spec items the top Feline model has includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic glass roof with electrically operated blind, aluminium pedals and door sill guards, sat-nav, alarm, upgraded trim and leather upholstery. Also included from other versions are electrically operated windows and door mirrors, air-con, rear parking aid, parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, directional front fog-lights, cruise control, computer, laser cut headlining with LED backlighting and under the skin that important Grip Control function and outside grippier tyres.

Overall the latest Peugeot 2008 compact Crossover is impressively fuel, CO2 and tax efficient. It is conservatively styled outside but the interior is of really good quality with a high level of comfort and equipment. Ride comfort is good and that is an important feature for many owners. The grippy courser treaded road tyres, part of the good Grip Control function, do create more road noise intrusion on some surfaces but I can live with that knowing that there are selectable modes to cope with ice/snow, mud, sand and wet roads.

Hopefully for Peugeot the latest changes to the 2008 range will give it a higher profile to buyers young and not so young – it’s a Crossover for all ages and all seasons.

MILESTONES: Peugeot 2008 Feline, Compact Crossover, 1.6 BlueHDI 120 manual. Price: £20,345. Engine/transmission: 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder, Euro6, BlueHDI turbodiesel with Stop/Start, 120bhp, 300Nm of torque from 1,750rpm, 6-speed manual with Grip Control 2WD. Performance: 119mph, 0-62mph 9.6-seconds, 76.3mpg Combined Cycle (57.5mpg overall on test). CO2 96g/km, VED road tax £0, BIK company car tax 17%. Insurance group: 20E (tbc), Warranty: 3-years/unlimited mileage. Dimensions/capacities: L 4,159mm, W 1,829mm H 1,556mm, boot/load space 360 to 1,194-litres, 5-seats/5-doors, braked towing weight 1,300kg. For: Low running costs/taxes due to excellent real life fuel economy and low CO2 emissions, comfortable, nimble with sharp response steering, classy high spec interior, Grip Control traction. Against: Conservative exterior styling, compact rear interior space, long-legged sixth gear ratio, tyre noise intrusion.Miles Better News agency 

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