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First drive: 2024 Peugeot 2008 1.2 PureTech 130 EAT8. Image by Peugeot.

First drive: 2024 Peugeot 2008 1.2 PureTech 130 EAT8
No major drivetrain changes for the updated Peugeot 2008 petrol, but is that a good thing?

   



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Peugeot 2008 1.2 PureTech 130 EAT8

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Peugeot's smallest SUV offering, the 2008, has been around since 2019 now and so it's time for a midlife model facelift. But while the standard-bearer E-2008 electric model has a bigger battery, more power and greater one-shot driving range, and there's a new mild-hybrid 48-volt drivetrain heading to the line-up for 2024, the purely petrol models continue largely unchanged in the technical department. So is that a wise decision by Peugeot, or a risky tactic that might look like conservative stagnation in an ever-changing and hugely competitive sector of the market?

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2024 Peugeot 2008 1.2 PureTech 130 EAT8 GT
Price: 2008 range from 24,170, 130 PureTech EAT8 GT from 31,170
Engine: 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol
Transmission: eight-speed EAT8 automatic, front-wheel drive
Power: 131hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 230Nm at 1,750rpm
Emissions: 133g/km
Economy: 45.4mpg
0-62mph: 9.1 seconds
Top speed: 122mph
Boot space: 434-1,467 litres

Styling

Visually, not much has changed for the 2024 model year 2008, to be honest - it's the usual tweaks like a revised grille, which is gloss black on lower-spec models and body-coloured on higher trims, as well as fresh designs of alloy wheel (including a very spidery-looking 17-inch item called the 'Karakoy'), a different typeface for the now-Basalt Grey badging, the full-width 'Peugeot' monogram on the bootlid and then much in the way of lion claws. Yes, there are three-bar LED daytime running lamps in the bumpers of this small crossover, as well as a three-cube effect for the higher-specification matrix LED headlights, and yet another three-clustered, horizontal layout for the taillight LEDs too. But as the 2008 was and probably always will be a good-looking little thing, a lack of drastic remedial work in the aesthetic department is no bad thing. We particularly liked the highlighted grille on the GT model we tested, for instance, which just gives the front of the Peugeot that touch more presence than before.

Interior

As outside, so within. The i-Cockpit layout is retained in the 2008, which means a small, low-set steering wheel and a high-set instrument binnacle, the latter rating 10 inches in size and now sporting fresh, sharpened graphics with greater configurability. All models now also get a central 10-inch touchscreen for the infotainment, again with updated software, while a smattering of new trim and upholstery choices are made available to customers. Again, if it ain't broke, as they say...

Practicality

In terms of practicality, the Peugeot 2008 is fine enough by this class of car's prevailing standards, unless of course you don't get on with the driving position afforded by i-Cockpit. However, if you do, then other facets of the cabin include rear passenger space which is OK if not anything to shout about, a decent array of in-car stowage solutions, and one of the bigger boots in this segment, rating 434 litres with all seats in play.

Performance

Peugeot has kept the long-serving 1.2-litre three-cylinder PureTech turbocharged petrol in service for the 2008 family, even though the French company is increasingly tipping the drivetrain balance of the entire range in favour of electric propulsion. So, as we said up top, these midlife updates for the 2008 include the announcement of a non-plug-in petrol-electric model slated for early next year, as well as more significant powertrain upgrades for the zero-emission E-2008.

That leaves the 1.2 PureTech as the only form of motive power which is plodding along unchanged, so it comes in basic 101hp/205Nm format, with a six-speed manual only, or as this punchier 131hp/230Nm variant, which can be had with either the manual transmission or the group's familiar EAT8 automatic unit; eight speeds, natch, given that alphanumeric branding.

Power goes to the front wheels and, in the automatic version, you'll get around 45mpg from it on the combined cycle if you're a gentle driver, and 0-62mph in 9.1 seconds if you're not. Thankfully, this remains a thoroughly amenable drivetrain combo. The 131hp 1.2 is plenty enough engine for this size of crossover, mainly because the PureTech is a good 300kg lighter than the E-2008 and so is actually not a heavy vehicle at all, tipping in at the 1.2-tonne mark (give or take 5kg). With its pleasing little background growl when you rev it out and the smooth ministrations of the eight-speed 'box, either eliciting a lick of back-road pace or just ambling smoothly around town prove to be no bother at all to the PureTech. And even if you drive it in a spirited manner, it remains decent on fuel economy, so you shouldn't ruin your wallet if you decide to test out Peugeot's claims to being the sporty marque in the Stellantis mega-stable.

Ride & Handling

More good news here: this is our favourite 2008 to drive. The E-2008 is fine enough, sure, and it's very cultured thanks to its lack of a combustion engine. But it never feels particularly lively or playful, mainly down to that aforementioned chunky kerb weight somewhat blunting its robust 260Nm of torque, a figure 30Nm in advance of this PureTech version.

The petrol Pug, however, is a little hoot. While we're not about to confer 'unusually shaped warm hatch' status on it just yet, we will say that this is a crossover with a good degree of light and shade between its Eco, Normal and Sport drive settings, with the steering in particular taking on more weight and even a degree of feel in the last of these modes. OK, it still has Peugeot's uninspiring paddle shifts, which are mounted to the steering column and for which only the silvery tab bit at the end moves in a lacklustre fashion, but otherwise the calibration of the brakes and the suspension allows you to get the 2008 GT into a flowing groove on the right roads, making it feel like it develops considerably more than its 131hp due to the admirable speed it can carry through corners.

It's highly civilised as an A-to-B merchant, though, which is perhaps more important than any scintillating handling. The ride isn't ever quite as pillowy smooth as anything from sister french outfit Citroen, due to the lack of Progressive Hydraulic Cushions in the Peugeot's suspension, but by the same token the 2008 petrol is never crashy or uncomfortable. It rides with genial good grace and controls its body well too, especially over lumps and bumps, or if you ask it to go over some speed humps. Good visibility out in all directions and that high seating position only add to its ease-of-use in its preferred semi-urban driving environment. In short, then, what we're saying is we liked a lot of things about the way the 2008 drives, and we... can't think of anything we particularly dislike, which is even more commendable.

Value

In a world where new-car prices often look daft, the non-electric 2008s seem to be very keenly priced by Peugeot. There are four specifications available for the facelifted UK 2008 range, but the highest of these - the First Edition - is reserved exclusively for the electric E-2008. That leaves base Active, mid-grade Allure and flagship GT specification for the PureTech, with the only engine offered at Active level being the 101hp manual. So, in turn, that means if you want the 131hp drivetrain, then your choices are simply Allure or GT... and, further still, if you want the manual transmission then that's only available at Allure. For the 131hp PureTech GT, it's the EAT8 or nothing.

The Active 101hp car starts at 24,170, with the Allure 131hp model with the manual 'box commanding at least 27,370. Adding an automatic transmission there will inflate the ticket to 28,970 - yes, that means the EAT8 is a 1,600 option - and then the base asking price for a GT 131hp is 31,170. That looks pretty chunky, until you realise the E-2008 starts from 36,500 as an Active and rises all the way to 41,750 as a First Edition. Yikes.

Every updated Peugeot 2008 comes with a lengthy list of active and passive safety systems, as well as cruise control, a speed limiter, push-button start, rear parking sensors, a 10-inch infotainment system with wireless smartphone mirroring, automatic lights and wipers, and automatic climate control too. The Active has 16-inch Silom alloys and LED lights all round - albeit only eco-LEDs for the headlights - but it doesn't have the full digital instrument cluster, instead making do with a small 3.5-inch display sandwiched between a pair of analogue dials. The Allure adds that digital pod, however, as well as 17-inch Karakoys, the body-coloured front grille, the full i-Connect infotainment bundle, front parking sensors, a two-stage modular boot floor and sundry gloss-black exterior details. Going for a GT sees the roof painted Black Diamond, while you will also enjoy a wireless charging pad for your phone, a 180-degree reversing camera, keyless entry and go, a glitzier 3D configurable version of the head-up instrument panel, full LED headlights with smart-beam assist, dynamic bucket-like front seats, lots of green stitching details in the cabin, and eight-colour customisable ambient lighting.

Verdict

No major changes for the Peugeot 2008 1.2 PureTech, then, as part of the midlife revisions, but this was probably the model in the line-up which can get away with keeping the same technical specification with no great detriment to its overall appeal. What you have here is a reasonably good value compact crossover, with a great (for this class) chassis, smart and now sharpened looks, a really impressive cabin, and a competent, appealing drivetrain. Quite a combination, we're sure you'd agree.



Matt Robinson - 27 Sep 2023



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2024 Peugeot 2008. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot 2008. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot 2008. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot 2008. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot 2008. Image by Peugeot.

2024 Peugeot 2008. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot 2008. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot 2008. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot 2008. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot 2008. Image by Peugeot.








 

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