The reincarnation of the king
It's pretty rare to see a vehicle radically change in terms of its style, yet that is precisely what Peugeot has done with the 2nd-generation 2008. A larger, raised version of the 208, the Sochaux-made SUV has got its claws out, is baring its teeth and is ready to firmly establish itself in the urban SUV market.
Launched in early 2020 in the wake of the sensation caused by the 208, the 2008 certainly has nothing to be ashamed of where its little sister is concerned. Indeed, both models have a lot in common, such as their chassis and their illuminated front and rear signage. There are a number of subtle differences inside, too, including the i-cockpit system, which provides the driver with 3D driving information, the so-called ‘piano buttons’ on the dashboard, the small and very easy-to-handle steering wheel and the 10" HD capacitative touch screen offering various functions.
Interior design and comfort
The 2008 has certainly changed a lot in relation to the previous generation, the old model with its gentle curves having given way to a more square design incorporating 90° vertical lines that make the vehicle more dynamic, thanks notably to its rather imposing front grille.
The 2008 has greater depth of design and is more angular, and the designers have taken advantage of this to play around with the lines, notably on the bonnet but especially on the front and rear flanks, revealing a series of triangular forms. This stamp of personality is found on the DS3 Crossback, which also features original lines on the doors, giving the Peugeot 2008 an air of the DS about it.
The 2008 is also 15cm longer than its predecessor, and nowhere is this increase more evident than in the rear seats. While the increased space is certainly welcome, there are, nevertheless, a few finishing touches missing where passengers are concerned.
Apart from the two USB sockets, which are optional, it really doesn’t offer much at all — no handles to hold on to and, more importantly, no form of air-conditioning! This lack of features may well be enough to make the customer think twice before purchasing the car, bearing in mind that this type of vehicle is used for long journeys, during both the summer and winter months. So is the Peugeot 2008 really a good option for holidays?
Engine and driver comfort
The 3-cylinder 130hp petrol engine, combined with 230Nm of torque in a 6-speed manual gearbox, is identical to the 208 GT Line (see Autotouring no2/2020), which we test drove previously, but feels altogether quite different. Its imposing morphology makes the 2008 somewhat heavier, preventing the car from being quite as playful, whilst the sensitivity of the steering system is also different; indeed, while the 208’s steering system was electronic, the 2008's is more ‘old-school’. This sporty dimension isn't necessarily what you might be looking for in an urban SUV, of course, with comfort generally featuring higher on the list of priorities than how the car drives, but feelings are even divided when it comes to comfort. The shock absorbers effectively absorb any bumps in the road, whilst the steering wheel is comfortably positioned with a high console that puts the gear level at a good height. The seats, however, are rather large, which could cause some passengers to slide inwards and have to reposition themselves regularly.
The 2nd-generation Peugeot 2008 has a sophisticated look to it and is larger, with an increased boot capacity of 434 litres, but in terms of comfort, some of its competitors are certainly offering more for less. That said, it should be noted that the 2008 is likely to appeal to the traditional customer who would have purchased its big brother, the 3008, and that the 2008 could, in future, become Peugeot's flagship SUV.