Some people don’t want a big family car. They don’t need a seven-seater SUV. They want something that fits into their lifestyle - maybe they live in the city, in a hip close-enough suburb, or they have limited parking space at their apartment block.
I have heaps of friends who fit into this category, and almost all of them have asked me which small SUV could be right for them. Invariably there are young kids who are part of their “what car should I buy?” questionnaire, and often the budget is pretty tight. Rent or mortgage payments typically take a high proportion of their income.
And if you’re one of those people, but maybe you can spare a little bit more money for your next compact crossover, then the Peugeot 2008 could be the perfect car for you. This one is the mid-spec version, the GT.
It’s a small - like, really small - SUV, with some spectacularly good interior space utilisation. Consider it a bit more of a premium alternative to the Skoda Kamiq, Hyundai Venue and VW T-Cross.
There’s a lot to like about it, and this review should help you figure out if it’s right for you.
It looks a little bit like a French Bulldog, I reckon. There’s a bit of an ugly cuteness to it, with aggressive lines and a pugnacious snout, lovely crisp lighting and, in this car’s case, a beautiful vivid blue paint hue.
I’m a big fan of the way the “3-Claw Full LED Headlights” shred down into the bumper, and in this GT spec version you get a pair of foglights integrated into the bumper, too. Over the base model Allure below, this grade also gets a contrasting black roof finish, rear privacy tinted glass, gloss black door mirrors, and the chequered grille finish.
The claw-look spans to the back, with those three-blade rear LED lights cutting a fine figure at night or in the day. This is a really handsome little SUV, if you ask me.
It looks a little bit like a French Bulldog, I reckon. (image: Matt Campbell)
Oddly, though, the GT grade retains the same 17-inch alloys you get on the Allure, which are wrapped in less-than-excellent Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport (215/60/17). The GT Sport top-spec model has bigger 18-inch wheels and better Michelin tyres.
The real trick is the Peugeot 2008’s dimensions. It spans just 4300mm long (on a 2605mm wheelbase), 1770mm wide and 1550mm tall. That makes it one of the smaller SUVs on the market.
The good news is that the interior is just as design-focused as the exterior, with plenty of amazing finishes and flourishes. The i-Cockpit driver setup - with a tiny steering wheel that you’re supposed to look over the top of, rather than through - might not be to all tastes (it’s a regular bone of contention in the CarsGuide offices), but I happen to like it.
What I’m not such a fan of is the chrome surround on the media screen, which glints at you in certain sunlight - so much so that I found myself shielding my eyes from the glare while driving!
The interior is just as design-focused as the exterior. (image: Matt Campbell)
The diminutive steering wheel actually helps make the Peugeot 2008 feel nippy, zippy and agile. It’s like driving on an old-school Playstation steering wheel, because you’re looking over the top of it, while the wheel is down in your lap.
The punchy little 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine (with 96kW and 230Nm) also has a bit to do with the fun-factor on offer, as it’s a grunty little grumbler of a thing, with heaps of push from a standstill and easily enough torque to overtake and make quick moves when you need to. There’s no struggling up hills or fussing about with lag, here.
The 0-100km/h time is a claimed 9.3 seconds, so it’s hardly a firecracker, but it’s not a fizzer either. It weighs just 1287kg (kerb weight), too.
It’s likely to be an urban car first and foremost, and that’s where it shines brightest. (image: Matt Campbell)
The six-speed automatic gearbox is a good transmission. It is quick, shifts smartly, and doesn’t require any more thought than “push the pedal and go”, unlike some other compact models out there with more complex dual-clutch automatic transmissions that almost require you to re-sit a driving exam to figure out how to drive them smoothly. Shame this spec doesn’t have paddle-shifters, though.
The suspension is mostly great at urban speeds, dealing with big and small bumps pretty well at urban speeds. However, the short wheelbase, light weight and soft springs and dampers can make it feel a bit wobbly and lumpy on the open road, and at higher speeds on country back tracks it isn’t as confident as you might like.
That said, it’s likely to be an urban car first and foremost, and that’s where it shines brightest.
The punchy little 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine has a bit to do with the fun-factor on offer. (image: Matt Campbell)
You’d be amazed just how roomy this little thing is.
I fit our daughter’s rearward-facing child-seat in the second row behind the passenger seat. It’s a bigger-than-some Nuna Klik capsule, which has made for some pretty uncomfortable front-seat experiences in other cars.
But in the Peugeot 2008, which has a very nicely scalloped glovebox area, that wasn’t a problem. Genuinely - I can sit in front of the seat when it’s fitted, and despite being 182cm/6’0” tall, still have knee room to swivel as required. Our last long-term loan car, the Skoda Octavia RS wagon (which stretches about 40cm longer than this little Pug), couldn’t boast that.
You’d be amazed just how roomy this little thing is. (image: Matt Campbell)
Our family of three (humans, that is, the dogs weren’t invited on our trips with this car) fit in here just fine, though it will be even more spacious - and arguably a better family-fit option - if your kids are in boosters and don’t need a pram. The pictures you’ll see here show just how much a pram eats into the boot space, with 434 litres (all capacity figures are VDA) of cargo space (with the false floor lowered and up to the windowline), and you can fit a pram and some extra bag but don’t go planning any weeks away if your child is still stroller-dependant. The space is 545L to the ceiling if you have the floor lowered, Peugeot claims.
That false floor means you can either have a load-in that’s level with the tailgate, or a big dip into a well-like cargo zone if you drop the floor down. Under there is a space-saver spare wheel, too. And if you aren’t carting kids but instead need to do an IKEA run, there is up to 1467L of cargo space available, if you fold down the rear seats and load it up to the ceiling (or 1015L up to the windows).
Even though it’s a small SUV with not much air-space in the cabin to cool down, there are no rear air-vents at all, meaning putting your little one/s or your dogs in the back on a warm day could be uncomfortable.
I fit our daughter’s rearward-facing child-seat in the second row behind the passenger seat. (image: Matt Campbell)
And if you prefer to shade those in the back with even more than just the window tint, there are a set of optional sunblinds made specifically for this car ($129). Those would definitely be on my shopping list, and the accessories range is actually rather extensive, with roof racks, roof box options, bike carrier systems and more.
So, you can fit a family and their stuff in here, but likely not a family of four or five. And definitely not a family of larger people or adults, because the space in the second row isn’t overly accommodating. There are no rear air-vents, either.
Sure, I can fit behind my own driving position for knee-room, which is good, but the head room and shoulder space is limited. The roof lining at the doors eats into head-space, and I found myself having to lean into the centre… further highlighting that three occupants across might be too much of a squeeze, unless they’re all short.
The space is 545L to the ceiling if you have the floor lowered. (image: Matt Campbell)
That false floor means you can either have a load-in that’s level with the tailgate, or a big dip into a well-like cargo zone if you drop the floor down. (image: Matt Campbell)
You can see here just how much a pram eats into the boot space. (image: Matt Campbell)
Also, if you have big feet (guilty - US12!) you might find that ingress and egress from the back seat is hampered by the large sills at the bottoms of the doorways. You might even occasionally trip over the front sills, too. Again - guilty.
Storage is okay, but not great. The back has mesh map pockets (on plastic-backed front seats - good for stopping kids from kicking you in the back) and there are door pockets that can just fit a bottle, but you don’t get any cup holders. There are two USB ports in the back, however.
Up front there are decent cupholders between the seats, a good sized storage trench in front of the shifter, a closeable shelf above that which also houses a wireless phone charger (with nearby USB and USB-C ports), and there’s a reasonable centre console bin with a soft cover, and door pockets big enough for large bottles.
One of the my favourite things about the 2008 (and all Peugeots) is their proximity unlocking function. You don’t even need to touch the door or press a button on the handle - the car will unlock all the doors and the boot as soon as you’re within about a metre of it. This makes loading a pram in the boot, a baby in the back, or yourself in the front, so much simpler and quicker.
What isn’t as likeable is the reversing camera, which has one of the most pixelated displays on the market. Also, there is a 270-degree surround-view camera setup, but it doesn’t work unless you reverse backwards and the gaps fill up behind you. It is, frankly, not worth having.
At least there are front and rear parking sensors, though weirdly this grade doesn’t have adaptive cruise control. You need to get the top-spec GT Sport for that.
The reversing camera has one of the most pixelated displays on the market. (image: Matt Campbell)
The 2008 has a decent complement of safety equipment and technology as standard across the range, and all models have a five-star ANCAP safety rating from 2019 testing by EuroNCAP.
The 2008 GT (and Allure) comes with an auto emergency braking (AEB) system with pedestrian and cyclist detection, but it isn’t operational in the dark, because unlike the top-spec GT Sport, there is no radar system as part of it. That also means the lower grades don’t get adaptive cruise control, which is a bizarre omission for a brand with premium aspirations like Peugeot.
The 2008 has a decent complement of safety equipment and technology as standard across the range. (image: Matt Campbell)
All 2008 models have lane departure warning with lane keeping that can steer the car back into its lane if it breaches the road line markings at speeds over 65km/h, plus there’s speed sign recognition, driver fatigue monitoring, and auto high-beam lights.
Missing from all 2008 models is rear cross-traffic alert and rear AEB, not to mention a proper 360-degree surround view camera.
The media screen and the controls are likely to be the biggest pain for you. The screen itself is fine - in the GT and GT Sport models it’s a 10.0-inch touchscreen with sat nav, while the base Allure gets a small 7.0-inch screen without nav - and there is standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring and plenty of other features.
But the controls for it - and the functions that run through it - aren’t as easy as they could be.
The media screen and the controls are likely to be the biggest pain for you. (image: Matt Campbell)
For instance, you have to use the trigger buttons below it to jump between the menus, and the major climate controls are run through the screen (which is a pet peeve of mine). There are controls that sit to the side of the “CarPlay homescreen” when your phone is connected, but it’s not as easy to jump into the air-con menu and then jump back to the phone screen - it takes a few button presses.
After a week of living with the car, I still haven’t really gotten comfortable with the way the system works. Sure, if you are happy with the temp and fan controls being set to the same thing everytime, then you’re less likely to have an issue. But families with young kids getting into a hot car on a summer day will understand just how important interior temperature management can be.
You have to use the trigger buttons below the screen to jump between the menus. (image: Matt Campbell)
The list price for the Peugeot 2008 GT tested here is $43,990 (MSRP - plus on-road costs). The car we had included optional paint (Vertigo Blue, $1050) and the Luxury Pack (with full-grain Nappa leather seats, driver’s seat massage function, heated front seats, and a panoramic sunroof, $3990). That makes for a price of $49,030 before on-roads, but the Peugeot pricing calculator stated $50,339 drive-away at the time of writing.
That’s a heck of a lot of money for a small SUV, and could be enough for you to consider whether maybe an Audi Q2, BMW X2, Lexus UX or Mini Countryman might be a more suitable option.
However, if you are won over by the car (it’s easy to see why), the brand backs it with a five-year/unlimited km warranty, with the same cover for roadside assistance. The brand has a capped-price servicing plan for up to nine years, with servicing intervals of 12 months/15,000km. The average price for the first five years/75,000km is $447 per visit.
The list price for the Peugeot 2008 GT tested here is $43,990. (image: Matt Campbell)
If you’ve heard stories about Peugeot reliability problems, make sure you check out our Peugeot problems page. There aren’t many recent entries, if that puts your mind at ease!
What about running costs? The claimed official combined fuel use figure is 6.5 litres per 100 kilometres, which isn’t too bad for a small SUV. In my testing, I saw an at-the-pump return of 7.0L/100km across a mix of driving, which I think is respectable. Also respectable was the dashboard readout, which said I was using 6.9L/100km.
Worth noting you need to fill it with 95RON premium unleaded at a minimum, and the tank is just 44 litres, meaning the driving range might not be massive.
As an entertaining and engaging alternative to some of the other, more mainstream mini SUVs out there, the Peugeot 2008 is a pretty nice option, and for the right family, it could well be the right small SUV - either as a main car, or as a second urban runaround.
It isn’t going to be for every family, but for those it fits, it’ll make a fun addition. If you’ve got two kids, or maybe you just need more space, there are 3008 and 5008 models that will fill those needs.
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication. Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.