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In-depth reviews

Peugeot 2008 SUV - Engines, drive & performance

Peugeot's 1.2-litre PureTech engine is smooth and powerful

Carbuyer Rating

4.1 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.0 out of 5

Most buyers won't expect their small SUV crossover to be really great to drive, but an experience on par with a well-sorted hatchback is appealing, and the 2008 delivers on this front. There are no nasty surprises in corners, it's precise and there's plenty of grip on offer. As with most small, supermini-based SUVs, the 2008 is front-wheel drive only, but Peugeot can add a system called Advanced Grip Control with Sand, Mud and Snow settings to help improve traction in slippery conditions. It can also help control the 2008's speed down steep slopes using Hill Descent Control.

Peugeot 2008 petrol engines

Depending on your budget and needs, Peugeot will sell you a 1.2-litre petrol 2008 with either 99bhp or 128bhp. Every 2008 is front-wheel drive, and while the entry-level version is offered with a six-speed manual only, the mid-range petrol is also available with an eight-speed automatic that's standard for the top engine.

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All three are excellent, offering smooth power and decent refinement, although it can get slightly louder at higher revs. If you go for the base 99bhp petrol engine, performance is decent enough, with 0-62mph covered in 12.2 seconds.

We've tried both the 99bhp and 128bhp versions, and found the latter to be our pick of the range, offering the right balance of performance for most drivers. The six-speed manual gearbox is also an improvement over that used in older models. The automatic gearbox in the 128bhp version is also great to use, offering a particularly smooth drive, though the manual is slightly quicker. The manual 128bhp model will do 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds, while this takes 9.1 seconds in the automatic, so the difference won’t be particularly noticeable for most drivers.

Diesel engines

With 109bhp, the long-discontinued 1.5-litre diesel offered in early pre-facelift cars has middling performance but possesses more grunt than all but the electric model, which comes in handy on the motorway. It came fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox and was one of the slower engines available in the 2008, taking 10.5 seconds to get from 0-62mph and topping out at 112mph. If you’re set on buying a diesel, your only option is to buy a second-hand 2008, with this version unlikely to return.

Electric motor

The all-electric E-2008 has 154bhp and near-instant torque, making for lively performance of 0-62mph in 9.1 seconds, which is more than sufficient for urban driving. It's heavier, though - you can read more about how the extra 300kg affects its handling in our in-depth Peugeot e-2008 review.

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Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech Active 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £24,150

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech Active 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £24,150

Fastest

  • Name
    1.2 Hybrid 136 Active 5dr e-DSC6
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £27,760

Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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