Peugeot’s smallest crossover SUV is now in its second generation. Prioritizing style and flair above all else, the 2023 Peugeot 2008 caters to a different niche–someone who’s vehicle preferences are driven by aspirations and emotions rather than simply looking at the spec sheet. The 2008 is very French to the core, from how it looks to the amount of character it offers, but is that enough to sway buyers away from the Corolla Cross or Honda HR-V?
If styling were to be the sole metric in buying a new car, then the 2023 Peugeot 2008 hits a home run. This is one of those few small crossovers where it doesn’t have a bad angle or awkward proportions. Despite being Peugeot’s most affordable offering in the Philippines, this crossover SUV manages to have a lot of presence in a parking lot despite its diminutive dimensions. The sharp front end with its fang-like LED daytime running lights casts a distinct glow, while the sharp creases and triangular side character lines make the 2008 easy to spot in a sea of same-same crossover SUVs. Likewise, the sleek rear end with its blacked-out pillars and claw-like LED taillights give the 2008 plenty of poise.
Likewise, the interior is very stylish and yet highly functional. There are plenty of storage areas whilst making every corner look visually interesting thanks to the various shapes and textures. Hard plastics, however, dominate the interior, which is a bit of a downer considering that the Corolla Cross has more soft-touch materials. At least again, visually speaking, it’s very distinct and more than makes up for any material shortcomings. Blue ambient LED lighting also cast a relaxing glow to the interior, and it’s especially attractive when driving at night.
However, while the interior looks great and is versatile, I do have mixed feelings about its ergonomics. Whereas I had no issues with the Peugeot 5008’s digital instrumentation being blocked by the steering, this was more of an issue for me in the 2008. The steering here is a bit lower compared to my actual preference, just so it won’t block the gauges. Be sure to take a 2008 on a test drive first just so you could find out if its driving position will fit your preference.
Features and Infotainment
Speaking of those gauges, they’re a pretty interesting one. It’s what the brand calls their 3D i-Cockpit. Through the use of two screens and reflectors in various positions, the gauge cluster execution looks like as if it was some sort of three-dimensional hologram. It looks very cool in person and is also highly functional. Next to it is a 7-inch infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is okay to use if not the best. But as with most Peugeots, the climate controls are buried into the touch screen which I will never be a fan of.
Space and Practicality
As for those seated at the back, there’s a good amount of space to get comfortable in despite the 2008 being one of the shorter subcompact SUVs out there. It’s not as spacious as the Honda HR-V, but it’s good enough. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a lot of amenities, since you don’t even get a rear center armrest or even USB ports and rear aircon vents. Most of its key rivals, which are priced similarly or even less, have these amenities at the back.
Finally, cargo capacity for the 2023 Peugeot 2008 is quite good, though it doesn’t outshine the HR-V in terms of outright volume. With all seats in place, you are provided with 434 liters, and then folding those rear seats increase the space to 1,467 liters. Again, not the best, but it’s good enough for the segment.
Powering the 2023 Peugeot 2008 is a tiny 1.2-liter three-cylinder turbo gasoline engine that produces a healthy 130 hp at 5,500 rpm and 230 Nm of torque at 1,750 rpm. This engine feels very linear in terms of its power delivery, and apart from the shudder you may get from a cold start or when turning on the engine again just minutes after shutting it off, there aren’t a lot of vibrations entering through the cabin. It even sounds great, too, though if there’s a bit of a downside I have with this engine, it would be a bit of lag from let’s say when you’re applying around 10 percent throttle while crawling in the city or when driving off.
This is all sent to the front wheels via a smooth 6-speed automatic, which blends the gears really well and mostly remains in the background. Also remaining in the background are the outside noises. As with most European cars, refinement is top-notch, with the 2008 feeling like a much bigger car in terms of how well it suppresses road and wind noise despite the presence of a Thule Wingbar Evo roof rack. The chassis itself is very rigid and solid, and thus vibrations are quelled by the structure itself before it even reaches you. However, the ride of the Peugeot 2008 is jittery at low speeds, offering almost no absorption when dealing with small bumps and ruts. It’s the only thing spoiling the ambiance when driving this car in the city.
As you speed up, the 2008’s ride improves, and the suspension deals with bigger bumps much better. The upside to this is the 2008’s excellent stability at high speeds as well as its handling. The chassis is well tuned to deliver good levels of grip when this car is pushed, but this is not a sporty crossover SUV like a Mazda CX-30 is. This is mainly due to the light steering that, while it offers a degree of precision, doesn’t provide a lot of road feel to let you know what’s happening to the front wheels. With that, the 2023 Peugeot 2008 is more of a long-distance cruiser as opposed to a canyon carver.
Fuel economy is also a strong suit for the 2023 Peugeot 2008, achieving an astonishing 14 km/l under my hands. Combined with its bigger-than-average fuel tank size of 44 liters, this small crossover SUV is able to travel more than 700 kilometers without filling up–nearly as good as the Corolla Cross Hybrid in terms of range.
Lastly, the 2023 Peugeot 2008 also comes with a suite of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), such as automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, lane departure warning, and blind spot warning. While they may sound good, it does lack adaptive cruise control and rear cross traffic alert–stuff that even a base HR-V and Corolla Cross Hybrid offer as standard.
In terms of objective metrics, there are plenty of crossovers out there that cost less yet are able to nearly match or are even better in some aspects than the 2023 Peugeot 2008, but that’s not exactly the point of buying this car. As mentioned, it’s easy to be attracted to a car that offers much more in terms of what’s in the spec sheet, but what the 2008 offers can’t be found on a piece of paper. Instead, what the 2008 offers is loads of character and style–something that’s lacking for the longest time in the subcompact SUV segment.
However, priced at P1,750,000, the 2023 Peugeot 2008 is a very aspirational option instead of a pragmatic one. This crossover SUV certainly won’t be for everyone, but for those who look beyond the spec sheet in their cars, you’ll easily stand out (in a good and quirky way, of course) when you drive a French crossover like this alluring 2008.
Pricing and Rating
Exterior Design: ★★★★★
Interior Design: ★★★★☆
Space and Practicality: ★★★★☆
Safety and Driver Assistance: ★★★★☆
Fuel Efficiency: ★★★★★
Value For Money: ★★★★☆
Overall: 4.1 out of 5
*Pricing is correct and accurate as of this article’s time of writing.