We test the 2017 Peugeot 2008 SUV Diesel
When a new car arrives in my driveway, the first 50 to 100 kilometres are usually set aside to acclimatise to the car and get comfortable. Once those boxes are ticked, I head to my favourite set of twisty roads, so I can gauge the dynamism and go on to pontificate how good the chassis is, and the grip. I’ll throw around words like understeer and oversteer and then we’ll talk about the boring stuff, like fuel economy. But Peugeot 2008 is different. The diesel engine runs out of steam too soon, although the chassis is good, like modern chassis tend to be, but one gets the feeling that the car doesn’t like going fast. Kind of like taking a date to watch the racing, when you get the distinct impression that she (or he) clearly doesn’t want to be there.
But then how can a car like this be fun? Well, it starts with the claimed consumption of 4.0 litres per hundred. After my first 50km of rapid driving the Peugeot still somehow managed to get a respectable figure of 6.0l/100. It was then that I decided to get serious and chase the elusive 4.0 mark. It starts with restraint. Easing on the throttle when leaving traffic lights, no unnecessary RPMS, no sudden movements. All routes needs to be planned way in advance and when a traffic light looms, be ready to gently glide through just as it turns green. FUN! The Peugeot 2008 diesel made driving slowly an adventure, the display on the dash showing current usage, while the updated, but still similar 18cm screen showed the overall usage.
Upon delivery of the 2008, I called my uncle, who is a huge Peugeot fan. Fred owns the 2014 2008 (this is going to get confusing) and proudly states that this is the best car he’s ever owned. A tad biased, as Fred has owned Peugeots since before the company left South Africa amidst the turmoil of the 80’s. When the French carmaker returned, Fred Williams looked no further than their dealerships to renew his long lost relationship with Peugeot.
He loves the interior of the new 2008, which, to be honest, hasn’t changed much between 2014 and now. The only real noticeable difference we could find inside was the 18cm screen, which now has smart phone support via CarPlay and MirrorLink, and, on the outside, the bumper, grill and some body detailing. Other than that the changes to the 2017 2008, are subtle and hardly noticeable, even to an existing 2008 owner.
The steering wheel is still comically small, and the switchgear is exactly where the old model had left it. The only complaint Uncle Fred has about his petrol 2008, is the 8 litres per hundred he gets while driving around in his near perfect car which the 68kW diesel solves with just a sip of diesel required every few kilometres. The stop/start on the 2017 version isn’t the smoothest around though but one does get all the benefits of that torquey diesel engine and just a whisper of the typical diesel rattles and noises.
The Allure model, which retails for R299 900 comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, part-leather upholstery, automatic bi-zone climate control, automatic head lights and windscreen wipers, folding rear-view mirrors and tinted rear windows. For R274 900 you can get the lower specced Active version.
With this mid-life revision being just that, a cosmetic enhancement with some upgrades, the Peugeot 2008 remains much the same with the diesel still being the pick of the bunch. The interior is typically Peugeot, different, but if this is your kind of car, the diesel’s fuel economy is its winning trait.
In the end I managed a respectable 4.2l/100 combined cycle. Fun can come in many different shapes and sizes, Peugeot 2008 proves it.
Peugeot Diesel range:
Active 1.6 HDi R274 900
Allure 1.6 HDi R299 900