Currently in the market for a Small SUV of my own and having seen a lot of the Peugeot 2008 around the CarAdvice office, I took the opportunity to grab the Peugeot for the Easter long weekend.
It wasn’t a car originally on the consideration set and even though a European brand was preferable, Peugeot wasn’t one that immediately came to mind.
Sitting in the garage the 2008 definitely stands out from the crowd (in a good way, not the traditional French quirky way). Bold curves, nice ride height and subtle accents such as the matching chrome mirrors, grille and roof rails all add to the car’s classy looks.
Rushing out of the office with a full five days off over the long weekend, it wasn’t until waiting for my wife to finish work that I fully appreciated the Peugeot’s interior.
It comes filled with all the gadgets and infotainment bits and pieces you need and then some: Bluetooth streaming, a handy reversing camera system (which is slightly necessary due to the rear window’s diminished visibility), simple navigation system and easy-to-operate touch screen system.
However, it’s the layout, soft interior plastics and textured finishes that for me make the interior. Perhaps the only criticism of the interior (given it only costs $29,990) is the choice of fabric on the ‘moon roof’ covering, which appears cheap.
Driving in and around the CBD, the car did as expected and was comfortable to boot. Having a slightly bigger car than normal for the weekend, we had decided to be the designated driver for the family gathering on Easter Sunday.
We had a relatively large gathering for Easter, which presented the opportunity to pack the car and go for a long drive to the outer suburbs of Sydney for a thorough test.
With everyone gathered around we threw the gifts, food and drinks in the boot and we were amazed at how much space remained. Five people had put enough food in there to get through a nuclear fallout and we still could’ve fit luggage for a European trip away. Having a bigger boot is one of the benefits of the Peugeot 2008 compared to its rivals, such as the dimensionally larger but smaller-booted Holden Trax.
Unfortunately it wasn’t all smooth sailing. When we tried to get everyone in the car, the problems began. From the outside looking in and even from the driver’s and front passenger’s seat the second row looks like a spacious area.
However the rear seats become very crowded, very quickly. Legroom is adequate but given the very ‘compact’ nature of this compact SUV, there just isn’t enough room between the two doors for the two ladies and one child we had in the back.
The middle seat is raised and while that might be useful for a kid’s seat it was a hindrance in this case. The second row is best used for kids or, if it’s adult-occupied, perhaps only for quick trips.
I drove on despite the complaints from the back. The magnificent view through the roof and the interior seemed to deflect their discomfort somewhat as the kilometres stacked up.
Being a long weekend, the men in blue were enforcing the draconian speed limits with double demerit force that led to a good test of the Peugeot 2008’s cruise control. After much bumbling about I managed to find the cruise control activation switch hidden away next to the overly large park brake. An odd place to hide it, I would have thought.
Driving at a slightly brisker speed, and with the many speed limit changes, I encountered another problem: the gearbox. Although not limited by power by any means (when it manages to find an appropriate gear, it does actually have some go) the four-speed automatic holds back the potential for this car no end.
Over-revving sometimes, yet lagging at others, and occasionally downshifting for no apparent reason, it affects this car’s overall refinement and as the journey continued it became more noticeable and frustrating.
It is unfortunate because it is a major flaw in what is otherwise a near perfect car in its class.
Arriving at our destination, I was surprised at the welcoming committee. People were taken aback by the car’s looks and wanted to know what I’d arrived in.
I left the Peugeot open as if it was for sale, and it quickly had people gazing on, over or in it. Once I mentioned the $30K price, people demanded I drive them around in it. It couldn’t be right. There must be something wrong.
I have a number of friends all in a similar situation to myself; married and planning for kid’s “soon-ish”, all in the market for a small SUV for their significant other. Suddenly I became a car salesman.
I drove them around, took them through the features and the problems I’d encountered, although the gearbox didn’t seem to be an issue for any of them. One was a city driver and this was going to be used as the “run-about”, the other would “just buy the manual”.
I was stunned … an hour in and these people had made up their minds. They loved this car. They adored the look, the interior was so modern and the price seemed to seal the deal.
Fast forward two weeks and both couples have made arrangements to purchase a new Peugeot 2008. Personally, I can’t get past the four-speed gearbox. Beyond that and at the price listed, it’s very, very hard to fault. Peugeot on behalf of my wife, please update the gearbox so she can have a new car for Christmas.
Peugeot 2008 Allure
- Date acquired: January 2014
- Odometer reading: 2429km
- Travel this month: 863km
- Consumption this month: 9.6L/100km