After learning to drive in a Peugeot 106 more than a decade ago, Andy Goodwin is really enjoying his time being back behind the wheel of a Pug again.
The 2008 is off to a flying start as it’s more practical than the Juke, while still desirable in its appearance. Our car has pearlescent white paint and smart 17-inch alloy wheels, and it’s a stunning combination, which helps the 2008 stand out on the road. And, before you accuse Diesel Car journalists of liking the finer things in life, its top Feline trim level is proving extremely popular (along with Allure), so our ‘Pug’ is representative of so many 2008s out in the wild. It also means I’m already busy testing out all the gadgets to decide which are essential and which option boxes you can leave empty if you are thinking of buying your own 2008. Our car also has roof bars and two cycle carriers fitted, which are from the official Peugeot accessories catalogue.
Peugeot is making a real effort to push its cars upmarket these days, and I was hugely impressed sitting in the 2008 for the first time. Its piano-black dashboard feels close to Germanic standards of build quality, and it’s a million miles from the Peugeot 106 I used to whizz around in years ago. I love details like the 2008’s blue LED ambient lighting around the raised driving instruments and flanking the panoramic sunroof. I was less impressed with the touch-screen infotainment system, which looks great, but is unnecessarily complicated to use. I pride myself on being a gadget lover and often feel like my family’s unofficial tech support guru, so needing the manual to save a radio station to memory left me bemused. I think I’m getting to grips with it now, but more on that in a future update.
You may also have heard about the Peugeot 2008’s small steering wheel, which was first seen in the 208 and now features in the Golf-rivalling 308 hatchback as well. Peugeot is billing it as revolutionary (pun intended), giving its cars a more agile helm. I think it’s a pretty cool feature too, but also one which shows the value of long term test cars. At a launch event, it’s great fun to grab the go-kart wheel as you scythe through B-road bends. At the hairpin entrance to my local Sainsbury’s it can make winding lock on and off a little bit jerky, though.
While I was growing up my sister had a 205 XLD and then a 306 D Turbo special edition. They were hugely popular cars of the day, and one thing which still sticks clearly in my mind, was how well-regarded Peugeot diesel engines used to be. The likes of BMW and Volkswagen may be considered leaders of the pack now, but the PSA group’s 1.6-litre e-HDi feels like an impressive unit. Pulling up the narrow hill out of my cul-de-sac, the Peugeot is happy in second gear, where the cold 1.6-litre diesel in my recently-departed Rapid would often bog down. This is partly the result of the 2008’s gearing, which feels less stratospheric than the Rapid, despite both having five-speeds.
Since the 2008, arrived, the fuel economy is averaging 52.2mpg, which is a promising figure, particularly as the car is barely run-in and has a roof rack fitted. I’ll try driving with it off the car in a future update to see how much affect the cycle carriers have on the fuel economy.
One of the best Peugeot cabins so far. Attractive materials and neat touches give it an upmarket feel.
There’s nothing wrong with the way the infotainment system looks, but it seems fiddly to get to grips with on the move.
|Date arrived:||3rd March2014|
|Mileage to date:||2,708 miles|
|Fuel consumption:||70.6mpg (official combined)
52.2mpg (on test)