It looks smart and stylish both inside and out, making it quite the desirable car to be seen driving.
For Malaysia, the second-generation 2008 is now locally assembled and its distribution has been rejigged ever since Stellantis decided to take a more hands-on approach.
The changes have seen Bermaz Auto Alliance taking over distribution from the Naza Group, while Stellantis is in charge of assembly after having acquired the Naza plant in Gurun, Kedah, which is the hub for regional export. The 3008 and 5008 are also produced there.
With local assembly under way, the 2008, only available in the Allure trim, is priced more competitively in a crowded segment filled by the likes of Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-3, Renault Captur and Proton X50.
Peugeot is quick to point out that the 2008 has been acclimatised to local conditions, having run it through 200,000km of testing in Malaysia.
Featuring a sporty demeanour, the 2008’s front end looks menacing with LED claws as daytime running lights that extend into the bumpers as single fanged lights to confer a sabre-toothed look that’s distinctive and brand specific.
Together with the grille that comprises assorted chrome bits overlaid over one another, the face succeeds in giving the 2008 an overall appearance that’s sophisticated and aggressive.
In profile, short front and rear overhangs give the SUV a sporty stance. An upper crease that forked out at both ends complements a lower chrome bar and contrast-coloured side mirrors to inject dynamism to sheetmetal. While the two-tone 17-inch alloys are attractive, they are smallish and result in large wheel gaps.
The sides lead to a curvy derriere that is no less appealing, echoing the 3-claw signature effect in the slim taillights paired with a beefy bumper.
The interior looks avantgarde anchored by Peugeot’s i-Cockpit that is equipped with a 7-inch infotainment screen, a 10-inch digital instrument cluster and a small steering wheel that looks about right in a compact SUV.
Information is presented in the driver’s line of sight and the 3D instrument cluster projects a hologram-like display that are dynamic and animated.
Interior features include single-zone auto climate control, leatherette seats and Drive Mode selector (Normal, Eco and Sport mode) and mood lighting.
The 2.6-metre wheelbase is enough to fit five people in relative comfort though the good legroom in the rear comes at the expense of less thigh support.
At 405 litres, there’s usable boot space that can be enlarged further with rear seats that fold 60:40.
Mind the cons
However, the 2008 shows signs of building to a price. There are no paddle shifters, no rear air-cond vents and no sunroof. In addition, front seats are manually operated and so is the tailgate.
It’s a constant grouse that the glove box is so tiny because of an intrusive fusebox as Peugeot has never gone full hog to do a proper right-hand drive conversion for the few RHD markets that it serves.
The bonnet lock could also be a source of irritation and reflects on build quality. Our 2008 and another test unit — gasp! — had a jammed lock that refused to shut the bonnet tight and only after some amount of jiggling the cable and locking mechanism would it do its job.
So open the bonnet and slam it shut multiple times to check if there’s a problem — even if you do get a strange look from the Peugeot salesman.
Safety-wise, the 2008 comes with a 180° rear view camera, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Driver Attention Assist, Blind Spot Monitoring, Electronic Stability Programme and Active Safety Brake aka autonomous emergency braking.
Out and about
A 1.2-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged PureTech petrol engine powers the 2008, and is good for 130hp and 230Nm of torque. A six-speed automatic relays power to the front wheels.
For the most part, driving the 2008 is a brisk affair.
It’s a slow starter, but once “in the zone” when peak torque wells up early at 1,750rpm, the SUV is thrust forward at a rapid clip.
The 2008 is up to the task when ascending a hilly road; it should be able to do the Genting climb without huffing and puffing for dear life. And the driver will definitely enjoy it.
Corners are tackled confidently, aided by a precise steering and rigid chassis that smooth out the maneouvre.
In city driving, the 2008 is an amiable and quiet runabout, with a light steering feel that’s right for the occasion.
However, the 2008 can get a little twitchy when ploughing over rutted surfaces, and this may be due to a very firm ride that has a torsion beam holding up the rear end.
Cabin insulation is good up until the 2008 hits triple digit speeds and wind noise starts to seep in.
There’s a lot to like about the 2008. It has style and elegance in spades.
If you can get past the tiny glove box, and other foibles mentioned earlier, the 2008 and its RM127K price tag makes it an attractive alternative compact SUV that stands out from the crowd.
Peugeot 2008 Allure
Engine: 1,199cc, PureTech, turbo, 3-inline cylinders, DOHC, 12 valves, Dual VVT
Maximum power: 130hp at 5,500rpm
Maximum torque: 230Nm at 1,750rpm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Features: LED headlights, rear combination taillights, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry, 10-inch digital instrument cluster, 7-inch centre touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto-ready, 3 drive modes, single-zone automatic climate control, leatherette seats with 60:40 split rear seats, manually-adjusted front seats, reverse camera, six airbags, Electronic Stability Programme, Hill Start Assist, Isofix points, High Beam Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Active Safety Brake
Suspension: Front MacPherson struts; rear torsion beam
Top speed: 199kph
Fuel consumption (combined): 4.5 l/100km (NEDC)
Boot capacity: 405 litres
Price: RM126,753 (OTR without insurance)