Peugeot has been in the market for quite some time now. However, it hasn’t really made its presence felt, partly because of some Filipino buyers’ unfamiliarity with the brand. But if one sure thing has kept people from driving into Peugeot dealerships, it would be the pricing.
Not until recently, the most affordable Peugeot you could buy is the 3008. And at P2,090,000, that crossover was nowhere close to being affordable.
Last April, the carmaker launched the most affordable Peugeot yet. When I covered the virtual launch event for the car, I had mixed reactions about it. Sure, the car is stylish, and for a crossover with a lion badge up front, P1,550,000 makes it very much attainable.
And while looks can only take you so far, the bigger question is this: Does the 2008 have what it takes to compete in this very competitive segment? We got to answer that question when I daily-drove the new crossover for a week.
Styling is quintessentially French, being as stylish as it could get. I was smitten the very first time I saw it in the metal.
Though it shares most design elements with its bigger siblings, the 2008 has some distinct differences. For one, it lost its “whiskers” which the 3008 and the 5008 have. Another one is the noticeable gap between the headlamp cluster and the fang-inspired DRLs.
Still, the 2008’s front end is one of the best in this segment. And it was easy to tell with the number of glances I got while driving the vehicle.
The sides are unique, as diamond-like creases can be found on the front and rear fenders that extend to the doors. These make the rather simple sides more noticeable, and the gloss-black B-pillars give it a floating-roof illusion. Finally, those two-tone, 17-inch rims fill the wheel wells perfectly.
I envied those who were driving behind me as they had the crossover’s stylish rear end to look at while we were stuck in traffic. Wherever we went, it had people looking puzzled. Some weren’t able to resist asking me more about the car whenever I parked it.
Inside, the car is very different, yet very familiar. Most switches can be found where you expect them to be, but things work quite differently in some areas.
There are a number of styling cues that set this crossover apart. The i-Cockpit is one. The 3D gauges are very cool. They looked kind of weird at first, but I warmed up to them quite quickly.
The toggle switches have a nice click to them, but I really wish that the HVAC controls were there instead of being on the infotainment screen. Speaking of which, the Apple CarPlay– and Android Auto-capable system is one of the sweetest, non-branded stock radios I’ve tried.
While there’s a ton of hard plastics around the cabin, some soft-touch trims can be found here and there. The leather upholstery’s more on the hard-wearing type, but it’s nice to have it, especially at this price point.
The hexagonal tiller needs a little getting used to, but I got comfortable and loved every moment of touching it. The accent lights are a nice touch; I just wish that I could change the color. The back isn’t particularly roomy, but it isn’t cramped either. Given the 2008’s small dimensions, the cabin is actually surprisingly spacious.
But the best bit about the crossover is the way it drives. Sure, there’s a lot of road and wind noise at highway speeds, but the suspension is so well-tuned that there’s little to no body roll when you attack corners at speed.
Another trick up the 2008’s sleeve is its powertrain. The 1.2-liter three-pot engine may “only” produce 130hp, but the 230Nm of torque is very accessible. And thanks to the six-speed automatic transmission, all of that power is transferred to the front wheels smoothly. The acceleration is linear, and the shifts are quite snappy. Before you know it, you’ve already reached the speed limit.
The car, by the way, reads road signs and flashes the speed limit on the dash. It clawed its way up the hills of Bolinao, Pangasinan, with ease, leaving others eating its dust. Plus, that peppy powertrain is very fuel-efficient. With horrendous city traffic, I got around 9km/L. But when cruising the highway, I got up to 25km/L without even trying so hard. In fact, the 44L full tank managed 650km (true story).
The suite of standard safety systems made sure that I didn’t end up in a ditch. The proximity sensors though are a little too sensitive for my liking. But it helped me ensure to keep the beautiful bodywork scratch-free. If only the car had brake-hold control and adaptive cruise control.
I’m not all praises for the 2008. For one, the HVAC controls are on a menu in the infotainment display. One time, the system froze and I couldn’t adjust the temperature and the fan speed. This was solved after I turned the engine off for a while.
But the biggest issue is the rather optimistic fuel gauge and range computer. I ran out of fuel while the instrument cluster showed 30km of range left. Good thing I was able to pull over the curb safely. After refueling, the engine fired up and I was driving again in no time. While this may sound serious, I didn’t consider it a huge issue for it can be easily fixed with a software update.
Overall, the 2008 is a great crossover—perfect for those looking for a dependable, fuel-efficient daily-driver and fun-to-drive weekend getaway ride. I had a hard time wrapping my head around how a vehicle this good is priced so affordably.
You’ll fall in love with it for its strengths, and somehow hate it for its flaws. But this experience is a unique, quirky and fun one. And that makes your every peso worth it.
|Engine||1.2-liter three-cylinder turbo gasoline|
|Power||130hp @ 5,500rpm|
|Torque||230Nm @ 1,750rpm|
|Dimensions||4,300mm x 1,770mm x 1,550mm|
|Upside||Peppy engine, responsive transmission, and great driving dynamics.|
|Downside||The infotainment system and the trip computers need some fixing.|