Peugeot 2008 1.2 PureTech EAT8 GT 2021 Review : Two-Double-O-Quirky
Singapore - If automotive quirks attract you, then the French automotive manufacturers would probably be the people you would be looking for, when choosing a car. And the Peugeot 2008, the brand’s smallest SUV offering, would probably have heaps of quirks to attract you.
In a time when the SUV race is heating up, manufacturers have just about inserted an SUV offering to every car category they offer. Competition is strong, with the 2008 going up against the likes of its fellow French counterpart, the Renault Captur, and from other offerings like the Skoda Kamiq, Volkswagen T-Cross, and the refreshed Mazda CX-3.
Peugeot here has already given us reworked-upon-reworked versions of both their 3008 and 5008 - the latter being a 5+2 seater variant of the 3008. But while these are practical offerings, the 2008, is more suited for those who are perhaps a little less bothered by the importance of rear leg space, and are more keen on frills, frills and fancy frills.
The 2008’s styling sets itself apart from what perhaps David Khoo might describe as automotive beige, sporting an aggressive front end, complete with “claw scratches” as its DRL’s. There is also a historical nod, with the model badging placed on the edge of the bonnet. The rear lamp styling also follows the front end’s “claw scratch” theme, with three brake lighting elements on each side.
Adding some flair to this two-box design, are creases in the side sheet metal, a pair of faux chrome tail pipes, fender guards and a visually-lowering two-tone lick of paint.
The 2008’s interior has design cues which are carried over from its larger 3008 and 5008 siblings. The centre console is also draped in piano black plastic, where a banana-shaped shift-by-wire gear lever lives.
That design carry-over also means that you will also get an oddly shaped steering wheel, with the flat top and bottom. This, to me, does not do you any favours if you are trying to put the car through a series of corners accurately. The digitised instrument cluster is the fanciest in its class, as it is the first car in their range to receive the PEUGEOT 3D i-Cockpit, featuring a holographic floating speed display. As the French would have it, they would often raise eyebrows, and I mean it in this case quite literally. Somehow they have found a way to have the flat top-end of the steering wheel blocking the instrument panel, and you will often find yourself peering over to read your drive info.
Our GT variant is equipped with “lightweight” carbonfiber inlays and green double-stitching. The infotainment system is similar to the larger Peugeot cars too 3008, which is an easy to navigate interface. Thankfully, Peugeot seemed to have solved the issue of their infotainment hanging, which plagued the early production 3008 and 5008 cars. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on the car, and there is also a wireless mobile charger to keep your device juiced up. While there is a reverse camera which stitches a top down image of your surroundings to help you park easier, it is not the clearest, and I dislike how it switches to regular reverse view once you are near a wall, as you will need to reorientate yourself.
While I did mention that buyers here could be less bothered by lesser leg space, there is still ample room to accommodate four adults, and the squared-off door apertures make easy work of entering and exiting at the rear. Boot volume at 434 litres is functional, with few odd corners to get in the way. The cargo area is expandable to 1,467 litres by folding the 60:40 rear seats.
There is only one engine option, a 1.2 litre PureTech engine turbocharged three-cylinder, which produces 129hp and 230Nm; 129hp means that it just misses being labeled as a Category B COE vehicle. An 8-speed automatic does quite a fine job of putting the drive to the front wheels, and it switches up smoothly. While the on-paper performance does not seem at all quick, the 2008 does make its full 230Nm available early at 1,750rpm. While there is a good deal of shove from low to mid range, the engine does not like being revved hard.
Bring the small SUV up to cruising speed, and you will find that there is sufficient damping to soak up most mild bumpity bumps our local roads would try to introduce into the cabin. The seats too offer good support, and feel like they can carry your backside comfortably through the rigours of a North-South highway drive across our border. The rear suspension, a simple torsion setup, does act up on more uneven surfaces, but it is rather easy to feel where the rear of the car is going, making this a predictable drive.
While the 3008 and 5008 marked the return of the brand some years ago, a two trick lion would not have made much of a splash in a big pond.
PHOTOS Clifford Chow
Peugeot 2008 1.2 PureTech EAT8 GT (A)
Engine: 1,199cc, inline3, turbocharged
Transmission: 8spd auto
Top speed: 198km/h
Fuel consumption: 5.1l/100km