It’s a good looking car, with roof rails raising the side profile even more.
Inside, the stylish cabin is compact, but with adequate elbow room for both front seat occupants. While there is space for three, two adults would be more comfortable in the back.
The boot, meanwhile, is large, and houses a space saver spare wheel. It can be made even bigger by easily folding the rear seats at the pull of a lever. They lie flat. A low lip also makes loading easy but I found the tailgate to be quite heavy.
Legroom and headroom is adequate throughout the cabin.
Up front, the cockpit is driver focused. The 2008 carries the small steering wheel debuted in the 208, which sees the driver viewing the instrument panel over the wheel rather than through it.
I found it easy to find a comfortable driving position to make the most of this set up and I liked the digital speed read out in the centre of the instrument panel.
The always-handy cruise control/speed limiter is standard in the 2008.
Peugeot generally locates the remote audio controls on a stalk off the wheel, but in the 2008 it has moved them on to the steering wheel. I preferred the previous location.
I liked the colour touchscreen infotainment unit, which controlled the radio, Bluetooth and offered journey information. USB and Aux ports were well located at the bottom of the centre console.
Pairing a smartphone via Bluetooth was simple and the audio quality was good. The test car also had manual air conditioning and auto lights and wipers.
While the boot is large in this car, other storage compartments weren’t as generous. There’s a small storage box between the two front seats and the glove compartment is only about half the normal size.
I couldn’t see any cup holders and I found that my 500ml water bottle rolled around in the door bin.
The test car was a 1.2litre 82bhp five speed petrol model (there’s a 110bhp turbocharged one on the way). Looking at those figures and then at the size of the car you might think that it would be underpowered – but it wasn’t.
The jury’s out on the unusually shaped square hand brake though.
Our test route took us mainly around the city and also on national, motorway and winding country roads.
While I did find it a bit revvy at low speeds, the Peugeot 2008 was nice and smooth as you worked through the gears.
Behind the wheel, it very much feels like you’re driving a car rather than something bigger – the only giveaway being the high driving position.
This car feels most at home in the city, where light steering makes short work of parallel parking. Rear parking sensors on the mid-level Active model I was driving also helped.
While it’s not the fastest at the lights, it quickly picks up pace and it never felt under pressure.
Overall, I really liked the Peugeot 2008. It’s a beautiful, confident family car and it feels good to be in the driving seat.
The Peugeot 2008 is available now, with prices starting from €18,595. Prices for the Active model I was driving cost from €19,620. Diesel prices start from €19,515.
The Peugeot 2008 is the Continental Irish Small Car of the Year 2014.
Engine: 1.2 VTi 82bhp
Acceleration: 0-100km/h in 13.5 seconds
Maximum Speed: 169kph
CO2 emissions: 114g/km
Combined fuel economy: 4.9l/100km
Annual road tax: €200
First Look – Peugeot 2008