Lily Tessa




Archer Leo

Our Experience With The Peugeot 2008

We were recently given an opportunity to review a car; the Peugeot 2008 to be exact. Marketed as a 'stylish crossover' that is 'perfectly at home both in the city or the great outdoors' the Peugeot 2008 sounded right up our street and we were more than excited to try it out. 

 Funnily enough, we had literally just booked our holiday to the Natural Retreats lodges in the Yorkshire Dales (read about what we got up to here!) and the week the car was available landed perfectly for us to be able to take the car with us. Perfect timing. It arrived on the morning of our holiday (we didn't set off until the afternoon as Lily was at nursery) so once the car was delivered, we took advantage of its accommodating space and filled it to the brim with luggage, food and toys for the week!

As I don't drive, the following was therefore written by James about his experiences whilst driving the car. As a passenger though I can say I absolutely loved the car. It was very roomy and attractive - I was quite sad to see it go at the end of the week to be honest!

Suddenly roads became smooth, speed bumps were no longer an irritant, and the whole driving experience felt very comfortable - we were at ease and I felt like we could drive for days!

I suppose I should probably start this review by mentioning that I currently drive a Audi A3, so all of my comparisons will be based on my experience of owning that car (it's all I've driven for the past 4 years so will become my point of reference). My first impression of the car was that it was surprisingly spacious! Coming from an A3 it felt nice and roomy with the driving position feeling slightly higher, more akin to a 4x4. I purchased my car before Lily came along and didn't really think about the practicality of space, I just wanted a little sporty hatchback at the time. As time has moved on since then and we've got ourselves a little family, I'm starting to wish I had a bit more space. My first thought was an estate or a 4x4 but had never really considered a Crossover. When I think of 4x4's I think of Range Rovers, and then think again about how much out of our budget they are! Maybe one day...

When we were offered the chance to review the Peugeot 2008 I was eager to see what the difference would be and if it would offer the space I was after. Not only was it spacious, I was shocked to find that I could hardly see any differences in size to my A3 externally. I parked the cars side by size, and besides the obvious height difference, the length and width seemed almost identical. This wasn't a scientific test by any stretch of the imagination, purely my observations comparing them side by side, but even driving the car I noticed I could squeeze it into the same gaps and parking spaces as my A3. This makes it great for milling around town which you would struggle to do in a Chelsea Tractor! Adding to the manoeuvrability of this car was also the steering, which at low speeds I noticed was incredibly light, which meant that manoeuvring the car was simple - Lily could have done it!

Comfortable, pleasant and attractive interior

The boot was also very large. One thing that I didn't notice at first (although it is obvious when you realise!) is that the boot doesn't have a 'lip'. Meaning that when you open the boot, you are presented with a flat deck which makes sliding large heavy objects in / out a doddle (suitcases in our case!). Another great quirk I discovered was just how easy it was to fold the seats flat. In my A3, you fold the rear seats down in the same manner, the difference however comes when the seat lowers and the bench also slides forward ever so slightly to enable the seats to sit perfectly flat as opposed to in my current car where they aren't even close to laying flat. It's difficult to explain without the correct technical mumbo jumbo but the following photo should give you a good indication of the end result (note that I only flattened one half of the seats because Lily's car seat was in the car and also worth noting that the parcel shelf does actually come out I just didn't take it out)...

Excuse the grime - these were taken after our holiday! The boot was very spacious

Something else which was a welcome surprise was the panoramic room that came with our model. I'm not sure if this is model specific or an optional extra, but it makes the world of difference to the feel of the car. My A3 has no sunroof and black headlining so it's a very dark and small feel. Whereas the 2008 had a large panoramic glass roof (with electronic blind so it can be 'closed') and grey headlining. This made the interior feel a lot more spacious too. I'd never understood the panoramic roof hype but I must say I think I'm a convert having experienced one.

The cabin is flooded with light thanks to the gorgeous panoramic glass roof
The car itself was very nice to drive. I found the engine both economical (we struggled to use even half of the tank during the week we had it) and powerful enough for your every day driving. It was great for tootling around the city but surprisingly quick on the motorway too (no embarrassingly slugglish overtaking manoeuvres!!). The first thing we both commented on actually was how smooth the ride was. We've both become quite accustomed to the firm ride that my model of A3 offers. The difference between the two cars though was like night and day. With firm, low suspension and low profile tyres, stepping into the complete opposite was actually quite a nice contrast. I never thought I'd say that! Abbi certainly appreciated it. Suddenly roads became smooth, speed bumps were no longer an irritant, and the whole driving experience felt very comfortable - we were at ease and I felt like we could drive for days.

A few quirks I also liked about the car:
  • The folding mirrors - they actually fold / unfold when you lock and unlock the car! The A3 has folding mirrors but you have to remember to fold and unfold them yourself using the switch on the driver's door... grr!
  • SatNav - POST CODE SEARCH! Oh how I love being able to search for places using just the post code. Again, the A3 has built in navigation but you can only do partial post code searches, to navigate anywhere you have to actually input the street name and house number. I despise it and have recently just switched to using my phone instead. It was a breath of fresh air having a useful SatNav system built into the car for once.
  • Headlights - when you lock / unlock the car or simply just press a button on the keyfob the rear lights and headlights come on. This was a nice feature and very handy at night, especially during our holiday as there were no external lights so it was literally pitch black. So when I had to nip out to the car it helped light up the area a little bit!
  • Needle sweep - most people probably wouldn't notice this but I did and I liked it. A needle sweep is when you switch the ignition on and the car wakes up by 'sweeping' the needles on the dashboard. It's a little quirk which I wish was available on my A3 but sadly is reserved for the sportier models (S3, RS3 etc). It was nice to have even if no one else saw, noticed or cared!
  • Child locks - the child lock facility on the rear doors is excellent. Again... with the A3, you activate the child locks by turning a switch within the opening of the door itself. So you have to manually turn a knob with your key in order to activate / deactivate it. Whereas on the 2008, it can all be done from the comfort of your driver's seat with the push of a button. I thought that was a nice touch as it means you can easily enable / disable it depending on whether or not you have little ones in the back. It also gives you visual reassurance that the child lock is activated.
Child Locks activated at the push of a button!
Bear in mind my car is 5 years old now and technology moves quickly, so all of these things might be standard on most cars these days, it just felt nice to have them!

After having this car for just a week and comparing it to my A3, which has a LOT of extras (I think the only thing it doesn't have is auto lights / wipers and panoramic roof), I'm now starting to feel like my car is very very outdated. The sheer number of features the 2008 came with actually surprised me (some may or may not be model specific and/or optional extras).

I can say though that it was a pleasure to drive and offered the spaciousness and practicality I was looking for. It has definitely opened my mind to other options on the market when it comes to upgrading our family car for something large but affordable when the time comes.

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