Automotive, Test Drive

2022 Peugeot 2008 Test Drive: Another B-Segment SUV Contender for RM127k

The B-segment SUV market is a crowded one filled with strong contenders. There’s the hugely popular Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, and of course, the Proton X50 segment leader. Now, there’s the 2022 Peugeot 2008, which was launched in Malaysia just last week by official distributor Bermaz Auto Alliance (BAASB).

Locally assembled (CKD) at the Stellantis plant in Gurun, Kedah, the B-segment SUV enjoys 100% sales tax exemption, so it’s slightly more affordable than its imported (CBU) competition, such as the aforementioned Kona. However, the 2008 still sits at the higher end of the price range, so is it worth checking out? Read on to find out.

Only the sole Allure variant of the 2008 is offered in Malaysia for RM126,753 on-the-road without insurance. This price is valid until 30 June 2022, as that’s when the sales tax exemption is set to end. Aside from that, it also comes with a five-year or 100,000km warranty (whichever comes first), alongside a three-year or 60,000km free service maintenance.

For that kind of money, the 2008 features a 1.2L three-cylinder turbo engine – the same one used in the previous 2008 – that’s been retuned to deliver 130hp and 230Nm of torque; an improvement of 20hp and 25Nm respectively. It is paired with the same six-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels.

While the output of the 2008’s 1.2L turbo engine doesn’t sound particularly impressive, it is by no means underpowered. The SUV still feels plenty peppy, thanks to the generous 230Nm of torque. Despite this being a three-cylinder mill – which has a tendency to sound rough – I actually quite dig the engine note at higher RPM too.

What about the vibration of the 2008’s three-cylinder engine? Well, in the cabin (even at idle), I don’t notice the vibration of the three-pot unit at all. However, as I’m pulling to a stop, the vibration of the engine does transfer into the cabin.

Anyway, the 2008’s six-speed automatic transmission is quite a smooth operator as well. It downshifts relatively quickly when I put my foot down, and gear shifts are smooth too. If you want a more responsive driving experience, you can use the drive mode selector and switch to Sport mode.

The ride and handling of the 2008 are also worth a mention. This SUV can soak up road bumps quite well, which makes for a comfortable ride. Thanks to the compact nature of this B-segment car, it feels quick and nimble too with a light steering wheel; perfect for city driving when you’re navigating through tight corners.

Other specifications of the new 2008 include 17-inch alloy wheels, a suite of driver assistance systems (cruise control, lane keeping assist, autonomous emergency braking), leather seats, six airbags, and the aforementioned drive mode selector that allows you to switch between Normal, Eco, and Sport mode.

As for the interior of the updated 2008, it’s quite well put together. There are plenty of soft touch points, the toggle switches feel and look great, and I especially like the 10-inch 3D digital instrument cluster; it’s a unique feature that’s not found on other SUVs in this segment.

Of course, as with any other modern cars in the market now, the 2008’s 7-inch infotainment screen supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The infotainment system itself also feels responsive, so you won’t have to deal with a sluggish system.

So far, I mostly have positive things to say about the new 2008; surely it has some shortcomings too? Well, for me, it would be the driver assistance system of the SUV. While it’s great that it has autonomous emergency braking (branded as Active Safety Brake) and lane keeping assist, it only has passive cruise control.

Compared to adaptive cruise control, this passive version does not match the speed of the SUV to the vehicle in front, so you’ll still have to brake manually. With the lack of this feature, the 2008 does not meet the requirement for level 2 semi-autonomous driving, which would’ve really made this a more enticing SUV.

Granted, the popular Honda HR-V doesn’t have level 2 semi-autonomous driving either, but it is also a more affordable option compared to the 2008.

So should you get the 2022 Peugeot 2008? Well, until I’ve actually driven the B-segment SUV longer than a brief test drive, I can’t really give a definitive answer. But for what it’s worth, I do enjoy my short time with it; I’m quite a fan of its unique, sleek exterior as well.

If you like the looks of the 2008 – and you don’t mind the omission of adaptive cruise control – give it a test drive. You may be surprised by this French, locally-assembled SUV.

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