The cabin is cloaked in a rich mix of materials, touches of brushed chrome, large expanses of carbon or cloth decoration and plenty of hi-tech equipment. The upmarket textiles cover the door-card inserts, headliner, windscreen pillars and dashboard inlay. There are also powered and heated wing mirrors, front windscreen wipers with a ‘magic wash’ cleaning system, and a panoramic glass opening roof.
Size-wise, the 2008 measures 4.3m long, 1.77m wide and 1.55m high. The headroom in the back is somewhat limited due to the sloping roofline. Further back, the boot space provides a capacity of 437 litres with the 60/40 rear seats in the upright position; 1,467 litres when folded flat. Continuing the space theme, storage is wide, deep and plentiful. The centre console cubby incorporates a stand for the driver’s smartphone.
The 2008 is equipped with the carmaker’s i-Cockpit that comprises four elements: a small steering wheel, head-up display (HUD), high centre console and touchscreen. And it all makes perfect sense, providing an insulated, cocooned feel to the cockpit. More specifically, the HUD information is projected in hologram form close to the driver’s eye-line, promoting quicker reaction times.
The small-diameter steering wheel has been redesigned with two flats to make it easier to grip and provide the driver with improved visibility and legroom. While you can easily see the instrument cluster over the steering wheel – rather than peering through it – it does necessitate a little seat adjustment. It also requires less steering effort when parking and manoeuvring around corners in town.
The reconfigurable 12.3-inch instrument cluster – positioned directly in the driver’s line of sight and above the sports steering wheel – offers five different display modes, controlled from a button on the steering wheel. The read-outs are clear and crisp.
Positioned on the raised centre console is an eight-inch tablet-style touchscreen that is equipped with capacitive technology and angled toward the driver. The touchscreen displays the usual vehicle information – such as trip data and fuel economy – and images from the rearview parking camera.
Beneath the touchscreen is a row of six chrome-plated toggle piano keys to control the radio, HVAC (subsequently using cabin temperature sliders on the touchscreen), sat-nav, vehicle parameters and phone and mobile applications.
Another button – ‘Amplify’ – on the centre console can vary the brightness of the ambient lighting and the colour of the screens, adjust the sound settings, seat massage function and fragrance diffuser.
In addition, two environment ambiences are offered, namely, an atmospheric ‘Boost’ focused on an energised driving experience and ‘Relax’ for a more tranquil mood. The Boost theme is aimed at a dynamic driving style while the Relax is for gentler driving. Three fragrances are available – the ‘Cosmic Cuir’ (described by the automaker as “a vibrant and sensual fragrance, and a genuine olfactive signature of the brand”); ‘Aerodrive’: default setting for the ‘Boost’; and ‘Harmony Wood’: default setting for the ‘Relax’.
On the connectivity front, all versions offer phone mirroring, smartphone recharging pad and 3D navigation.
Voice control is operated via a button on the steering wheel. Voice commands are rather limited but seemed to work well, all things considered. There are no shortage of USB sockets to power up mobile devices (two in the front and two in the back) plus a 12v power socket in the front.
The six trim lines available are the Active, Active Premium, Allure, Allure Premium, GT Line and top-drawer GT.
The Allure trim is fitted with gloss-black B-pillars and longitudinal roof bars, rear bumper with gloss black finish and seating lined with tri-material ‘Curitiba’ leather effect and ‘Isabella’ cloth trim, with light blue double stitch detail. Allure trim also features 3D i-Cockpit with a configurable 3D instrument panel display and LED front fog lights for added visibility. The modular boot floor offers additional functional loading space.
The GT Line version has eight-colour ambient lighting inside, heated front seats and full LED headlights with Smartbeam Assist. The interior design features tri-material Alcantara and ‘Isabella’ cloth seat trim and a panoramic opening glass roof.
The 2008 comes equipped with a suite of advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) technologies as standard, including active lane departure warning; driver attention warning; automatic adaptive headlamp main-beam; speed limit sign recognition and recommendation; adaptive cruise control with stop function (automatic gearboxes) and active blind-spot monitoring. For manoeuvring around towns and cities, Visio Park (360° all-around vision) and Park Assist do the job. The latter can take over entering and leaving a parking space and can leave just 60cm of space between cars.
Peugeot states that the 2008 SUV and smaller 208 have an average of 30% and 31%, respectively, recycled and natural materials, which amounts to approximately 40 parts. These include the use of natural hemp fibres for dashboard reinforcements and recycled polypropylene on the spoilers (air under the floor, under the tank, airbag, front/rear fenders) and in the front/rear bumpers. Both models also incorporate the use of recycled polyamide in the wheel covers and the intake manifold, as well as in the fan-motor assembly.
On the road
On balance, the 2008 interiors look fantastic and comes with a generous list of standard equipment, clever safety technology and an intuitive infotainment system. The second screen with a cool 3D effect and slick animations helps this dinky SUV stand out in a growing marketplace. Rival models include the likes of the Renault Captur, SEAT Arona and Ford Puma.