This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Peugeot 2008 review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

Eventually there’ll be a choice of nine different engines – five petrol and four diesel – though at launch the range is limited to six. Be warned that none make Peugeot 2008 performance anything to write home about.

While the 156bhp or 197bhp versions of the 1.6-litre THP petrol engines from the 208 could technically be fitted to the 2008, that isn’t currently planned.

Petrol engines

Kicking off the range is the 1.2-litre e-VTI with 82bhp and 118Nm. It’s fair to say that economical though this three-cylinder engine is, it struggles with the stature of the Peugeot 2008.

If you can afford the extra the 1.6-litre petrol is a far better choice, the additional 38bhp and 42Nm making themselves known from the get-go. And while the 1.2-litre car takes 13.5 seconds to complete the 0-62mph dash, the larger-engined model reduces this to a more reasonable 9.5 seconds.

Unavailable at launch, but likely to prove the stars of the petrol line-up are the 1.2-litre e-THP petrol models, using a turbocharger to boost performance figures. Available with either 100bhp and 205Nm or 130bhp and 230Nm, we’d expect the latter to be best suited to this car.

Diesel engines

By far the best choice has to be one of the diesels though. Even the 1.4-litre HDi and its 68bhp feels more willing than much of the petrol range, though it is hampered in its efforts by a vague and notchy five-speed manual gearbox.

Choosing between the 1.6-litre diesels – with 92bhp or 115bhp – with their six-speed manual gearboxes is harder, though the lower-output model offers a more linear power delivery. We’d still opt for the 115bhp example, the extra mid-range punch offered by its more muscular 270Nm meaning the crossover finally feels like it’d handle a full load of humans and their luggage with relative ease.

Key to the 2008’s abilities is its relative light-weight, the range starting at a paltry – and commendable – 1,045kg. That translates directly into on-road behaviour, where the Peugeot always feels light and nimble on its feet. More so than a car of this type really has any right to.

There’s not a huge amount of feel through the electrically assisted steering, though it is direct and sharp, but in general the front-end grips hard. Keep accelerating through a bend and the ESP will intervene if it detects any untoward slip, but at times the 2008 feels like a proper hot-hatch such is the grip.

And while it’s no Peugeot 208 GTI, bodyroll is notable by absence rather than excess and the 2008 is admirably car-like to drive. Ride comfort is equally impressive, regardless of speed and surface.

And of course most 2008's will be driven with gentle decorum rather than speedy abandon.

Despite its pseudo off-road pretensions, the 2008 is not available with four wheel drive, though high-spec Allure or Feline trims with 1.6-litre engines come with the firm’s Grip Control.

The device works across the front wheels to transfer power to the one with the most grip. So while the limited ground clearance of the 2008 means it’ll never challenge a Land Rover Defender in the Sahara, muddy fields are no problem.

Drivers can select from Standard, Snow, All-Terrain, Sand and ESP-off modes with the rotary controller on the central divide. It’s an impressive system, our demonstration showing the car could climb a steep, wet, rutted and mud-filled track with little fuss or drama – at least from the inside of the now mud-spattered 2008.

Those models that come with Grip Control also benefit from standard all-season Mud and Snow tyres in 16 or 17inches, which will be useful come winter especially.