The success of the 206 and the 207 was always going to be a hard act to follow, so is the stylish 208 good enough to win Peugeot a new generation of fans? We spent a week behind the wheel to find out?
What is it? Small cars are big news at the moment and Peugeot’s latest offering was one of the most eagerly anticipated of this summer. Available in three and five-door forms the 208 is smaller and lighter than the car it replaces yet boasts more interior space.
Who is it aimed at? From first time buyers to families in need of a second car the Peugeot 207 was always a popular choice. The new model 208 is modern, stylish and high-tech and will appeal to a wide audience.
Styling? Visually the 208 represents a new design direction for Peugeot. Distinguishing features of the highly sculptured 208 exterior include a chromed floating grille and boomerang rear lamps. The result is a muscular, athletic looking car that is stylish and chic from all angles.
Under the Bonnet? Our test car was fitted with an eager 1.4-litre HDI diesel engine producing 50kW(68bhp) with a five-speed manual gearbox. Peugeot also offer two petrol engines a 1.0 litre (68bhp) and a 1.2 litre (82bhp).
What’s it like inside? Inside the 208 is hugely spacious and it feels like a car twice its size. It’s compact but roomy and the chic styling of the exterior carries through to the interior. The high tech seven inch touch screen allows you to control everything from the radio to USB connections simply and there is a quality feel throughout the cabin. There is decent room for four adults and the 285-litre boot can more than accommodate luggage. On the downside while the seats are supremely comfortable the driving position is not ideal and the steering wheel is oddly small but overall when you consider the very classy interior and incredible space these are small gripes.
On the Road? Manoeuvring the 208 around town is a breeze as it is light and agile. On the road it is a big improvement on the 207 and the balance of comfort and handling is good and it is impressively quiet. While it feels assured at speed, on less than perfect surfaces, the ride tends to become a little choppy and body roll is obvious but generally the 208 is refined and fun to drive.
And Safety? The 208 is brimming with safety features. Not only is it the first car in its segment to obtain 5 stars from the Euro NCAP but it is crammed with passive and active safety aids that will keep you and yours safely cocooned. ABS, ESP, six airbags, a speed limiter, front seat belt warning and a collapsible steering column are standard across the entire range.
Options? The Peugeot 208 is available in both a 3-door and 5-door hatchback, with three trim levels – Access, Active and Allure. The entry level model offers excellent stand spec and includes ESP, six airbags, cruise control with speed limiter, electric front windows, a full size spare wheel, child safety locks, seat belt alarm and 2 child seat ISOFIX fixtures.
How about Fuel Economy? The 208 is lighter by 110kg compared to the 207 so it produces lower CO2. Fuel consumption is also improved and the 1.4 HDi diesel boasts a very frugal 3.8 litres per 100 km on a combined cycle of town and motorway. Emissions are a mere 98g/km so it is well within the Band A range and comes with an annual motor tax bill of €160.
Okay so the verdict? In a market where buyers are already spoilt for choice the 208 manages to offer something fresh and will appeal to a range of buyers. With low running costs, chic French styling inside and out and good driving dynamics the Peugeot 208 is definitely worth looking at.
Ford Fiesta Titanium 5dt 1.4 TDCi €19,196
VW Polo BM 1.2 TDi 5dr €18,830
Toyota Yaris D-4D 90 (1.4) 5dr Luna €18,550
Why you’ll buy one? Stylish; Modern & spacious interior; Fuel economy
Why you won’t? Not as good to drive as rivals; Keen drivers will wait for the 208 GTi
Peugeot 208 Allure Diesel 5 Door 1.4 Hdi 70 bhp 5dr
Engine: 1,397cc HDi engine putting out 50kW(68bhp) and 160Nm of torque between 1750rpm
Max speed: 163 kph
0-100km/h: 15.5 seconds
Emissions (motor tax): 98 g/km (€ 160)
Starting price: 14,495
Model price range: €14,495 – € 21,395 Test car €20,095
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP: 5 stars
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 3.8 litres per 100 km
Boot Capacity Seats up: 285 litres
Car Seats: 2 Isofix points in the rear seats.
Spare Wheel: Full size spare wheel
5th September, 2012