Peugeot 208 Review & Ratings
- 12 February 2018
- Author: Nikolas Perseputto
It’s almost 30 years since the Peugeot 205 went on sale, but its legacy still casts a shadow over the company’s contemporary superminis. The 206 and the 207 were successful but nowhere near as thrilling as the original car, and now it’s the 208’s turn to take on the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio and Volkswagen Polo. so, in an effort to find out if Peugeot’s new supermini is up there with the class best, we’ve added a 1.2 allure 208 to the test fleet.
Peugeot has actually made the 208 shorter than its 207 predecessor, by almost 7cm, so it now looks like it’s perfectly suited to the urban environment we’ll be using it in over the coming year.
Mind you, it looks compact and stylish rather than cutesy. our car is a three-door, which brings some styling touches that make it that bit more distinctive. A personal highlight is the little blade that runs from just behind the rear side windows. It’s a nod to the 205’s styling, and it’s nice to have a styling touch that makes a real distinction between the three- and five-door versions. the first surprise came as soon as the 208 arrived, and before we’d even climbed aboard. We’d specced the car ourselves and chosen the colour online – a metallic navy paint job (Virtual Blue) that cost us an extra £495. In the flesh, though, it has a distinct purple tinge, which is still handsome, but not what was expected.
Even when viewed on several computer screens, the virtual car still didn’t look like the one sitting outside. at least the 1.2-litre engine was as advertised, with enough power for the odd motorway run and a claimed 62.7mpg fuel economy figure – although our true mPG figure is much lower at 40.9. We wanted to keep our 208 fit for purpose (largely urban commuting and some longer runs), so we resisted the urge to go mad with the optional extras. Picking allure trim made this easier than first feared because it brings a generous level of equipment. You get visual touches such as chrome on the door mirrors and that blade by the side window. It also has a pair of front sports seats, a leather steering wheel, 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, height-adjustable front seats, Bluetooth phone connectivity, UsB input and cruise control, which make the 208’s cabin feel luxurious. There’s also a touch-screen to control the infotainment system, and for an extra £400 we added the optional sat-nav. It’s a system unlike any other, but is becoming easier to navigate with experience. The only other two additions from the options list were chosen with the 208’s urban life in mind: folding door mirrors, to keep scratches in our tight car park to a minimum, and cornering foglights and rear parking sensors (£340).
The latter have already started to return on the investment; the large rear pillars and the small rear screen restrict over-the-shoulder visibility, and parallel parking on london streets is tricky. The sensors present you with a graphic on the touch-screen that shows how far you are from any obstacles behind you – impressive on a small car. With that hefty equipment list there has been a lot to take in during the Peugeot’s first few weeks with us. the initial impressions are generally favourable, though. The small steering wheel is one of the first things that colleagues and family members have commented on when they sit in the 208 driver’s seat, and I’m not the only one who is a big fan. Even if it doesn’t affect how the car actually handles (or at least your perception of its handling), a small wheel makes the driving position feel much sportier. I’m looking forward to seeing whether this sportiness extends to the rest of the 208.