By Breda Corrigan
Peugeot has always honoured a high-quality and inventive French manufacturing tradition. Today, more than ever, Peugeot is harnessing all of its energy to design elegant vehicles that deliver a sensory experience, and take driving to a whole new level. From ergonomics and materials to connectivity, Peugeot has meticulously worked on each detail to bring drivers the most intuitive driving experience ever. The new 208 is a classic example of just how far the revitalised Peugeot brand has come in terms of style, technology, connectivity and desirability.
Strong & Confident Personality.
Available with a choice of petrol, diesel or electric powertrains, the new 208 features the latest-generation of Peugeot’s ingenious i-Cockpit and 3D head-up display, together with a range of driving aids usually reserved for much more expensive models. Asserting a youthful, energetic image, the new 208 boasts a sleek, quality design and high-end look that is perfectly in keeping with the Peugeot brand’s upmarket strategy. From the very first glance, it is clear to see that the new 208 possesses a strong and confident personality. The low-slung silhouette, long bonnet and sensual curves hint at its sporty and seductive spirit, while its handsome good looks provide a real feelgood factor, helping the new 208 to stand out in the crowded supermini market.
Sporty Look & Wide Stance.
The new Peugeot 208 is longer, wider and lower than its predecessor, revealing a distinctive bodyline with clean, taut lines. Wide shaped wings, body curves, and a pared-back windscreen underscore the sporty look, whilst the familiar Peugeot full LED 3-claw headlight signature (trim dependent) is immediately recognisable. The front bumper contains a perfectly integrated, single outlet radiator grille in the centre, bearing the iconic Peugeot Lion, while the tip of the bonnet shows off the 208 badge for an added dose of exclusivity. The distinctive and daring rear design of the new 208, with its gloss black rear cluster connecting strip, is further enhanced by full LED backlights with claw effect (trim dependent). Equipped with a daytime running function, the intensity of the lights adjust automatically to light conditions, enhancing the visibility of the vehicle both day and night.
Trim & Engine Options.
Trim levels in the Peugeot 208 consist of entry-level Active, mid-spec Allure, and range-topping GT variants. Standard items across all levels include Automatic Emergency Braking, Active Safety Brake (night function, cyclists, pedestrians), Extended Traffic Sign Recognition, manual air-conditioning, electric mirrors (heated), rear parking sensors, push button start, electric front windows, and many more comfort, convenience and safety features. The new 208 is available with a choice of 3 Puretech petrol engines – a 1.2 litre 75bhp (5-speed manual) in Active trim, a 1.2 litre 100bhp (6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic) in all trim levels, and a 1.2 litre 130bhp (8-speed automatic) in Allure Pack and GT variants, along with a 1.5-litre BlueHDi turbo-diesel engine with 100bhp (6-speed manual) which is exclusively available in Active and Allure Pack trim levels. Additionally, an all-electric powertrain (badged e-208) is available across the entire trim range. Each petrol and diesel engine in the new 208 is compliant with the latest stringent EURO 6 emissions controls, and are fitted with stop/start functionality for greater efficiency. Built on Peugeot’s new common modular production platform, the 208’s CO2 emissions are reduced through weight reduction, improved aerodynamics and reduced rolling resistance. The platform also provides for greater acoustic and thermal comfort on board, and lower vibration levels. In addition to standard body colours and the optional Black Diamond roof, the new Peugeot 208 is on offer with a range of colours to reflect the car’s energetic character – Faro Yellow, triple coat Vertigo Blue, and Elixir Red with an additional topcoat that deepens the colour depth, with many other colour options also available.
New-Generation of Peugeot i-Cockpit;
The new Peugeot 208 benefits from a new-generation of the ingenious Peugeot i-Cockpit – now an inseparable part of the Peugeot DNA. Depending on the trim, the 3D instrument panel displays information at two levels. On the upper digital pad, information is projected in hologram form, where data is displayed closer or further away from the driver’s eye depending on the function, importance or urgency, thereby increasing reaction responses. Sporting toggle switches, the new 208 is available with a 5, 7 or 10″ touchscreen, depending on trim and options selected. In addition to the door bins and glovebox, there are 3 additional storage areas (depending on version), including a large storage area under the armrest between the front seats, an easy-access tray in front of the gear lever and a clever concealable storage space in the central console that can be used to discreetly and wirelessly charge a smartphone. Boot space is equally impressive, with 311-litres available, but this increases to 1,106-litres when the rear seats are folded. Seat comfort for all occupants of the new 208 is terrific, with an adequate amount of head, leg and elbow room on offer too.
My test car was a 208 GT 1.2-litre Puretech 100bhp 6-speed manual, which looked terrific in Cumulus Grey metallic with its contrasting black trim on the roof, wheel arches and mirror caps, while sporty two-tone alloy wheels provide even greater visual appeal. The refined petrol engine can propel the car from 0-100km in a spritely 9.9-seconds, while a fuel return of 5.5l/100km is achieveable when the car is driven on a WLTP combined driving cycle. Standard GT Line equipment includes key items such as 17” diamond-cut alloy wheels, Visio Park 1 (a 180-degree colour reversing camera with front & rear parking sensors), full LED headlights with Smartbeam Assist, a 10” colour touchscreen with navigation, leather-effect & cloth seats, and an 8-colour ambient lighting system for true individuality. My test car performed admirably on a variety of back roads and motorways, with the 100bhp engine pulling strongly from a standing start, while also providing plenty of punch for safe overtaking. A strong brake pedal feel ensures that the new 208 stops confidently, while an intuitive and slick six-speed manual gearbox makes the car very enjoyable to drive. Build quality throughout the new 208 is exceptional, while the car’s striking cabin design provides a real sense of occasion to every journey.
Verdict, Pricing & Warranty;
The Peugeot 208 is a superb car in every respect, from its striking looks and its fantastic interior, to the way it performs on a wide variety of road surfaces. Additionally, the new 208 is economical and comfortable, while Peugeot’s 5-Year/100,000km warranty comes as standard. The super-stylish 208 is priced from just €22,370 (ex-works), with my test car specification priced at €27,780 (ex-works) and attracts annual road tax of just €190.