On The Road?
Lots of choice
We've still to try the entry-level 1.0-litre petrol engine, but the 1.2 is worth considering; it's a fairly flexible performer, even if does start to feel short of puff when you ask for a strong burst of acceleration. If you want a 208 that feels fast, you have to go for one of the 1.6-litre petrol or diesel engines.
Ride And Handling?
Both should be better
The steering is light around town and sharp at higher speeds. However, while the 208’s front wheels are quick to turn in, the sloppy body control means the car flops over on the way into corners. The ride is a little uncomfortable, too, because the suspension struggles to cope with patchy road surfaces.
Smooth and quiet most of the time
The 208 is a reasonably refined way to travel. Wind and road noise are both well contained, but you can hear the suspension working away over bumps. The gearshift is a little notchy and imprecise, too. The bigger engines we’ve tried stay smooth and civilized, but the 81bhp three-cylinder thrums noisily when you put your foot down.
Buying And Owning?
Low running costs
Prices are similar to those of the Ford Fiesta, but the chic looks and classy cabin won’t do the 208’s resale values any harm whatsoever. What’s more, other running costs look very good indeed. The entry-level petrol engine dips below 99g/km, as do all the diesels. Predictably, fuel economy looks just as impressive.
Quality And Reliability?
Looks and feels brilliant
If there’s an area where the 208 moves the game on, it’s perceived quality. Peugeot has used materials that are easy on both the eye and the fingertips throughout the cabin. What’s more, the touch-screen features sophisticated graphics, and the chrome-ringed instruments wouldn’t look out of place in an Audi. Peugeot’s reliability record isn’t the best, though.
Safety And Security?
Everything you’d expect
The 208 has as much safety kit as you’d expect in a modern supermini, but without going the extra mile. Stability control is provided across the board, as are front, side and curtain airbags. All this helped the car achieve a five-star crash rating from Euro NCAP. Security kit is also pretty good, with deadlocks and an immobiliser as standard. However, an alarm is only optional on the range-topping models.
In The Cabin?
Behind The Wheel?
Some ergonomic issues
The 208’s driving position won’t suit everyone, because you view the instruments over the steering wheel rather than through it. Some drivers may find their view obscured. The touch-screen infotainment system that’s standard in mid-spec ‘Active’ cars and above also disappoints - you drag your finger across the screen to perform certain tasks, which is hard to do accurately on the move.
Space And Practicality?
Rear headroom disappoints
Space in the front is pretty good, and so is rear legroom but rear headroom is tight, especially with the panoramic sunroof found on high spec models. The boot is a good size and shape, but you have to buy the mid-spec car before you get a 60/40 split rear seat.
Go for Active trim
Entry-level Access cars have remote locking, a CD player and cruise controls, while Access+ cars add air-con. Active versions are the pick, providing alloys, Bluetooth and the touch-screen, while Allure cars get climate control and automatic lights and wipers. Feline models have sportier styling inside and out.