The Peugeot 208 was first seen at the Geneva Motor Show. Available in both three-door and five-door hatchback body styles, the 208 was built using the PSA PF1 platform. Compared to its predecessor, the Peugeot 207, it is lighter by 110kg and yet is more spacious. Pierre Authier and Sylvian Henry were in charge of designing the 208, with Authier handling the overall design and Henry taking care of the exteriors.
One of the most impressive things that Peugeot was able to achieve with the 208 lies in making the supermini lighter by at least 110kg compared to the previous model. In fact, an entry-level 208 with a three-cylinder petrol engine weighs in at just 975kg. Peugeot was able to pull this off by using leaner materials like aluminum components and high-strength steel panels and an all-new three-cylinder engine that is already 21kg lighter than what it replaced. The car is also generally smaller, with a rehashed silhouette that is smaller by 60mm in front and 10mm in the rear. But what’s better than a lighter car is a spacious one, with extra 50mm of legroom in the rear freed.
For a supermini, there’s plenty of room inside the 208 for four adults. This is quite generous for a car in its class and you can even squeeze in three people at the back if they’re not too large and won’t be making much of a fuss. The rear seats also split and fold so added space can be acquired when needed.
Like many other small cars, the 208 is big on fuel economy. After all, it’s not much of a guzzler since it doesn’t require a very powerful engine to run. And even on models with bigger engines, the 208 achieves a decent 40.9mpg on average. If you’re a gentler driver though, you can expect this number to jump up to a better 45mpg.
Since the Peugeot 208 is based off the PF1 platform, the very same one that its predecessor, the 207, used, it’s automatically bogged down by the same problems the 207 had. In particular, many disagree with the 2,538mm wheelbase and the Macpherson strut front and rear torsion beams suspension layout both the 207 and 208 have. However, Peugeot insists that architectural performance has been improved.
While the 208 does good work in improving space inside the cabin, that’s just about the extent you can praise it in terms of interiors. This isn’t to say that its interiors are bad but it’s just ok. And ok is not enough to boast about. It will last you a while but it’s definitely not something worth mentioning.
Unfortunately, being lighter does not make the 208 faster. At best, it can be said that performance is ordinary. At worst, it is sub-standard compared to what other superminis are capable of given the same price and capacity. The 208’s engine lacks flexibility and refinement and the situation is the same whether you’re driving in the city or out on more open roads.
If you want better fuel economy, the 91bhp e-HDI engine is the way to go as it will give you 10mpg more if you’re mostly doing your driving in the city. However, this will cost you almost £18,000, a price too hefty for the little improvement you’re going to get.
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