Road Test Review: Peugeot 208

Independent review by Mike Torpey

5-minute read

Yellow Peugeot 208 Exterior Front Driving

Road Test: Peugeot 208

Explore the key features of the Peugeot 208 in our expert road test review

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Highlights

The Peugeot 208 is a car that oozes style within the supermini segment, and when paired with its advanced technology and fun factor, it's an attractive proposition.

  • Low running costs
  • Great to drive
  • Super stylish
  • Great range of kit
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Introduction

French manufacturer Peugeot is committed to making the future of motoring a little less boring.

And they have the perfect model to spearhead that strategy in 2020 European car of the Year, the Peugeot 208.

Sharp looking, neat, and with a cabin that’s as racy as anything around, the supermini is the company’s sixth model to win Europe’s most prestigious automotive award.

It's also the first car in the brand’s now extensive range to be released under the new philosophy of ‘choose your Peugeot, choose your powertrain’ and is available as a full electric vehicle or with petrol and diesel engines.

Technology and Equipment

Dynamics, performance, and efficiency apart, a key component of the 208’s success is a feature that’s actually been around for the last eight years, in that time benefiting no less than five million customers.

It’s the Peugeot i-Cockpit, which has continually evolved while retaining the principal elements of a compact steering wheel, head-up instrument display, large HD touchscreen in the driver’s line of sight and a series of toggle switches for the main comfort functions.

This environment certainly gives the 208 a technology-driven hot hatch feeling and while our tested 1.2-litre PureTech powered model, in sporty GT Line trim, isn’t exactly a scorcher it’s nonetheless very spirited.

And with the likes of Peugeot Connect SOS and Assistance, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop Go, Lane Positioning Assist and Mirror Screen offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity there’s plenty of smart tech on offer too.

Driving Experience

It represents the midpoint of the available 1.2-litre 3-cylinder petrol engines, which develop 75bhp, 100bhp, or 130bhp, and was fitted with a very sweet 8-speed automatic gearbox.

A performance figure of 0 to 62mph in 10.8 seconds won’t be breaking any acceleration records, but it feels deceptively swift in a car with the dynamics of the 208 – and to describe that steering wheel as ‘compact’ is an understatement, tiny would be more apt.

If you’re looking for style and panache as well as pin-sharp handling, then this model could be perfect for you.
Mike Torpey

It’s definitely economical, our average fuel consumption over 250 miles of mixed urban and motorway driving registering 44.5mpg.

And while winding country lanes bring out the best in the 208, it also feels at home settled at the upper speed limit on the motorway.

Design

Space is adequate in a cabin that's thoughtfully laid out with dials positioned high on the dashboard – part of the i-Cockpit concept – and four adults can travel in comfort provided there aren’t six-footers sitting behind each other, in which case knee room is tight.

As for stowage, the glovebox is only small, but you get a 285-litre boot, which is reasonable for a car this size.

Predicting a bright future for this latest generation 208 can be made with confidence. It engages you from the get-go thanks to its dynamic profile, three-line claw effect lights and single lamp down each side of the bumper resembling sabre teeth plus 3D claw-effect lights at the rear.

Summary

The Peugeot 208 is a stylish option within the supermini segment, standing out from the crowd with its sharp exterior lines, advanced technology, and clever i-Cockpit. Comfortable in both urban environments and on long stretches of motorway, the 208 is a great match for a variety of lifestyles, but it's great fun to drive too.