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Peugeot 208 hatchback review

Time:2018-02-11 21:19Turbochargers information Click:

review hatchback Peugeot

Ever since the launch of the Peugeot 205 in the 1980s, the French manufacturer has been synonymous with neatly styled superminis. The latest in its lineage is no different, but the Peugeot 208 arguably faces even tougher rivals, because the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo and Vauxhall Corsa have continued to evolve, too.

Most versions of the 208 come with five doors, making it just as practical as rivals like the Renault Clio and Nissan Micra, but the appealing Black Edition comes with three doors, as does the high-performance Peugeot 208 GTi hot hatch, which we’ve reviewed separately.

Drop into the driver’s seat and the interior is surprisingly characterful, thanks to Peugeot’s radical ‘i-Cockpit’ theme. There’s a compact steering wheel and an instrument cluster mounted on top of the dashboard, so you look over the wheel instead of through it. This gives the 208 a go-kart feel, but won’t be to everyone’s taste. For some drivers it can be tricky to find a good driving position without the wheel obscuring the gauges, and the small wheel can be a pain in car parks and on long motorway drives.

Peugeot hasn’t skimped on the engine range, so there should be a level of performance, fuel economy and price to suit everyone. The 1.2-litre petrol is available with 67, 81 or 108bhp; all manage more than 60mpg. If you can stretch to it, the 108bhp is our pick, because it’s a more advanced, with the best economy (with up to 65.7mpg) as well as an impressive turn of speed. Stop-start technology also reduces CO2 emissions to 99g/km, making it appealing for business drivers who pay Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax.

There's also a 1.6-litre THP 165 GT Line model, whose 7.4 second 0-62mph time gives a strong taste of 208 GTi ownership without the high insurance premiums. The 208 is generally geared more towards comfort than driving thrills; it's relatively agile, but falls behind the Fiesta and SEAT Ibiza for driver appeal.

If you expect to cover more than 12,000 miles a year or so, you might be better off with one of the three 1.6-litre diesel engines. They have 74, 99 or 118bhp and all emit less than 100g/km of CO2. If fuel economy is your primary concern, it's worth knowing that the 74bhp engine is claimed to return 94.2mpg, making it one of the most fuel-efficient conventional diesel cars you can buy. Its 0-62mph time of 13.3 seconds may prove frustrating, though, and the far nippier 99bhp car is more enjoyable to drive – it still returns 80.7mpg and can reach 62mph from rest almost three seconds quicker.

You can chose an automatic gearbox on some models, but its hesitant nature means we don’t recommend it. A five-speed manual is standard on most versions of the 208, with only the most powerful diesel and 1.6-litre petrol getting a six-speed gearbox. The extra gear makes motorway travel far more relaxed and economical by reducing revs at cruising speed.

Entry-level 208s are badged as Active, with Allure and GT Line models appearing higher up the range. The Black Edition is a stylish and appealing model that combines a sleek monochrome three-door look with low running costs and an affordable price. Active cars feature cruise control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 15-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, DAB radio and split-folding rear seats. Allure trim adds automatic headlights and wipers and useful reversing sensors, while the GT Line hints at the full-on GTi models inside and out. The GTi itself is available in two forms, GTi Prestige and GTi by Peugeot Sport, and we've reviewed them separately.

The Peugeot 208 finished 63rd out of the 75 cars ranked in our 2017 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey of cars currently on sale in the UK. Safety shouldn’t be a contentious issue, with a full five-star result from Euro NCAP.

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