New Peugeot 208 proves small can be big on Style and appeal

Hugh Maguire enjoys a sport and nimble 208

Hugh Maguire


Hugh Maguire


New Peugeot 208 proves small can be big on Style and appeal

The new Peugeot 208 is available with a choice of three trims – Active, Allure and GT-Line with prices for the Allure 1.2 petrol model starting off at €18,300.

Highlights of the new car are the all new body style, advanced driver assistance features as standard and a new interior featuring Peugeot’s i-cockpit.

So has it got street cred?

The 208 scores highly in the beauty stakes. It boasts the new Peugeot family “face” featuring the “claw effect lighting” and manages to blend cheeky good looks with a very Avant-Garde style.

Its chunky good looks allied to some great new colours make the new 208 a bit of a head turner.

So what’s it like inside?

The new interior is no less dramatic and impressive. Initially I did not like the look of the two individual pods, one which houses the instruments and the other which contains the centrally mounted touch screen. I prefer a dashboard to have a more integrated flowing design.

However a week behind the wheel and I found I got used to it and ergonomically it really works very well.

The driving position is good and I like the small multifunction flat-bottomed leather coated steering wheel.

All models get as standard, Automatic emergency braking, Active safety Brake, Traffic sign recognition, selectable drive mode Normal, and Sport, cruise control with speed limiter, air conditioning, electric front windows, a full size spare wheel, ( for which I must give great praise to Peugeot) child safety locks, seat belt alarm, 2 child seat ISOFIX fixtures, driver’s seat height adjustment, central touch screen, Bluetooth, steering column remote controls and daytime running lights with follow me home function. I am less enthusiastic about the over fussy and sometimes hard to read i-cockpit instrumentation. Its certainly quite artistic but I prefer a clearer simpler approach from a digital dash. Accomadation is good up front but more “cosy” in the rear. The boot is adequate for a car in this class.

What is under the bonnet?

There are a choice of petrol, diesel’s and also a fully electric 208.

My 208 Allure test car was powered in this case by Peugeot’s 1.2 litre Puretech 100 bhp petrol engine which drives the front wheels via the optional 8-speed auto gearbox.

This sweet revving 3 cylinder petrol turbo is simply excellent providing punchy acceleration and refined motorway cruising.

It sounds throaty too when in Sport mode and you can shift gear via the paddle shifts if you prefer a bit more driver involvement.

Its frugal too burning just 5.8 litres of petrol per 100km and with low emissions road tax is just €180.00 for the year.

Will I enjoy driving it?

You will! Peugeot have always built cars that handle well and this new 208 Allure is no exception.

The handling is surefooted whether on wet or dry roads and furthermore the car boasts a very nice suspension set-up which gives a smooth ride over even poor surfaces.

Levels of refinement are high, with all ambient noise well suppressed.

My Verdict

Gripes? I’m not crazy on the fussy digital cockpit and the rear is pretty tight for adults. Rivals such as the Suzuki Swift offer better rear seat space.

Likes? Pretty much everything else!

I really like this Peugeot new 208. It has style and real flair. It is a car that is much more than just the sum of its parts. It is fun to drive, proves practical, and economical, and boasts the latest in motor vehicle technology.

I enjoyed driving the 208, it feels sporty, nimble and lively. Its compact about town yet feels like a much bigger car when out on the open road. The Peugeot 208 Allure 1.2 petrol auto as tested costs €23,150