The newest Peugeot 208, though, is one of many good ones, and should truly be in your shortlist – particularly when you’re prepared to pay a little more than the class norm for an adequately special interior and an appropriate ride. It is a pretty simple model make, with four trims a choice between three petrol engines. There’s also a solitary diesel engine, but the real headline-grabber is the fully electric e-208. The current model doesn’t just build up well against its mainstream rivals; the more costly versions in the 208 range are a genuine alternative to the Audi A1 and Mini, for people who aren’t overly bothered about reasonably limited badge.
The fact it has softer suspension than rivals, such as the Renault Clio and Ford Fiesta, means there’s more body bounce along undulating B-roads, although not in the wayward method of a Citroën C3.Even nasty ridges and potholes don’t cause a lot of discomfort. The 208 scores well for comfort, offering a gentler and more supple ride than even the Volkswagen Polo or Audi A1 can offer. Things remain relatively smooth at all speeds, but are particularly so on the motorway where in actuality the 208 lopes along like a much larger car than it is.
The 127bhp Puretech 130 (available only by having an automatic gearbox) adds even more pace, but for most it could be a needless expense, due to the fact the 100 is indeed good. The Puretech 100 is a relatively strong engine that pulls from low revs and feels gutsy in the event that you work it harder. It’s absolutely ideal for propelling you along on A-roads and motorways without any fuss, and is livelier than a Renault Clio or Volkswagen Polo with equivalent power. The lowest priced petrol engine is the 74bhp Puretech 75, but if you’re able to stretch your financial allowance to the 99bhp Puretech 100, you will have secured the pick of the range.
The Peugeot 208achieved four stars out of five when tested by Euro NCAP. A driver attention alert system is standard from Allure trim up, but the only way to get blindspot monitoring is to go for the electric e-208 in top-of-the-range GT trim. Also, although all models come with a basic form of automatic emergency braking (AEB) as standard. If you drill into the details of the test, it isn’t as good in some areas, such as chest protection and whiplash protection for those in the rear, as rivals such as the Renault Clio. Traffic sign recognition is also standard on all versions, as is lane-keeping assistance.
The 2021 Peugeot 208 is a good small car to look at inside and out, comes with generous degrees of equipment and is brilliant in EV form. That is its second generation, which gets a thorough redesign inside and out, in addition to offering diesel, petrol and pure-electric versions – the very first small car to accomplish so. Those looks and all that choice, Peugeot hopes, will tempt you from small cars such as the Volkswagen Polo, Seat Ibiza and Ford Fiesta. However, that changes with the Peugeot 208. In an identical way, Peugeot hasn’t had consistency in its small car naming through the years, offering everything from a 104 to a 207. Oh, and there’s another reason you may be tempted: the 208 took home the carwow Little Legend Award for 2019. It is really a little tight for adults in the back, though.
Inside, things have taken an intensify too, with Peugeot’s now-familiar i-Cockpit dashboard design benefiting from a distinctive intensify in quality. An alternative (or standard on GT models) is just a 10.0-inch version of exactly the same system which also incorporates an integral sat-nav. In both cases, the screen is high definition and the menus easier than you think to navigate, although the little on-screen buttons could be hard going to confidently while driving. A 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system lies at the centre of it all as standard, including DAB radio and Bluetooth, but moreover Apple CarPlay and Android Auto too. The Peugeot 208 sculpted bonnet, three-claw LED light designs, large chrome-flecked grille and prominent rear piano black trim give it a much more distinctive look than its predecessor, as well its alternatives.
Entry-level Active models get cloth seats and a leather steering wheel, while Allure models upgrade this to cloth and faux leather. The Peugeot 208 interior not only looks superb, it is also well built from quality materials. GT Line models then get a different stitching colour, plus a perforated leather steering wheel, and top-of-the-range GT cars get cloth and Alcantara seats. If you prefer, full leather seats are optional on some models. The two-tier, concave dash design is striking, too, Peugeot 208 plus there are quirky features such as a flip-down smartphone ledge and touch-sensitive buttons for the infotainment and heated seat controls that help make the 208 feel more expensive inside. Its infotainment system has all the kit you want, too, although it can be tricky to use.
Space is more of a combined bag. There’s no knocking Peugeot’s new 3D digital dials, though. However, adults in the rear seats will see their knees brushing leading seat backs even though their heads are away from the ceiling. Standard Peugeot 208 Allure trim, they’re projected onto different layers to offer a three-dimensional effect and look superb, but importantly also display key information clearly and are customisable to help you choose what you need to see. Ultimately a VW Polo is better at accommodating people in the back. Two adults can have no problems getting comfortable in the front seats and the driver gets plenty of standard manual seat and wheel adjustment. Electric adjustment is optional if preferred.