15 July 2012 by
Model/Engine size: 1.0 VTi 68
Fuel economy combined: 65.7 mpg
Green-Car-Guide rating: 7/10
Peugeot 208 Introduction
is a good-looking new supermini that’s lighter than the 207 that it replaces, and it has some efficient powertrains including a 3-cylinder petrol unit returning 65.7mpg along with 99g/km CO2 emissions.
Peugeot 208 Summary
• Good looks, inside and out
• Lightweight with efficient powertrains
• Petrol engines in particular are reasonable fun to drive
• Questionable interior ergonomics
Peugeot 208 Background
The 208 is Peugeot’s all-new supermini and the big news is that it looks good, it’s lighter than the previous model, and it has some very efficient powertrains – including some models that are best-in-class in terms of emissions. Tracing back the ancestry of the 208, the 205 was certainly an iconic car, but the 206 and 207 didn’t quite capture the imagination of motorists in the same way, although they still sold in large numbers. Peugeot is hoping that the 208 will be a game-changer in the same way that the 205 was.
Peugeot 208 Design & Engineering
A key feature of the new Peugeot 208 is that it is significantly lighter than the previous 207 – 114kg lighter on average, but up to 173kg lighter in the case of the entry-level petrol-engined car, which weighs just 975kg. Light weight goes against the trend of weight gain that has been prevalent in the car industry for many years, and light weight is good because it means efficiency. The 208 is also slightly smaller on the outside than the 207, but there’s more space inside.
The 208 looks good, both on the outside and on the inside. The interior feels like a big step forward in quality and design over the 207 and, as a standard item of equipment in mid-spec ‘Active’ cars and above (therefore in over 80% of models), the interior will be dominated by a large 7-inch touch screen, allowing control over features such as music and, if specified, satnav. However although the screen looks stylish, the graphics and menus could be simpler and more intuitive.
The 208 features a very small steering wheel, which assists with the fun driving experience, however due to the small wheel the interior designers have positioned the dials so you view them above the steering wheel rather than through the wheel as in most other cars. For drivers who are around six feet tall and over, it seems that the visibility over the rim of the wheel to the dials is okay; for drivers who aren’t as tall, the top of the steering wheel seems to block out some lower areas of the dials. This may affect some people and not others, and those who have their visibility obscured may or may not be bothered by it. But positioning the dials behind the top of the steering wheel does seem to be a key ergonomic flaw in the interior design.
Peugeot 208 Driving Experience
We sampled both diesel and petrol derivatives of the 208, and the three-cylinder petrol engine was more fun to drive than the diesel, as it’s revvy and it complements the car’s light weight. The small steering wheel, although blocking the dials for some, endows the car with a fun driving feel, and this is matched by responsive turn-in from the front wheels. The handling was reasonable fun, more so in the lighter petrol-engined cars than the diesels, however the expectations were for a class-leading driving experience, which the 208 doesn’t quite live up to. The 208’s ride was also no better than expected in a car of this class – there’s not a lot of damping, so the secondary ride can feel rather brittle over poor surfaces. Some wind noise was also evident at motorway speeds.
Peugeot 208 Economy and Emissions
The Peugeot 208 scores well in the areas of economy and emissions, in fact the car achieves average emissions of 34g/km CO2 lower than 207. Whether you want a petrol (which around 75% of people will) or a diesel, engines are available with good official fuel consumption and low emission figures. In real-life use we would predict that the diesel engines will come closer to their official mpg figures, as the nature of the three-
cylinder small capacity petrol engines encourages you to rev them, which is likely to mean that real-life mpg will fall considerably short of the official figures.
The new 1-litre 3-cylinder petrol engines have emissions as low as 99g/km CO2, and 104g/km in the case of the 1.2-litre. The latest generation e-HDi diesel engines emit CO2 levels from just 87g/km, and all HDi diesel engines have sub-99g/km emissions. The e-HDi micro-hybrid Stop & Start system is featured on virtually all versions.
The full engine line-up on 208 is as follows:
Peugeot 208 petrol engine range:
– 1.0 VTi 68bhp; 95Nm, 5-speed manual; CO 2 : 99g/km, 65.7mpg
– 1.2 VTi 82bhp; 118Nm, 5-speed manual; CO 2 : 104g/km, 62.8mpg
– 1.4 VTi 95bhp; 136Nm, 5-speed manual; CO 2 : 129g/km, 50.4mpg
– 1.6 VTi 120bhp; 160Nm, 5-speed; CO 2 : 134 g/km, 48.7mpg
– 1.6 THP 156bhp, 240/260 (overboost) Nm, 6-speed manual; CO 2 : 135 g/km), 48.7mpg
Peugeot 208 diesel engine range:
– 1.4 HDi FAP 68bhp, 160Nm, 5-speed manual; CO 2 : 98g/km, 74.3mpg
– 1.4 e-HDi FAP 68bhp, 160Nm, EGC Stop & Start; CO 2 : 87g/km, 83.1mpg
– 1.6 e-HDi FAP 92bhp, 230Nm, 5-speed manual Stop&Start; CO 2 : 98g/km, 74.3mpg
– 1.6 e-HDi FAP 92bhp, 230Nm, EGC Stop&Start; CO 2 : 98g/km, 74.3mpg
– 1.6 e-HDi FAP 115bhp, 285Nm (1), 6-speed manual; CO 2 : 99g/km, 74.3mpg
Peugeot 208 Price, Equipment and Model Range
The 208 is available in three or five-door form and there are 10 engines and 4 trim levels, resulting in a huge choice. Trim levels are Access, Access+, Active (featuring alloys, Bluetooth and touch-screen), Allure, and Feline (which has sportier styling).
Peugeot offers the ‘Just Add Fuel’ initiative which means that you can buy a Peugeot with small monthly payments and these include insurance, making Peugeot ownership, and the insurance in particular, a very cost-effective proposition.
The Peugeot 208 has just gone on sale and Peugeot had already received 3000 orders at the time of launch. Petrol models will account for around 75% of sales, and five-door models will represent around 70%, so petrol five-doors will be the most popular choice. The Peugeot 208 range starts from £9995 for the 1.0 VTi 3 door in Access trim, and rises to £17,845 for the 1.6 e-HDi Stop & Start 5 door in Feline spec.
Peugeot 208 Conclusion
The new Peugeot 208 looks good, both inside and out, although we remain surprised how the dashboard layout got through the design process. Critically for us, there are some low emission, high miles per gallon models on offer. The 208 is reasonable fun to drive, especially in petrol form, and the car’s light weight helps in this area. However the car’s appearance somehow suggests that the 208 will have a class-leading driving experience, but the reality doesn’t quite live up to this expectation. So although it scores well in terms of design and efficiency, overall the Peugeot 208 gets a Green-Car-Guide rating of 7 out of 10.
Car Facts and Figures
Peugeot 208 1.0 VTi 68 3-door Access data
Fuel economy extra urban: 74.3 mpg
Fuel economy urban: 55.4 mpg
CO2 emissions: 99 g/km
Green rating: VED band C – £0 first year
Weight: 975 Kg
Company car tax liability (2012/13): 10%
Insurance group: 5E
Power: 68 bhp
Max speed: 101 mph
0-62mph: 15.9 seconds
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