Peugeot were once known for their distinctive designs, daring models, and sporty prowess. It’s safe to say that for a while, they lost their way a little; there was too much reliance on the accountants, rather than the engineers or designers.
This isn’t just speculation – Peugeot realised that the magic ‘X factor’ was missing, and set about returning to their old ways: a new range of SUVs launched, then we have the 508 which is simply stunning, and then of course, we have what Peugeot do best, small hatchbacks, or ‘superminis’.
Peugeot say that thanks to their new ethos, it’s had its biggest upturn in residual values for a supermini in two decades. Peugeot are once again, King of the supermini.
OK, so you don’t expect to read ‘loveliness’ when we’re talking about cars, but Top Gear have already used “supremely desirable”, and “futuristic mini with a powertrain for everyone”, and carwow have bagged “Little Legend” (with the carwow Little Legend Award in the 2019 Car of the Year Awards), so what else is there?
Yes, we could pick any number of superlatives to describe the little 208, but loveliness fits so well … it’s comfort, reassuring, familiar, pretty … lovely!
Better still, this isn’t a dowdy hatchback in a prom dress, Peugeot have engineered the new 208 from the wheels upwards, and you can tell; everything just seems to be better. Gone are the cheaper plastics, to be replaced by thicker, tactile plastics, there’s quality metal detailing inside the cabin, and an abundance of tech – Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, DAB radio, 7 inch touchscreen (or 10 inch with different trim levels), ambient lighting, parking sensors, reversing camera, and LED lighting are all available.
There are five different powertrains available (if you include the e-208): three petrol engines, using just three cylinders with a total capacity of 1.2 litres, fitted with a turbocharger. Power outputs of the petrol engines are 74hp (with a 5-speed manual gearbox), 99hp (six-speed manual gearbox or 8-speed auto) and 128hp, only available with the fully automatic gearbox.
There’s also a super frugal diesel with four cylinders (1.5 litre, 99hp), and the fully electric e-208 with a 50kWh battery, giving around 138hp and a range of 211 miles. More than ample for the regular supermini user.
On a side note, Peugeot’s automatic gearboxes have always been class-leading, and the new 208 is no different, with much of the motoring press describing it as the best in class. No clunky shifting here.
Peugeot have definitely upped their game over the last decade or so when it comes to build quality and ‘added value’; the trim materials used are of a higher quality, the fit & finish is something that you’d expect to find in a German car, and the whole car feels ‘engineered’ rather than budgeted.
To be clear, we aren’t saying that previous generations of Peugeot were anything but OK, just that they could have been better, and that’s what has driven Peugeot with these next-generation models; buying a Peugeot is no longer about budget, you’re buying one because they’re an easy match for other European models, and they have the added flair that only a French supermini can bring to the table.
Take the 3D i-Cockpit for example: an intuitive system that allows you to place your preferred dials at front and centre – projecting the important dials just that little closer to you, layering the less important ones in the background, or the touchscreen that gives you smartphone levels of responsiveness, and as for the ‘piano key’ toggle switches … they’re a thing of beauty.
The new 208 is different. It represents a change in company philosophy, it delivers more style, more driving experience and more technology, this is a driver’s car, something that ticks the right boxes and works on every level.
Forget what you know about the Peugeot of old, this is the dawning of a new era.
Need more information? Would you like to find out just how different these new Peugeots are? Contact one of team for further details.