Peugeot 208 1.4 VTi Active
launch of the new less is
more Peugeot 208 three- and
five-door supermini marks the
introduction of one of the most
important new Peugeots. Not only
does it come with less weight
and cost less money but it has
more engine options, more fuel
economy, more interior space
and potentially more desirability...
SHOULD ALSO BRING MORE CUSTOMERS and more sales to Peugeot. For current Peugeot
fans, this new 208 replaces the 207 hatchback range with another far better.
However, 207 SW estate and CC coupe-cabriolet models will continue in production
for a while.
In the UK sales of the lighter, shorter, cheaper-to-buy-and-run and easier to
park 208 hatchbacks begin on 28 June final prices have yet to be confirmed
but provisionally they will cost between £9,995 and £17,495. Five trim and equipment
levels will be on offer: the base Access, followed by Access+, Active, Allure
and the range-topping Feline.
The defining feature of the new 208 is the reduction in weight over the 207
hatchbacks. Weight-saving has been made in all areas, from the drivetrain to
the body construction, resulting in 114kg being slimmed off. Impressive when
you know that 208 actually uses the same platform and construction architecture
as the 207, but revised inside and out from nose to tail.
The 208 sports a new
and more refined grille,
its sides are more
curvaceous and the car
looks both more athletic
and less ponderous.
Signature LED lighting is
used front and back...
The overall length has been marginally reduced so the 208 looks more compact
and consequently it's visually easier to park. The front and rear bumpers have
been slimmed down, and the 208 looks less heavy and bulbous. Plus the weight
loss makes it more agile on the road, improves performance, reduces emissions
and improves fuel economy.
Styling changes have done away with the overpowering droopy nose and bonnet
design of the 207; in its place is a new and more refined grille. The 208's
sides are more curvaceous and the car looks both more athletic and less ponderous.
Signature LED lighting is used to good effect front and back.
Inside there's more passenger space, especially knee room in the rear, and the
boot is marginally larger (boot / load space: 285 / 1,076 litres). Also new
is a smaller diameter steering wheel which gives the driver more room to manoeuvre
this has been in conjunction with moving the instrument panel higher
on the dashboard so the dials are read not through, but over the steering wheel.
It takes a little time to adjust to this layout but it works.
Most models come with a 7-inch touchscreen mounted almost in a freestanding
way on the centre of the console. This screen is used to access various functions:
radio, Bluetooth, sound system, the on-board computer and, where fitted, the
SatNav. It will also be used to accommodate a huge range of Apps covering traffic
conditions, fuel stations and fuel prices, parking spaces, Michelin Guides (restaurants
and hotels), weather forecasts and even Yellow Pages. When launched, this paid-for
system will operate 24/7, covering 17 countries.
customers will also appreciate the wider range of even more fuel-efficient engines.
The efficiency of the HDi diesel units and the VTi and THP petrol engines has
been reinforced by the arrival of a new generation of three-cylinder petrol
was the new
styling inside and out,
and I particularly liked
steering wheel and raised
launch the comprehensive engine line-up offers the following diesels: 1.4 and
1.6-litre turboed units (68, 92, and 115bhp). Most use Peugeot's e-HDi micro-hybrid
Stop and Start system and emissions begin at a low 87g/km and rise to a still
very efficient 99g/km. Fuel economy ranges from 74.3 to 83.1mpg. Diesel sales
in this sector are relatively small because of the higher price of the engine
and fuel over petrol units, which is why only around 26% of 208s sold in the
UK (mostly to businesses) will be diesel powered.
Far more relevant to 74% of UK 208 customers (especially those who didn't buy
a 207 because there wasn't a low-CO2, high-fuel economy unit on offer) will
be the new petrol engine line-up.
Two three-cylinder petrol engines have been added to the range: a 68bhp 1.0-litre
with a five-speed 'box, 99g/km and a combined cycle 65.7mpg; and a more popular
82bhp 1.2 with 104g/km that returns 62.8mpg.
Moving up in cylinders, there's a four-pot 95bhp 1.4 with 129g/km and 50.4mpg.
Moving up in capacity, there's a 120bhp 1.6-litre with 134g/km and 48.7mpg;
and, most powerful of all, a 1.6 turbocharged THP model with 156bhp, 135g/km
and 48.7mpg. Note that the three-cylinder petrol engines and the 1.6 THP units
will not be available for the UK market until late summer.
Driving the new 208s on the hilly roads around Lisbon last week gave the new
models a lively workout. Immediately likeable was the new styling inside and
out, and I particularly liked the smaller steering wheel and raised instrument
panel design. The 208 benefits very noticeably from the weight loss over the
207 hatchbacks it has come to life; it's agile, the handling is more
predictable and the steering responses sharper and less ponderous.
suspension absorbs most bumps and potholes without any great loss in ride comfort
and the best performance in that department came from the Active spec's standard
15-inch wheels rather than the 16-inch rims used by higher spec versions. The
Active level also comes with most of the kit most people will need which is
why it will be most popular for most customers.
The 95bhp 1.4 four-
engine impressed me
the most because
of its extra torque
paying the extra £500
over the next
I drove a number of the engines on offer but it was the 95bhp 1.4 four-cylinder
petrol powerplant that most impressed me because of its extra torque
and well worth paying the extra £500 over the next best-selling 82bhp 1.2 three-cylinder
Both could do with having a smoother action six-speed manual 'box rather than
the current five-speeder, which would also reduce engine revs at higher cruising
speeds and, I suspect, improve fuel economy even further.
noted, the 1.2 three-pot is a bright and lively engine and certainly a worthwhile
addition to the range: it will suit drivers who mainly cover short trips and
the occasional longer motorway journey. For the record, over the same test route
the three-cylinder 1.2 recorded 38.2mpg; the four-cylinder 1.4, which had to
work less hard up hills and during acceleration, returned 41.3mpg.
Against? Thick front-quarter pillars limit visibility; the worst of the potholes
will be felt in the cabin. Plus points are that the 208 is better in all areas
than the 207 hatchback it replaces: lighter weight, more agile, sharper handling,
wider range of engine options, better rear seat knee room, and a quality interior.
No doubt that the slimmed-down, sharper looking and roomier 208 benefits from
all the changes over the 207 and should generate a significant increase in sales
for the 208 over the ponderous 207. In addition the new three-cylinder petrol
engines will also benefit buyers, so it looks like a win-win situation for Peugeot
and their customers. David Miles
208 1.4 VTi Active | £13,295
Maximum speed: 117mph | 0-62mph: 10.5 seconds | Overall test MPG: 41.3mpg
Power: 95bhp | Torque: 100lb ft | CO2 129g/km