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Let me begin this review with an honest opinion after reviewing this car for a week. I’d buy it. Yes, with my own money – for me to drive!
As I continue writing this review, I will remain objective.
Let’s start with the accolades, to validate my own feelings perhaps. The 208 was the European Car of the Year 2020 (60 automotive experts across Europe) and the Women’s World Car of the Year - Best City Car 2021 (50 female journalists, 38 countries, 5 continents). Not to mention that the 208 was the bestselling vehicle in Europe for the first months of 2021. Pretty good start, right!
The new 208 represents an attractive, assertive redesign that has given the brand-new Peugeot 208 a sharper identity and even more visual impact, showing off chic, sporty contours. You’ll notice a new front bumper as well as a wider, fully integrated grille, fang effect daytime running lights, new two-tone headlamps and restyled front fog lamps. Swing to the rear end and your notice 2 spoilers for better performance and efficiency (version dependant) and 3 claw effect lights – think elegance, modernity, dynamism and a striking black band detail.
Rear LED lights with a redesigned lion claw motif give the 208 a more confident, intense look. High-tech, two-tone black and chrome headlamps at the front of the vehicle create a sharper, sleeker front face with excellent visibility. The GT version is even more defined by the signature lion –claw motif design full LED headlights as well.
The styling is a hit!
Step inside the cabin and meet the third-generation Peugeot i-Cockpit, with its compact steering wheel, the world’s first production 3D-digital heads-up instrument panel and large up to 10” touchscreen. These features transform the driving experience, providing intuitive access to controls, and making for an intense sensory adventure. The i-Cockpit® 3D is futuristic, yet completely practical with the impressive 7” or 10” HD touch screen featuring unique, retro-look switches for improved ergonomic appeal. Information is easily accessed and prioritised, resulting in safer, more comfortable driving.
Discover the latest state-of-the-art features developed by Peugeot to perfectly integrate into your driving experience, enhancing driver enjoyment and improving safety. The Mirror Screen feature works using Android AutoTM (for Android phones) and Apple CarPlayTM (for iOS phones).
Comfort and visual appeal have been significantly enhanced in the interior of the 208, with the seats and upholstery available in a choice of premium materials with handsome topstitching. All in all, you get a stylish yet exhilarating drive, which will have you finding excuses to take it for a spin.
So, what is it like to drive?
The 208 is powered by the brand’s well-established PureTech 1.2 engines in both naturally aspirated and turbocharged formats. The engines are mated to a variety of manual or automatic gearboxes. The 208 Active is fitted with a PureTech 3-cylinder engine available in a naturally aspirated 1.2l – 55 kW version. The PureTech 3-cylinder is also available in a turbocharged 1.2l – 74 kW version on the Allure Manual, and in 96 kW guise for the Allure Automatic and range-topping GT. The 74-kW engine is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, whereas the 96 kW is combined with an EAT 6 automatic gearbox (Efficient Automatic Transmission 6-speed), which uses Quick Shift technology for faster changing.
I was given the 74-kW engine mated with a beautiful, slick shifting manual gearbox. What is more important to understand is that the 208 is compact and light. The power-to-weight ratio is therefore in favour of spirited acceleration that is pure joy in action. The more powerful motor will no doubt only enhance the sensation.
Not just a pretty face with a futuristic cabin, but a safety boffin too, the 208 has the best-in-class Advanced Driving Aids – Expanded Recognition of Road Signs and Markings. In addition to recognition of Speed Limit and End of Speed Limit, the system recognises the following signs: stop, one-way street, no overtaking and end of no overtaking. Fancy, hey!
You’ll also find Lane Keeping Assist, Driver Attention Alert and automatic switching headlights – depending on lighting and traffic conditions, the system will automatically switch between high and low beam headlights. And did I mention Hill Start Assist and Active Safety Brake, which we all need with our modern-day distractions? When a driver fails to react to an impending forward collision with another vehicle, a pedestrian or an animal, Automatic Emergency Braking is triggered, limiting, or avoiding any damage.
Parking is made easy with a 180° video camera on the boot hatch, while Park Assist sensors provide information including an overhead view of the vehicle. The system makes it easier to align your vehicle while parking and displays any obstacles.
In conclusion, I was very taken aback with the new 208. It’s great on the eye, beautifully put together, loaded with up-to-date features and the drive is joyous. Its shortcomings are minor and not worth much of a mention. Holistically, it’s my favourite small car option on the market currently.
VW Polo, Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio, Citroen C3, Opal Corsa, Kia Rio, Mazda2, Nissan Micra and Toyota Yaris
Active - R302 900
Allure MT - R365 900
Allure AT - R396 900
GT - R443 900
Service and warranty
3 -years/ 100 000km maintenance plan.
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