Fun to drive with extra potential

Peugeot 208
Peugeot 208

The 208 hatchback sees Peugeot build yet more sophistication and style into its supermini line.

With some extremely economical engines and a focus on making the car better to drive and better to sit in, this could well be one to watch. Especially in frugal but responsive 1.6 e-HDi diesel form.

The best thing about the 207 was its engine technology and the 208 carries on where the 207 left off with probably the most impressive range of efficient engines in the whole supermini class. Arguably the cleverest units are reserved for the diesel line-up, with the ‘e-HDi’ micro-hybrid technology that’s already been widely used across Peugeot’s larger models.

There are two units from which to choose, a 68bhp 1.4 and a 92bhp 1.6, with or without the Gallic brand’s rather jerky EGC semi-automatic transmission. We elected to try a manual 1.4, valuing the extra potential performance that sees this variant reach sixty from rest in 10.8s on the way to 118mph. And on the move, it feels fun to drive, helped by the tiny steering wheel, above which you must look to see instrumentation that’s been raised up near the windscreen like an MPV.

Whichever transmission you choose for your 208 in 1.6-litre e-HDi guise, the car will be capable of 74.3mpg on the combined cycle and a CO2 return that just dips under the magic 100g/km mark. Pricing for this 208 1.6 e-HDi starts from just over the £14,000 mark. There’s a choice of either manual or EGC automatic transmission with either three or five-door bodystyles.

FACTS AT A GLANCE

CAR: Peugeot 208 1.6 e-HDi

PRICES: £14,145-£17,845 - on the road

INSURANCE GROUP: 17

CO2 EMISSIONS: 87g/km

PERFORMANCE: 0-60mph 12.2s / Max Speed 115mph

FUEL CONSUMPTION: (combined) 74.3mpg

STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: Twin front, side and curtain airbags, anti lock brakes with brake assist, electronic stability control

WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: Length/Width/Height mm 3960/1720/1462.