Peugeot modernises its 208
PEUGEOT’S B-Segment hatchback, whether it be the 206, 207 and even the outgoing 208 has always accounted for at least half of the French automaker’s local sales volumes. Suffice to say that an updated 208 is a very important model for the brand. I got behind the wheel of the updated model, which Peugeot hope will kick-start a renewed interest in the brand after the new 308’s surprising lack of local success.
The 208 gets a very mild exterior makeover, with updated headlamps that feature black and chrome finishes, a revised bumper and LED daytime running lights on the more expensive models.
The grille is also wider and has chrome surrounds while the new GT Line models get black and chrome finish in its grille. The side profile remains unchanged apart from new alloy wheel designs, while at the rear, the car gets revised taillights with an LED claw motif. There are also three new colours, orange power and two matte colours, ice silver and ice grey.
The interior of the car is very much the same, with the i-Cockpit that divides opinion among so many. The small steering wheel does intrude upon one’s view of the dashboard however, it looks and feels great. The seven-inch infotainment screen has touchscreen functionality along with USB/Bluetooth/Internet functionality. The interior features good quality materials; the fit and finish is up there with its competitors as is the build quality, which wasn’t always the case with Peugeot models in the past.
The 208 range has received more notable upgrades in the engine and gearbox department. At the lower end of the range, the four-cylinder 1.2-litre motor has been replaced with a more efficient 1.2-litre three-cylinder; it maintains its 60kW output in the Active model and consumes 4.3 litres/100km. The base model Pop Art gets the same new motor but with 50kW and a claimed consumption figure of 4.4 litres/100km.
The big news is the entry of a new model in the form of the GT Line, which gets the 81kW/205Nm 1.2-litre turbo petrol motor from the 308. It is available as a six-speed manual and an all-new six-speed automatic transmission co-developed by ASIN AW. Both the manual and automatic versions use a claimed 4.5 litres/100km.
So what’s it like?
I had the opportunity to drive the GT Line with the automatic transmission for a brief time at launch. Peugeot claims this is a class-leading automatic transmission however, I still believe the DSG transmission in the Polo is superior. That being said, the transmission - in combination with the motor -works very well.
The car gets to 100km/h in less than 10 seconds and has good in-gear acceleration for a more satisfying drive than the previous naturally aspirated unit with the four-speed automatic transmission.
The base model Pop Art gets airconditioning, a radio with CD and AUX compatibility, dual front airbags, front electric windows, ABS brakes, central locking and Isofix child seat points.
The Active model has alloy wheels, colour-coded door handles and mirrors, two-tone halogen headlights, LED daytime running lights, front fog lamps, the seven-inch colour touchscreendisplay, front and rear electric windows and cruise control with speed limiter.
The GT Line adds cornering fog lamps, half-leather upholstery, a leather-trimmed steering, auto-activating headlights and rain-sensing windscreen wipers and an automatic bi-zone climate control system.
I think there is some great value to be had from the base model and even the Active specification in the updated 208 range, however, the GT Line’s pricing is a bit on the high side when compared to rivals such as the Volkswagen Polo, the Mazda2 and Ford’s Fiesta. Overall though, the 208 is a solid product that deserves success in the market place.
Warranty and maintenance
The base model gets a three-year/100 000km warranty, a three-year/45 000km service plan while the Active and GT Line models get a five-year/60 000km premium plan (full maintenance plan).