Review

Peugeot 108 hatchback

Price  £8,245 - £12,395

Peugeot 108 hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Decent standard equipment
  • All models have free road tax
  • Available with a full-length folding roof
Cons
  • Smaller engines feel slow on motorway
  • Cramped back seats
  • Not much fun to drive

At a glance

The greenest
1.0 Stop & Start Active Top! 5dr £11,145
The cheapest
1.0 Access 3dr £8,245
The fastest
PureTech 1.2 VTi Allure Top! 5dr £12,395
Top of the range
PureTech 1.2 VTi Allure Top! 5dr £12,395

“The Peugeot 108 offers plenty of style and standard equipment, but the smaller engines are only suited to city driving.”

Just like the old Peugeot 107, the new 108 has been developed in collaboration with Toyota and Citroen. That means all the parts have been tried and tested to ensure the Peugeot 108 is as reliable and cheap to run as the Hyundai i10, Kia Picanto or VW up!. Power comes from a choice of small petrol engines, all of which manage more than 60mpg while emitting less than 100g/km of CO2 for free road tax.

Three and five-door models are available, and the TOP! model has a full-length opening roof. Inside, there's room for four (at a push) and the boot is an improvement over the old model. While it isn’t huge, it has a lower load lip, making it easier to lift heavy items in and out of the car. There's plenty of standard equipment, too: all models are fitted with LED daytime running lights, electric front windows and remote central locking.

While the Peugeot 108 isn’t the last word in driving fun, it does benefit from a light steering setup and small dimensions, which make it a doddle to manoeuvre around town.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.3 / 5

All models are tax-exempt, while fuel, insurance and maintenance costs should be low, too

The 108 is only available with a pair of low-powered petrol engines, with no Peugeot 108 diesel forecast for the UK market. The 1.0-litre petrol engine is the most economical, and is actually available in two versions – the VTi and VTi Stop & Start, with the latter capable of 74.3mpg and just 88g/km CO2 emissions for free road tax. Even the standard VTi will do 68.9mpg and emits just 95g/km.

The 1.2-litre engine is impressively frugal, too, managing 65.7mpg and just 99g/km of CO2. That means all three engines are free to tax and none will cost much to fuel either.

It’s worth noting that the 1.0-litre engines are only available on the Access and Active trims, with the larger and more powerful 1.2-litre petrol engine limited to the more expensive Allure and Feline specifications.

The Peugeot 108 should allow you to keep a lid on long-term running costs, too. All models fall into a low insurance group and associated repair costs should be cheap thanks to the fact it shares many of its parts with the Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo. If you’re a company car driver, the 108’s low CO2 emissions will help, and the fact that they’re all petrol-powered means you’ll avoid the three per cent diesel surcharge as well.

Engines, drive & performance

3.2 / 5

Perfect around town, but the 108 feels out of its depth on the motorway

First and foremost, the Peugeot 108 has been designed for the city – and this is where it’s most at home. So if you spend most of your time darting around town, the 1.0-litre engine should suit you perfectly, as it feels nippy, agile and easy to drive. However, if you frequently venture out and onto the motorway, we’d advise paying a bit more for the larger engine.

The increased power output of the 1.2-litre engine means it feels much quicker at higher speeds. The proof is in the numbers – while the 1.0-litre engine takes 29.8 seconds to get from 50-70mph, the 1.2-litre engine almost halves it by doing the same sprint in just 15.9 seconds. However, it’s worth noting that the smaller engine is only available on Access and Active trims, while the larger is restricted to Allure and Feline specifications – so which engine you go for is largely dictated by how much standard equipment you need.

In terms of fun, the Peugeot 108 trails the Skoda Citigo and VW up!, while on the motorway the Hyundai i10 feels decidedly more stable. However, it’s a big step up from the old Peugeot 107, and feels a lot better engineered. The steering is light and the visibility is great, so if you want a car designed primarily for the city, you can’t go far wrong.

Interior & comfort

2.6 / 5

Much better than the old Peugeot 107, but the Hyundai i10 is more comfortable still

Peugeot has worked hard on making the 108 more comfortable. The old Peugeot 107 felt cheap and not very cheerful, crashing over bumps and potholes, sending a sharp thud through the suspension and into the driver’s seat. The lack of sound insulation meant you could hear the suspension working away, too.

What you have now is a car that feels a lot more grown-up. There’s no need to wince approaching a pothole anymore, as the car seems to soak up rough roads with ease. A Hyundai i10 or Skoda Citigo will be more comfortable still, but the 108 is an unarguable improvement over the ageing 107.

The 108 takes a big step up in terms of refinement, too. The old model was unbearably noisy on the motorway, but the 108 is much better. You don’t have to turn the radio up all the way just to hear it and there’s no need to shout at your passengers, either. Wind and tyre noise have both been worked on, and now you’ll be able to travel at 70mph without any worries.

Practicality & boot space

3 / 5

Enough room for four at a squeeze, but a Hyundai i10 offers more space

If boot space is your priority, then take a look at the Hyundai i10. The 196-litre boot in the Peugeot 108 is 55 litres shy of the Hyundai’s, but the 108's low load lip does mean it’s easy to lift heavier items into the car. In all but the most basic model, the rear seats split down the middle and fold (but not completely flat), which improves the city car’s practicality further – but let’s be honest, you don’t buy a city car to carry flat-pack furniture.

Rear seat space is predictably limited, though there’s enough room for two adults on a short journey. If you plan on taking passengers regularly, we’d recommend choosing the five-door model, which makes access to the rear considerably easier. Sadly for bargain hunters, the basic Access trim is only available as a three-door, but all the other (more expensive) models can be chosen with three or five doors.

Space up front is as you’d expect and there’s plenty of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel. All 108s except the most basic model have height adjustment for the driver’s seat, while every car gets power-steering, remote central locking and electric front windows.

Reliability & safety

4 / 5

The 108's parts have been tried and tested in the Toyota Aygo and Citroen C1

Peugeot isn't famed for its reliability, but the fact that the 108 was designed with help from Toyota and Citroen could work in the city car’s favour. It carries over a number of tried-and-tested parts from the old Peugeot 107, including the small 1.0-litre engine – so anyone worried about the car’s longevity should take confidence in that. The newer 1.2-litre engine is more of an unknown, although it's also offered in the Peugeot 208. Engines are so thoroughly tested these days that we’d be very surprised if it suffered any recurring or widespread reliability problems.

The 108 was awarded four stars by Euro NCAP, scoring 80 per cent for both adult and child occupant protection. The crash tests have become more stringent recently, so the car's failure to achieve the full five stars is not hugely significant. There’s plenty of clever technology and equipment as standard, including anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, six airbags and two ISOFIX child-seat mounts.

Price, value for money & options

3.3 / 5

Decent specification, but the Toyota Aygo comes with a five-year warranty

The Peugeot 108 costs about the same as its rivals, such as the Skoda Citigo, Citroen C1 and Hyundai i10. Peugeot has also made sure it comes packed with equipment, with all models benefitting from electric front windows, LED daytime running lights and a host of safety features, including six airbags and two ISOFIX child seat mounts.

Step up to the mid-spec Peugeot 108 Active model and you’ll add larger wheels, colour-coded body trim (rather than black door handles and mirrors) and air-conditioning. Inside, you get a seven-inch touchscreen, DAB radio, a Bluetooth phone connection and a height-adjustable driver’s seat. Active cars and above are also available as a TOP! model. This adds a full-length fabic roof, which can be opened in a similar fashion to the Fiat 500C and Citroen DS3 Cabrio.

Probably the best-value model in the range is the Allure, which only costs about £3,000 more than the basic Access, but adds a reversing camera, alloy wheels, automatic headlights and keyless go.

It’s the top-spec Feline model that boasts the most luxury, though, including automatic climate control and leather seats. But we’d recommend sticking with Allure – you get all the equipment you could ever want, and it looks great, too.

What the others say

3 / 5
based on 1 review
3 / 5
We still rate the Skoda Citigo and Hyundai i10 for their superior refinement and general grown-up feeling but the 108 is certainly a great contender. As for the Toyota-Citroen-Peugeot choice, there's really not much in it. Go for whichever one you like the look of most.
Last updated 
25 Jun 2014

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