Peugeot 208 hatchback

Price  £10,195 - £18,945

Peugeot 208 hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

  • Stylish looks
  • Well equipped
  • Cheap to run
  • Uncomfortable ride
  • Clumsy gearbox
  • Fiesta is more fun to drive

At a glance

The greenest
Active 1.4 e-HDi Stop and Start EGC 70 5dr £15,495
The cheapest
Access Puretech 1.0 VTi 68 3dr £10,195
The fastest
XY 1.6 THP 156 3dr £18,450
Top of the range
Feline 1.6 e-HDi Stop and Start 115 Nav 5dr £18,945

"The Peugeot 208 is an excellent supermini that looks stylish, is cheap to run and has plenty of kit."

The Peugeot 208 is a stylish French hatchback that competes with rivals such as the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, Kia Rio, and Hyundai i20. It looks smart and is decently equipped. The quick Peugeot 208 GTi is an alternative to hot hatchbacks like the Ford Fiesta ST, Renaultsport Clio and the new Volkswagen Polo GTI, which arrives in the UK next year.

Peugeot wanted the 208 to rekindle some of the magic of the old Peugeot 205, which was one of the most fun-to-drive cars in its class in the eighties. Sadly, it hasn’t been completely successful. The 208's steering doesn’t give you much feedback and the car simply can’t match the agile handling of the Ford Fiesta. It is a lot more comfortable than the old model, though.

The upside to this more subdued driving experience is that the 208 feels much more grown-up than the car it replaces. Interior quality has taken a huge leap and buyers get a longer list of standard equipment. Dials sitting above the steering wheel give the 208's dashboard a unique look. However, depending on the height of the driver, this can also mean the wheel obscures the dials.

Peugeot has given the 208 a wide range of engines, including small three-cylinder petrols that are cheap to run and diesels that are even more efficient. The 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine used in the GTi offers the best performance. However, we recommend the 113bhp diesel, thanks to its good balance of power and fuel economy.

Buyers of the three-door 208 can choose from eight trim levels: Access, Access+, Active, Style, Allure, XY, GTi and GTi Prestige. The five-door 208 is not available as a stylish XY or fast GTi, but adds the classier Roland Garros and Feline trims. All 208s have equipment such as cruise control, electric front windows and remote central locking.


MPG, running costs & CO2

4 / 5

The Peugeot 208 offers low running costs across the range

Engines, drive & performance

3.5 / 5

The Peugeot 208’s diesel engines are very impressive, but it’s not as much fun to drive as a Fiesta

Interior & comfort

3 / 5

The Peugeot 208 has a nicer interior than the old 207, but some rivals are more comfortable

Practicality & boot space

3 / 5

Peugeot 208 has a big boot and the option of three or five doors

Reliability & safety

2.5 / 5

The Peugeot 208 looks set to be more reliable than the car it replaces

What the others say

4.1 / 5
based on 4 reviews
4 / 5
The tiny steering wheel adds to the sporty feeling. At 3cm less in diameter than the 207's and the smallest in the class, it makes the car feel alert, with quick reactions once away from dead-ahead. A further benefit is that you view the dials over the top rather than through it, giving a head-up feel.
4 / 5
There are characterful 1.0- and 1.2-litre three-cylinder units at one end of the range, and two 1.6s at the other, with the more powerful one sporting a turbocharger. Between these is the 1.4 that's expected to be the biggest seller.
3.5 / 5
The Peugeot 208 hatchback has every chance of becoming a firm favourite with small hatchback buyers. It's smart, efficient and practical. With three- and five-door bodystyles it also offers variety. It does, however, have a ghost of the past to compete with. The 205, a product of the Eighties, is remembered fondly and as a result it has become benchmark to which all other small hatchbacks are measured. Few make the grade – even the 206 and the 207 that followed the 205 didn’t match up. So the 208 has great expectations heaped upon it and, at first glance, it looks like a worthy successor to the great 205.
5 / 5
It's not perfect, but taken as a whole it represents a really fresh package that is likely to appeal to a wide range of buyers - and for good reason. Peugeot really does seem to have started with that blank piece of paper designer types are always going on about.
What owners say 
4.2 /5 based on 14 reviews
 people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
19 Nov 2014

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