Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Peugeot 208 hatchback review

“The Peugeot 208 hatchback is a modern, stylish supermini with a future-proof engine range, but it’s a shame it’s not more fun to drive”

Carbuyer Rating

4.2 out of 5

Owners Rating

2.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Striking design
  • Nippy petrol model
  • Electric version available

Cons

  • Numb steering
  • Tight interior space
  • Quite expensive

Verdict - Is the Peugeot 208 a good car?

The Peugeot 208 is a rare thing: a supermini that’s available with petrol, diesel and electric powertrains. So whether you’re after a small car for nipping to the shops, one for motorway commutes, or something for zero-emission driving, there’s a 208 for you. The diesel version offers extraordinarily good economy, even if it’s not the most socially acceptable choice. Most people will opt for one of the petrol versions, which offer a great blend of performance and fuel economy. It’s just a shame that the 208 is held back by a poor driving position, a small boot and a harsh ride. On the plus side, it’s arguably the most stylish small car you can buy.

Peugeot 208 models, specs and alternatives

Recent hits like the Peugeot 3008 SUV meant hopes were high that the 208 would continue the brand’s strong run, firmly closing the door on some underwhelming offerings from its recent past. Happily the manufacturer produced another winner, distilling the impressive design of its SUVs into this small but crucial model to take the fight to a range of competitive rivals.

Best small electric carsTop 10 best small electric cars 2024

Few superminis look as good as the 208. Even the entry-level version rides on a set of stylish 16-inch alloy wheels, while all versions boast a pair of tooth-like daytime running lights flanking a sophisticated face. Opt for the GT Line trim and you get full LED headlights, 17-inch diamond-cut alloys, a diamond black roof and an array of cosmetic upgrades. Fans of Peugeot’s heritage will appreciate the nods to the 205, including wheels pushed out to each corner and the rounded rear end. You might want to hold on until late 2023, though, when a facelift will make the 208 look even more appealing. See the bottom of this page for more details.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Underneath, the 208’s chassis was future-proofed by making it highly adaptable, and it’s able to accommodate petrol, diesel or pure-electric powertrains, with the 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol making up the bulk of sales. For the time being this PureTech engine is offered with 75, 99 or 128bhp – though mild-hybrid versions of the more powerful motors are due with the car's facelift later in 2023.

A 1.5-litre diesel with 99bhp is offered at the moment, although it’s thought this will be dropped in line with the 208’s mid-life update. The electric e-208 will live on, however; currently boasting 134bhp and a driving range of up to 225 miles, the EV will get more power and extra range when it is facelifted.

The 208 has attracted customers who have never considered a Peugeot supermini before, with many impressed by the interior. Sophisticated, soft-touch materials, lashings of piano black trim, contrasting stitching and a digital instrument display are features more commonly associated with executive cars, but they’re all here. In fact, the higher trim models even get a 3D driver’s display for an even more impressive effect.

There’s lots of kit too, including 16-inch alloy wheels and a small digital dial display for Active Premium+ cars. This replaced Active Premium spec in mid-2022, adding dual-zone climate control, automatic wipers and tinted windows. Allure Premium+ trim introduces equipment such as LED ‘Claw Effect’ front lights, a 180-degree parking camera and Peugeot’s i-Cockpit digital instrument layout. The range-topping GT boasts a sporty makeover with a contrasting black roof panel, dark chrome trim, full LED headlights and 17-inch alloy wheels. While all of this equipment makes the 208 slightly more expensive than rivals, finance deals keep monthly payments competitive.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Another sticking point is the 208’s size, as its curved silhouette means that boot space is only average compared with rivals and taller passengers may struggle to get comfortable in the rear. The driver won’t be much better off either, as Peugeot’s signature i-Cockpit means you must adjust the steering wheel lower than you normally would so as not to obscure the dials; we recommend at least sitting in a 208 before you buy one as this unconventional driving position is often a dealbreaker for many buyers.

Peugeot has sold over one million 208s since it launched in 2019, which means it’s time for the sleek Volkswagen Polo-rivalling supermini to be called in for a mid-life nip and tuck. Orders for the updated Peugeot 208 and e-208 will open in October 2023.

As is the way these days, the 208 gets a subtly updated look with new lights and a new grille, plus new engines and added technology. There’s a range boost for the electric version, which we’ve covered separately in our e-208 review.

Peugeot says the new look is inspired by the 9X8 Hypercar and is similar to the one seen on the revised Peugeot 508 saloon and SW estate. The claw-like daytime running lights have been pushed sideways to give the car a broader appearance.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

All models get the new Peugeot badge, plus a body-coloured grille that also extends outwards to further emphasise that stockier stance. Tweaks to the rear aren’t as extensive, but a new light signature apparently gives the car a “more commanding rear view” according to its maker.

There are two new colours: Agueda Yellow and Selenium Grey, and all models now feature gloss black door mirrors. There are also two new alloy wheel designs, inspired by those offered on the latest Peugeot 408.

Inside, the big news is the revised i-Cockpit system, which Peugeot says is “even more advanced, connected and ergonomic” than before. Comprising a 10-inch digital instrument cluster on Allure and GT versions, the latter gets a customisable 3D design.

All models – including the base Active – now get an additional 10-inch central touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. As with higher-spec versions of the mechanically similar Citroen C4, the 208 Allure and GT feature a high-definition display paired with the brand’s i-Connect infotainment system.

Other interior changes include eight-colour ambient lighting, more powerful wireless phone charging and new USB-C sockets. There’s a new gear lever for models fitted with the five or six-speed manual transmission, while automatic versions retain the ‘e-Toggle’ design introduced in 2022.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Under the bonnet, Peugeot is offering two new mild-hybrid engine options: the Hybrid 100 and Hybrid 136. The maker says these motors benefit from extra torque at low revs and bring up to 15% lower fuel consumption; in urban driving, the Hybrid 136 can operate in EV mode “more than 50%” of the time. 

Conventional PureTech 75 and PureTech 100 petrol models remain, both of which get a manual gearbox as standard. Prices for all models will be announced nearer the car’s launch in October.

For now, the current 208 starts from around £17,000 for the Active trim with a 1.2-litre petrol engine, rising to around £30,000 for the e-208 in lavish GT trim.

Trim levels

Power options

  • Active
  • Active Premium
  • Allure
  • Allure Premium
  • GT Line
  • GT
  • 1.2 PureTech 75
  • 1.2 PureTech 100
  • 1.2 PureTech 130
  • 1.5 BlueHDi
  • 50kWh, 134bhp

Peugeot 208 alternatives

The Peugeot 208 hatchback is the French brand's best-selling model and continues a lineage started by the iconic Peugeot 205 supermini. The small five-door is a direct rival to the Renault Clio, Volkswagen Polo and Hyundai i20, and while it still competes with the Vauxhall Corsa, it now shares a great deal of its parts with it, too. The 208 marked the first time that Peugeot offered a fully electric version of one of its cars in the form of the Peugeot e-208, which we've reviewed separately.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Superminis

Small electric cars

New Peugeot 208 facelift gets updated engines, design and technology

Peugeot has sold over one million 208s since it launched in 2019, which means it’s time for the sleek Volkswagen Polo-rivalling supermini to be called in for a mid-life nip and tuck. Orders for the updated Peugeot 208 and e-208 will open in October 2023.

Peugeot 208 facelift front static

As is the way these days, the 208 gets a subtly updated look with new lights and a new grille, plus new engines and added technology. There’s a range boost for the electric version, which we’ve covered separately in our e-208 review.

Peugeot says the new look is inspired by the 9X8 Hypercar and is similar to the one seen on the revised Peugeot 508 saloon and SW estate. The claw-like daytime running lights have been pushed sideways to give the car a broader appearance.

All models get the new Peugeot badge, plus a body-coloured grille that also extends outwards to further emphasise that stockier stance. Tweaks to the rear aren’t as extensive, but a new light signature apparently gives the car a “more commanding rear view” according to its maker.

There are two new colours: Agueda Yellow and Selenium Grey, and all models now feature gloss black door mirrors. There are two new alloy wheel designs, inspired by those offered on the latest Peugeot 408.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Inside, the big news is the revised i-Cockpit system, which Peugeot says is “even more advanced, connected and ergonomic” than before. Comprising a 10-inch digital instrument cluster on Allure and GT versions, the latter gets a customisable 3D design.

Peugeot 208 facelift interior

All models – including the base Active – now get an additional 10-inch central touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. As with higher-spec versions of the mechanically similar Citroen C4, the 208 Allure and GT get a high-definition display paired with the brand’s i-Connect infotainment system.

Other interior changes include eight-colour ambient lighting, more powerful wireless phone charging and new USB-C sockets. There’s a new gear lever for models fitted with the five or six-speed manual transmission, while automatic versions retain the ‘e-Toggle’ design introduced in 2022.

Under the bonnet, Peugeot is offering two new mild-hybrid engine options: the Hybrid 100 and Hybrid 136. The maker says these motors benefit from extra torque at low revs and bring up to 15% lower fuel consumption; in urban driving, the Hybrid 136 can allegedly operate in EV mode “more than 50%” of the time. 

Conventional PureTech 75 and PureTech 100 petrol models remain, both of which get a manual gearbox as standard. Prices for all models will be announced nearer the car’s launch in October.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

New Fiat Grande Panda: everything we know about Italy’s retro-inspired EV
Fiat Grande Panda front quarter
News
11 Jul 2024

New Fiat Grande Panda: everything we know about Italy’s retro-inspired EV

Renault Captur review – a stylish, good-value small SUV
Renault Captur facelift Carbuyer review
In-depth reviews
11 Jul 2024

Renault Captur review – a stylish, good-value small SUV

Hyundai Tucson review – a great family car
Hyundai Tucson front quarter driving
In-depth reviews
10 Jul 2024

Hyundai Tucson review – a great family car

Volvo V90 estate review
Volvo V90 front quarter
In-depth reviews
10 Jul 2024

Volvo V90 estate review

Most Popular

All-new MG HS aims to “disrupt the market”
MG HS teaser profile
News
1 Jul 2024

All-new MG HS aims to “disrupt the market”

Ford Capri returns! Coupe reborn as new all-electric SUV
Ford Capri front quarter
News
10 Jul 2024

Ford Capri returns! Coupe reborn as new all-electric SUV

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s best PCP finance offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
5 Jul 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s best PCP finance offers

EV price drop! Huge £3,000 discount for Peugeot E-2008 and E-208
Peugeot E-2008 discount
News
4 Jul 2024

EV price drop! Huge £3,000 discount for Peugeot E-2008 and E-208

Significant price cuts of up to £3,000 introduced to Peugeot’s electric models from today
Hot car deal: Peugeot E-208 with all the bells and whistles for only £226pm
Peugeot E-208 hot car deal
Deals
2 Jul 2024

Hot car deal: Peugeot E-208 with all the bells and whistles for only £226pm

Our deal for July 2nd isn’t just any run-of-the-mill EV; it’s the stylish Peugeot E-208 in top-spec GT trim
Top 10 used hatchbacks – the best second-hand buys in 2024
Best used hatchbacks
Best cars
26 Jun 2024

Top 10 used hatchbacks – the best second-hand buys in 2024

Cars like these are easy to park, spacious, well-equipped and cheap to run. We pick out the best used hatchbacks
The most reliable small cars on sale in 2024
Most reliable small cars
Best cars
21 Jun 2024

The most reliable small cars on sale in 2024

Reliability is a top priority for many small car buyers – here are the most dependable models as voted by the owners themselves
Top 10 best small electric cars 2024
Best small electric cars
Best cars
31 May 2024

Top 10 best small electric cars 2024

Looking for a compact, zero-emissions car? These are the best small electric cars on sale
The best cheap fun cars from under £5k to over £10k
Best cheap fun cars
Best cars
23 Apr 2024

The best cheap fun cars from under £5k to over £10k

You don’t need a big budget to have fun on the road – these cheap sports cars deliver cut-price smiles
Hot car deal: tempting Peugeot 208 supermini for just £134 a month
Peugeot 208 front quarter
Deals
27 Mar 2024

Hot car deal: tempting Peugeot 208 supermini for just £134 a month

The eye-catching Peugeot 208 is a real charmer and is our hot car deal for March 27th for a bargain £134 per month
Top 10 best small company cars 2024
Best small company cars
Best cars
23 Feb 2024

Top 10 best small company cars 2024

Are you after a small company car with equally compact Benefit-in-Kind bills? These 10 cars should be on your shortlist
Skip advert
Advertisement
Hot car deal: chic Peugeot 208 supermini for £163 a month
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Deals
14 Feb 2024

Hot car deal: chic Peugeot 208 supermini for £163 a month

Our hot car deal for February 14th is the stylish Peugeot 208 for just £163 a month
Top 10 best small cars and superminis 2024
The best small cars and superminis 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best small cars and superminis 2024

The best small cars and superminis aren’t just cheap to buy and run, those at the top of the class are also stylish and fun to drive
Peugeot E-208 review - stylish EV, but tight on space
Peugeot E-208
In-depth reviews
23 Nov 2023

Peugeot E-208 review - stylish EV, but tight on space

"The Peugeot E-208 is a stylish small EV with a competitive range, but it’s a bit cramped"
Facelifted Peugeot 208 and E-208 will leave you spoilt for choice
Peugeot E-208
News
19 Oct 2023

Facelifted Peugeot 208 and E-208 will leave you spoilt for choice

Visual tweaks and new hybrid models give the French supermini a boost, while electric versions now start at just over £32,000
Top 10 best new cars under £20,000
Best new cars under £20k
Best cars
20 Sep 2023

Top 10 best new cars under £20,000

With a budget of up to £20,000 you can get into some of the most impressive small cars on the market
What is Peugeot i-Cockpit?
Peugeot i-Cockpit
Tips and advice
6 Jun 2023

What is Peugeot i-Cockpit?

Peugeot offers one of the most striking car interiors on the market – we explain what makes it so different
Top 10 best cars with panoramic sunroofs
Toyota Yaris
Best cars
16 Jan 2023

Top 10 best cars with panoramic sunroofs

Putting a hole in the roof can add a real feeling of light and warmth to a car's interior. Here's our rundown of the best panoramic sunroofs
2023 Peugeot e-208 has more power and 248-mile range
2023 Peugeot e-208
News
27 Sep 2022

2023 Peugeot e-208 has more power and 248-mile range

The new Peugeot e-208 will share the e-308’s electric technology, increasing range by 10.5%
2022 Peugeot 208 update brings more tech and value
2022 Peugeot 208
News
1 Aug 2022

2022 Peugeot 208 update brings more tech and value

French supermini gets more equipment as standard for 2022 with no price hike
Skip advert
Advertisement
Peugeot 208 and 2008 SUV receive minor interior update
208 Toggle
News
29 Mar 2022

Peugeot 208 and 2008 SUV receive minor interior update

Peugeot’s smallest models get a modern toggle switch for the automatic gearbox
Peugeot 208 and e-208 updated for 2022
2022 Peugeot e-208 GT
News
21 Dec 2021

Peugeot 208 and e-208 updated for 2022

Allure trim is discontinued; Peugeot e-208 gets higher range estimate
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

You don't have to buy a luxury car to enjoy a great interior. We've listed our top cars to spend time in, regardless of budget
Special edition cars: the best, worst and weirdest
News
15 Dec 2020

Special edition cars: the best, worst and weirdest

Take a look at the best and most memorable special edition cars
New 2020 Citroen C4 and e-C4: prices start at £20,990
News
1 Oct 2020

New 2020 Citroen C4 and e-C4: prices start at £20,990

The new Citroen C4 gets an SUV-style design, new tech, and full range of powertrains
Peugeot 208: old vs new
News
18 Jun 2020

Peugeot 208: old vs new

How does the stylish new Peugeot 208 compare with the old one?

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
Best electric cars
Best cars
16 May 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024