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Car trim reviews

Peugeot 208 Active

"The Peugeot 208 Active has all of the basic kit a modern hatchback should have."

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If you take out the Peugeot 208 GTi versions out of the mix, the Active trim is regarded as one of the mid-range options in the standard 208's variants. It comes with all of the essentials a small hatchback needs, like air conditioning, a touchscreen infotainment system with DAB and Bluetooth, alloy wheels and cruise control.

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Whether you choose a petrol or diesel engine for your 208 hatchback, you should be impressed by the claimed fuel economy figures. The most fuel-efficient petrol engine can return up to a claimed 69mpg, while the diesel options make that rise to up to a stellar 94mpg. Even for a hatchback, those figures are pretty impressive. Plus, it helps that the most you'll pay for road tax is just £20, if you pay at all.

Since the 208's facelift in mid-2015, the French hatch has had a range of personalisation options available. Along with the usual gloss and metallic paint finishes, you can now apply 'textured paint'. Colour packs are available too; Menthol White and Lime Green personalisation packs apply the specified colour to parts like the front grille and door mirrors and appear in the seat stitching and door handles.

The Peugeot 208 is designed to be a hatchback that's easy to live with. Along with the uncluttered dashboard, the comfortable ride and small steering wheel are designed in such a way that the car is inobtrusive to drive.

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Good points

No matter which engine you pick, you should expect to achieve very good fuel efficiency figures. All engines are capable of more than a claimed 60mpg and most are tax free.The 208's personalisation options add a bit of unique style to the hatchback. The two colour packs can blend really well with certain colour finishes, and the addition of 'textured paint' is unique for such a small car.The Peugeot 208 is pretty easy to drive. It's more inobtrusive rather than involving, and is meant for those who want a car that's easy to live with, rather than exciting.

Bad points

Interior storage options are lacking. A common problem with Peugeot models is that the fuse box takes up a large amount of the glovebox's total space. There aren't that many cubbies either.The touchscreen infotainment system is clunky to operate and slow to respond, making for a distracting activity when you're on the move.Interior quality may be improving, but it's not as solid as a Volkswagen Polo. Plus, features like front fog lights and even an alarm aren't standard equipment.

What you get

  • Alloy wheels
  • Folding rear seats
  • Tyre pressure sensors
  • Passenger & Driver airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Curtain airbags
  • Manual air conditioning
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • Front electric windows
  • AUX stereo input
  • DAB Radio
  • Cruise control
  • Stop/Start
  • Bluetooth

Recommended optional extras

  • Alarm

Our choice

That 94.2mpg claimed fuel economy figure from the 1.6-litre BlueHDi S&S diesel engine is very hard to ignore, but it only really comes into its own if you do a lot of miles or motorway drives. One of the petrol engines will be better suited to those who don't do a lot of miles per year.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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