Peugeot 208 hatchback (2012-2019)
“The Peugeot 208 supermini is stylish and generously equipped, with thrifty engines to help cut your motoring bills”
- Distinctive styling
- Lots of equipment
- Low running costs
- Hard ride
- Vague gearbox
- Rivals are better to drive
Peugeot hasn’t skimped on the engine range, so there should be a level of performance, fuel economy and price to suit everyone. The 1.2-litre petrol is available with 81 or 108bhp; all manage around 50mpg or more. If you can stretch to it, the 108bhp is our pick, because it’s more advanced, with similar economy (with up to 49.8mpg) as well as an impressive turn of speed. Stop-start technology also reduces CO2 emissions to 106g/km, making it appealing for business drivers who pay Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax.
If you expect to cover more than 12,000 miles a year or so, you might be better off the 1.5-litre diesel engine. It has 99bhp and emits less than 100g/km of CO2. If fuel economy is your primary concern, it's worth knowing that it's claimed to return 67mpg, making it one of the most fuel-efficient conventional diesel cars you can buy.
You can chose an automatic gearbox on some models, but its hesitant nature means we don’t recommend it. A five-speed manual is standard on entry-level versions of the 208, with only the most powerful petrol and diesel getting a six-speed gearbox. The extra gear makes motorway travel far more relaxed and economical by reducing revs at cruising speed.
Entry-level 208s are badged as Active, with Signature, Tech Edition and GT Line models appearing higher up the range. The Tech Edition is a stylish and appealing model that combines matt black alloy wheels with rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, sat nav and dual-zone climate control. Active cars feature cruise control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 15-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, DAB radio and split-folding rear seats. GT Line models feature sporty styling that hints at the now discontinued GTI model.
The Peugeot 208 finished 73rd out of the 75 cars ranked in our 2018 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey of cars currently on sale in the UK, and 96th out of 100 cars in our 2019 survey. Safety shouldn’t be a contentious issue, with a full five-star result from Euro NCAP.