Peugeot 208 (2020) review, how good is it?

5 May 2021, 8:36  •  Review  •  Door Robin Nieuwhof

Peugeot has high expectations of the new 208. Especially the battery-electric variant – the e-208 – which in 2020 is eligible for an 8 percent addition and costs 36,250 euros. Still, 36 grand for many private individuals is still a lot of money for a (first) electric car. That is why most 208s will leave the showroom with a petrol engine. This is perhaps the most interesting petrol version for the Netherlands: the Peugeot 208 PureTech 100. How good is it?

Same name, new base

The Peugeot 205 – a strong number remember? – was succeeded by the 206. That 206 was replaced by the 207 which in turn was succeeded by the 208. And now a new B-segment hatchback from Peugeot is ready. And it’s called … No, so not 209. For the first time, Peugeot chooses to maintain the 208 model name. The model has become a regular part of the Peugeot portfolio and after all these years is still very popular. So the same name, but with a completely new basis.

“After the 208, Peugeot comes with the … 208.”

Platform

Peugeot is building the new generation 208 on the scalable CMP platform of parent company Groupe PSA. CMP stands for Common Modular Platform and forms the basis of more models, such as the new generation Opel Corsa. That Corsa and the 208 share a lot of technology with each other, including the engines. Peugeot supplies the 208 with a 75 hp, 100 and 130 hp PureTech petrol engine or a BlueHDi diesel with 100 hp. And not to be missed: the electric e-208 with 136 hp.

Prices Peugeot 208

The Peugeot 208 starts in the Netherlands at 17,980 euros for the Like, but that is only available with the 75 hp PureTech petrol engine. We drive a Peugeot 208 with the third trim level: the Allure. That is available from 21,180 euros for the 75 hp petrol. But trust us: you are better off with the 1.2 PureTech with 100 hp and manual six-speed gearbox. It costs at least 22,880 euros, not even that much more.

Peugeot 208 power source

The PureTech 100 engine is a great companion. We are talking about a three-cylinder turbo petrol engine with a pleasant roll. It is nice and powerful at the bottom, so you can drive it gearshifts. The six-speed manual gearbox is a great partner in crime for the PureTech 100 engine. The box shifts smoothly and directly. The coupling is very light and therefore a bit difficult to dose. It’s a matter of habituation. If you take it easy, you can easily get 1 in 20.

“The PureTech 100 petrol engine is a great companion”

Why ideal for the Netherlands?

Of course 130 hp is always good – especially because Peugeot connects this power source to an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard – but it is not really necessary. But why? This is mainly because the 208 has fallen off strongly in the base. The Peugeot 208 1.2 PureTech 75 weighs only 955 kilograms, the 1.2 PureTech 100 comes out at 1,065 kilograms and the 1.2 PureTech 130 EAT8 weighs 1,133 kilograms. These are favorable weights for handling, but especially because the road load is nice and low.

Performance Peugeot 208

The 130 hp variant has a top speed of 208 km / h and sprints to 100 km / h in 8.7 seconds. The 100 hp petrol takes 9.9 seconds for the same sprint and reaches a top speed of 188 km / h. Excellent performance for Dutch traffic. Even with the 100 hp petrol you still have some power reserve, ideal for overtaking, for example. So no, for the flat Netherlands you really do not have to go for the 130 hp. With 100 hp you have more than enough power. In addition, the manual version is really fun to drive, because the lever is quite high so your hand can easily fall on it. Sometimes you just have a rally feeling.

“With 100 hp you have more than enough power, even some spare.”

Peugeot 208 GTI

In fact, the handling of the 208 lends itself very well to a GTi treatment in general. In itself, the new Peugeot 208 is already a very playful and agile hatchback. Top with a GTi sauce and you have a recipe that many enthusiasts will love. The question is whether Peugeot will be tempted to do this in view of the increasingly strict emission standards. In any case, it fits well with the character of the new 208.

Peugeot 208 design

Its appearance is in keeping with its playful character. Feel free to call it a fat thing thanks to its flared wheel arches and striking black strip over the tailgate that makes the 208 look wider than it is. Also striking are the light units, with recognizable three lion claws as a light signature. In the case of the Allure that we drive, you have to pay 1,100 euros for Full LED headlights.

“His appearance is in keeping with his playful character.”

Peugeot 208 interior

The playfulness is also reflected in the interior. The dashboard design may look a bit busy in the eyes of some, but the design is well thought out. The i-Cockpit interior concept is one that suits you, or not. The steering wheel feels great in your hand, but it is mainly about how your physique is. Your leg length and the build of your torso strongly determine whether or not you can see the digital clock shop properly. Peugeot’s idea is that you look at the meters over the steering wheel, but that will not be the case for everyone. So just test it at the dealers to see if i-Cockpit suits you.

“Take a seat at the dealer to see if i-Cockpit suits you.”

3D

The 3D i-Cockpit is beautiful: a digital set of instruments with a 3D effect. Among other things, the speedometer can be seen in 3D. They did that very well at Peugeot. Peugeot also receives a compliment for the interior finish. Everything is well put together and the materials used are good. Peugeot does use excessive high-gloss black plastic. Beautiful in itself, but sensitive to scratches and greasy fingers. The wireless phone charger costs only 150 euros extra, so always do. And then also spend 300 euros on heated front seats. Worth the effort.

“High-gloss black plastic, beautiful in itself, but sensitive to scratches and greasy fingers.”

Electronics Peugeot 208

The Peugeot 208 is as you would expect from a modern five-door B-segment hatchback with the latest safety systems. Peugeot 208 supplies it with, among other things, an active brake assistant, traffic sign recognition, (adaptive) cruise control with adjustable speed limiter and an active lane assistant. The latter may be a bit too enthusiastic, causing some unrest. For example, it is still quite a task to steer through the resistance if you want to change lanes but the car does not think that is a good idea. In our opinion, it was easier to drive with this system switched off. You control all settings of the car via the touchscreen. In itself fine, but you sometimes have to search through the menus and that can cause distraction while driving. Give yourself some time to familiarize yourself with the infotainment system and you’ll be fine.

“Active Lane Keeping Assist is perhaps a bit too enthusiastic.”

Conclusion

Très sympa, that’s the new Peugeot 208. It drives nice, is easy to maneuver, looks great, is economical and you can season it for relatively little money. Nice is the standard color: bright yellow! Looks great on him. The space available is acceptable, even if the luggage space has shrunk slightly compared to the previous 208. And fortunately there is still enough space left. As an adult you can also sit on the back seat. Still, in the Peugeot 208 you want to sit behind the compact steering wheel, fantasizing about how nice a 208 GTi should be. One thing is for sure: this one is already a lot of fun.

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