Peugeot 208 Allure 1.6 e-HDi 92 road test review

Peugeot 208 Allure 1.6 e-HDi 92 road test review

The TotallyMotor Verdict


Smaller and lighter – and arguably far more handsome – than the car it replaces, the new Peugeot 208 promises to beat its 207 predecessor from every angle. Weight is down, economy is up and there’s plenty of new tech to enjoy. Peugeot’s rich supermini history is set for its next chapter with the 208 and if the striking body design is anything to go by there’s much to look forward to.

For this TotallyMotor test of the new 208, we have the mid-trim-level Allure with the potentially very popular 1.6 e-HDi diesel engine, together priced from £15,445, plus a couple of options here including the large colour touchscreen with navigation (£400). The 208 range starts at £9,995.

This little Peugeot promises a combined economy figure of 74.3mpg and a road tax- and London congestion charge-dodging 98g/km of CO2 rating. I’ve tested the car over a week, and over more than 350 miles, of entirely mixed motoring to see what’s what.


Peugeot 208 Allure 1.6 e-HDi 92 road test review 

First impressions:
The new 208 looks compact and poised – especially when compared to the larger-looking 207 it replaces – and although they share the same wheelbase length, Peugeot say that their new supermini is over 100kg lighter than the one before it. Lighter materials and less overhanging areas all help. The 208 looks nimble for its stricter diet.

Looks-wise, it’s a thoroughly modern design that’s bristling with design details, touches and flare. Most notable of these are the (LED enhanced) headlights, swooping taillights, again with fashionable LEDs, and plenty of metal surface curves and chrome-work. This 208 tester also wears a coat of metallic blue/purple paint (£495 extra) which rather suits its dashing body styling, drenched over 16-inch Helium alloy wheels.


Into the interior:
While the 208’s exterior may look trim and svelte, the interior space has been maximised and packaged to make the very most of the space available.

There’s room for four with room all around them that’s among the top of its class and the boot space is too where it should be in terms of generosity. More obvious in striving forward is the interior design.

The twin-finish seats in this Allure-spec car fitted me well and offered a depth to their comfort, while too offering plenty of adjustment up and down, and front and back. The small leather steering wheel also featured enough movement to come close to my grip, especially with a good amount of slide.

It’s a smaller than average steering wheel that adds a further dash of the nippy to the driving feel of the 208, but some shorter drivers have found it cutting into their view of the (handsome) instruments to some degree. From my higher seating position I found only the top of the steering wheel to nip so slightly into my instrument view as to not be an issue.

Much of the look and feel of this new interior is pleasant and well thought out, and it’s certainly very low on the dreaded clutter. This clutter-free feel is helped in no doubt by many of the car-controls being accessed via the large colour touchscreen.

This upgraded system – a £400 option – features sat-nav, multimedia viewing including photos and USB connection. Yes, it’s bright, comprehensive and easy to read on the move, but I did find some of the on-screen touch-controls a fiddle to work on the move. There’s no CD player here.


The drive:
There’s a wide range of Peugeot’s latest economy-focused, low CO2 engines to pick from in the 208 range, including a new 3-cylinder, non-turbo petrol engine that ducks under the magic 100g/km of CO2 mark.

This little 92bhp, 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine works well in the 208, especially if you work the 5-speed manual gearbox closely with the engine’s turbo-assisted torque curve.

Peugeot quote this car’s 62mph dash at 12.2secs and its top speed sits at 115mph. Plenty good enough then for nipping around town. And while CO2 happily sits at 98g/km, around 50mpg was as close as I could get to the quoted combined economy of 74.4mpg. Plenty of gentle cruising with a fully run-in engine would hopefully see the mid-50s creeping onto the display screen, and that’s pretty decent compared to the rest.

This 208 test car came over as more of a comfy cruiser than an all out back lane weapon, with compliance over bumps and holes, although I did find some harsher road scars sending some noticeable noises back through the cabin that the suspension hadn’t fully dealt with. Its wheel-at-each-corner stance (and that small steering wheel) makes for quick cornering and a nicely reactive corner turn-in.

With the usual powerful and progressive Peugeot brakes, nippy engine and quiet motorway wind-noise cruising manners, driving this 208 e-HDi was never tiring or irksome, but on the flipside I didn’t find myself particularly engaged with the overall driving experience either.


Ten second sum up:
The new Peugeot 208 is striking to look at with many modern exterior design touches and a compact and light body that still manages to lead to a well-sized interior that, again, features plenty of design flare. And while I found good economy and general comfort on my drives, I wasn’t always particularly excited to drive the 208 just for kicks.


Prices and availability:
The Peugeot 208 range starts at £9,995. Price as tested, £15,445, for the 208 3-door Allure 1.6 e-HDi. Available now.

Words & pics: Daniel Anslow 

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