Peugeot 108

   As its name, or should I say its number suggests, the 108 is Peugeot’s replacement for their much loved 107, and, just like its predecessor was, it’s also part of an automotive trinity; Citroen’s new C1 and the new Toyota Aygo being the other members. All three come off the same production line and out of the same Slovakian factory, and all three are available in 3 or 5 door variants.
    Whereas previously it was the Peugeot that was undeniably the ugly duckling of the trio, and the Aygo the prettiest, this time around Peugeot’s concerted effort to push the whole of its range more up-market means (well, in my opinion anyway) it’s the 108 that’s now the looker of the bunch.
    Peugeot’s trademark “floating grille” and slim bi-focal headlamps give the 108 a much more grown-up, mature look, and thanks to a natty rear spoiler that discreetly hides the external hinges for the all-glass rear-hatch, together with what the French manufacturer calls “lion claw” rear lights, it’s much neater at the back too.  You can plump for a two-tone paint scheme for added individuality, and needless to say, being a city-car there’s whole host of personalisation options (read decals and sticker packs) available.
     It’s inside however, where the biggest changes have taken place. A nicely integrated seven –inch colour touchscreen now sits centre-stage. Providing your smart phone is compatible you can link it wirelessly and have its layout replicated in such a way that playing your music, answering your calls, or even using your navigation apps (there is no built-in sat-nav) is easy. Like the rest of the 108’s cabin it’s very clear, intuitively laid-out, and best of all, simple. It’s also nice to see that Peugeot, this time around, have resisted the urge to fit one of their tiny steering wheels, the 108 is the first Peugeot I’ve driven in ages where you can actually see all of the dials.
   Up front things are surprisingly comfy – the seats especially so – and the driving position, although perhaps a little upright and long-armed, remains comfortable even after a couple of hours. Visibility in all directions is good, and there’s even a reversing camera to assist you in tight-spots.
    What’s not quite so good is rear passenger space. I’m barely 5’ 8” and with the front seat set to comfy, “sitting behind myself” meant rubbing my knees on the seatback in front. The Top! spec. 108 I sampled also came with an electrically retractable folding fabric roof, it proved great on warm late-summer afternoons; however it does eat in to rear passenger head room – a lot. The rear windows don’t wind down either. Nevertheless, the boot is big enough - just - to swallow the weekly-shop and even entry level 108s get generous amounts of standard kit; remote locking, ESP, curtain airbags, and even tyre pressure sensors are standard.
    Ah yes! Spec. It’s worth pointing that the engine you get with your 108 is dependant upon your trim-level of choice. More frugally appointed 108’s get a 1.0 litre engine; the plusher ones get a 1.2. Whilst the smaller engine would probably prove fine in town, out in the sticks the 1.2 is the much better option. It’s virtually as economical day-to-day and significantly faster to-boot. Whichever you pick road tax for the first year is free.
   To sum-up, the 108 promises Japanese reliability with French joie-de-vivre, so it could prove to be both cheap, and enjoyable to own.
    All things considered I’d say Peugeot have a genuine contender on their hands.
Peugeot 108 Allure 1.2 Top!

Engine: 1199cc, 3Cyl, 12V Petrol
Transmission: 5 speed. Front Wheel Drive
Power: 82 bhp @ 5750rpm
Torque:  85.5 lbft @ 2750 rpm
0-62mph: 11.0 sec
Max Speed: 106mph
MPG: 65.7 combined.
CO2: 99 g/km
VED Band: A
Price: (as tested) £12,245


Many thanks to Craig at Peugeot’s UK press office for the loan of the 108



Liam Bird Liam Bird

I'm Liam Bird, a freelance Motoring Writer based in the South Shropshire Marches. I currently write car reviews and road tests for a number of regional lifestyle magazines and newspapers which are distributed throughout Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, most of Wales and beyond.

As a member of the Welsh Group of Motoring Writers I'm as happy behind the wheel of a super-mini as I am in the latest super-car. I have press accreditation with most of the major motor manufacturers, meaning that as well as always being on the look out for further commissions, I always have a number of cars arriving each month ready to review.

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