Peugeot 108: car review

Posted on September 5th, 2014 by James Luckhurst

The 108 is a well equipped and affordable city car.

Peugeot 108: car review

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What is it?

The Peugeot 108 city car replaces the old 107. It’s built in the same factory as the Citroën C1 and Toyota Aygo, which are much the same car under the skin.

How safe is it?

Every car comes with twin front, side and curtain airbags, as well as stability control. At the time of writing the car hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP.

Who should buy one?

If you want a city car you can really make your own, consider the 108. There’s lots of scope for personalisation with a variety of finishes inside and out.

DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE
Peugeot 108: car review

Small hatchbacks like this are most at home on urban roads – they’re not called city cars for nothing. Around town the 108’s compact dimensions and light steering really come into their own. It’s an easy car to drive and a cinch to park.
The Peugeot rides comfortably, too, coping well with most lumps and bumps in the road surface.
Head out of town and 108 is still a capable little car, but one or two shortcomings do become clear. Compared with a Seat Mii, Skoda Citigo or VW Up there’s more noise in the cabin at A-road speeds, especially over coarse surfaces. On twisty back roads the 108 handles neatly but it’s safe and sensible rather than lively and fun.
There’s a choice of two petrol engines. The cheapest option is a 1.0-litre with 68bhp. It’s fine for town use anyone planning regular longer drives will find performance rather flat. With just 70lb ft of torque delivered at a lofty 4800rpm the engine needs to be revved hard to summon up any kind of urgency.
The alternative is the 82bhp 1.2-litre PureTech engine (PureTech is Peugeot’s name for its new family of petrols which promise strong performance and diesel-like economy). It’s not so much the difference in power that you notice, but the PureTech’s extra torque. There’s 86lb ft from 2750rpm, so the engine pulls much more strongly in the middle of the rev range. That means there’s less need to change gear and bury the throttle to persuade the 108 up to speed.
Go for the 1.2 and engine noise can be quite intrusive, though. Again, the Volkswagen Group’s trio of city cars do a better job of deadening sound from under the bonnet.
Which engine is better depends on the type of driving you have planned. The 1.0-litre is all you need for short hops around town, but the 1.2-litre’s extra pep is worth paying for if you regularly drive on country roads and motorways.

SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
Peugeot 108: car review

Travel in the front of the 108 and you’ll be quite comfortable. The seats are supportive and the driving position is sound. Peugeot claims a big improvement in cabin quality compared with the 107, but the cabin plastics don’t feel very upmarket. On the plus side there’s a wide choice of interior finishes so you can personalise the car to suit your own taste (the same goes for the exterior, too).
You can shoe-horn adults into the back, but they won’t want to be there for long. The car is available as a three-door and a five-door. Obviously the extra pair of doors makes getting in and out of the back much easier.
Boot space is up from 139 litres in the 107 to 196 litres in the 108. That’s still some way off the 251-litre boot of the VW Up. The rear seats are split 50/50 and fold down to make more space for bags, but don’t lie flat.

SAFETY
Peugeot 108: car review

Although the safety experts at Euro NCAP have not yet tested the 108, Peugeot has a strong record in crash tests. Even the most basic car has twin front, side and curtain airbags. Stability control is also standard across the board. Fixing points for two ISOFIX child seats are included in the back. The unusually large speedometer is easy to read and we’re pleased to see 30mph and 70mph numbered on the speedometer.

EQUIPMENT
Peugeot 108: car review

The Peugeot 108 is generously equipped for the price. Even the entry-level Access model has remote central locking, a trip computer, electric front windows, LED running lights and tyre pressure sensors. Active spec upgrades include air conditioning and a seven-inch touchscreen, while Allure models have alloy wheels and a reversing camera. Top-spec Feline cars have climate control and leather seats. Cars with a retractable fabric roof cost £850 more than the hatchback.

COSTS

Peugeot 108: car review

Prices start from a competitive £8245. That’s £390 less than the cheapest VW Up. The Peugeot should cost little to fuel, with an official combined figure of 74.3mpg for the 1.0 e-VTi 68 Stop & Start. Even the more powerful 1.2 returns 65.7mpg on the combined cycle, and every version emits less than 100g/km of carbon dioxide, so there’s no Vehicle Excise Duty to pay. At the time of writing insurance groups have yet to be confirmed.

WE SAY

The 108 is a well equipped and affordable city car.

AT A GLANCE:
Price: £10,995
Performance: 0-62mph in 11 seconds
Economy: 65.7mpg combined
Insurance: Group TBC
Tax: Band A (£0 first year)

Figures for the 1.2 VTi PureTech Allure 3dr