- Impressive interior
- Efficient engines
- Lots of standard equipment
- Not much fun to drive
- Unrefined ride
- Not the biggest in its class
Good-value supermini with an impressive interior
Peugeot is a brand that has consistently delivered excellent superminis to the public. Stretching way back to the 205 in the 1980s, Peugeot has been at the forefront of supermini production. The 208, introduced in 2012, sought to regain the ground lost with the disappointing 207. With a new attractive design, a classy interior, and some impressive engines, the 208 is well on course to do exactly that.
Excellent cabin, good storage space
The interior of the 208 is without doubt one of the most attractive, unique offerings in the supermini sector. It really does stand out from the crowd. The amount of storage space is a little disappointing however, and entry-level models are sparsely equipped.
For a car to stand out in the supermini sector it has to do something special, and the interior design of the 208 stands out like a sore thumb. The dashboard really is a delight to look at. It’s contemporary, well-built, and features the all important soft-touch plastics. It feels good, looks good, and controls are well-placed, well-damped, and easy to use. There are few superminis that can match the 208’s cabin.
When it comes to storage space, the 208 scores the roughly the same as most of its major rivals. With 285 litres of boot space, it’s bigger than both the Volkswagen Polo and the Vauxhall Corsa, though it’s significantly smaller than that on offer in the Honda Jazz. There’s still enough room for a decent sized shop, or a buggy, but it’s not class-leading. The shape of the boot is pretty square though, which makes awkward shaped items easy to store.
Spec levels in the 208 are quite impressive, even on the most basic trims. The entry-level Access+ trim features air-conditioning, cruise control, and electric front windows all as standard. Active, which is the next trim up, is likely to be the most popular. It’s only a little more expensive, and adds an excellent touchscreen infotainment system, and a leather steering wheel.
The inside of the 208 is a pretty impressive package. The design of the cabin is second to none, and there’s decent levels of storage space. Add in the generous levels of standard equipment, and you’re going to get exceptional value for money.
Not the most fun or refined
If there’s one area in which the 208 disappoints, it’s in its driving experience. Compare the 208 to a Ford Fiesta and it doesn’t even come close. Steering is fine around town - it’s lightness makes parking and weaving through traffic easy - but get it out on the open road and there’s not enough feedback for it ever to feel accomplished. The 208 is certainly not a car for B-road blasts.
Ride refinement is similarly disappointing. The suspension and chassis is quite stiff, which can make for a bumpy ride. Compare it with a Volkswagen Polo and it feels a lot less classy. It does iron out most rough surfaces and potholes, but the worst of British roads see the 208 struggling. The suspension is also quite noisy, though road and wind noise are thankfully kept to a minimum.
Gearbox options in the 208 come in three guises. The standard throughout the range is a five-speed manual, which is sharp and snappy to use around town. More expensive 208s come with a six-speed manual, that’s more versatile, as it makes motorway cruising that little bit better. An automatic gearbox is also available as an option, though it’s not the most refined.
Good range of engines, fast, efficient, and green
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your 208, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. There’s a range of power outputs throughout the range, with a hot hatch for petrolheads, and a super efficient diesel for money savers.
If it’s power that you want from your, the standout engine in the range is without doubt the petrol-powered 1.6 litre THP GTi. Harking back to the iconic 205 GTi, the 208 GTi is one of the fastest hot hatches currently on sale. With 208bhp, and a 0-62mph time of just 6.5 seconds, there are few cars that can keep up with this 208. There’s more than enough power here to put a smile on your face.
Eco-conscious buyers will also be pleased to learn that the 208 range is surprisingly efficient. The stand-out option in the range is without doubt the diesel-powered 1.6 BlueHDi 75, which produces an incredibly low 79g/km of CO2. That means you won’t be paying any road tax, whilst also gaining free road tax. This model is also the best for money-savers. With up to an amazing 94mpg on offer, you’ll save yourself an awful lot of money at the fuel pumps.
Whichever engine you go for to power your 208, you’re not going to be disappointed. There’s an engine for everyone, though the super efficient diesel is without doubt the pick of the bunch. With this engine in place, you can save yourself some serious money.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, good standard safety kit
Like nearly every car in its class, the 208 easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 88% in adult protection, 78% in child protection, and 61% in pedestrian protection, the 208 isn’t the safest car in its class, but it’s certainly up there. There’s also good standard safety equipment across the range. Even on the most basic models you’re going to get six airbags, ABS, a tyre-pressure monitoring system, ESP, and a speed limiter.
Excellent value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Peugeot 208 represents impressive value for money for buyers. This obviously varies from model to model, but generally speaking CO2 emissions are low throughout the range, and fuel efficiency is impressively high. True money-savers will want to avoid the 208 GTi hot hatch, and should seriously consider the super-efficient BlueHDi diesels.
Insurance costs for the 208 are actually pretty reasonable. This again varies from model to model, but you certainly won’t be paying more money than you would if you bought a rival supermini. The cheapest model in the range is the entry-level 1.0 VTi Access, which is in group 5, whilst the most expensive is the range-topping hot-hatch 1.6 THP GTi 30th, which is in group 34.
Depreciation is a factor with the 208, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Peugeot 208 is a great option to consider when shopping for your next supermini. It offers an excellent interior, a good range of engines, and impressive value for money. It’s not the most entertaining car in its class, but it still performs pretty well around town.
Buying a used Peugeot 208 online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Peugeot 208 for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used 208. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Peugeot 208 online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Peugeot? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Peugeot 208, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used 208, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Peugeot to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.