Peugeot 208 Review: 1.2 Allure Manual

  Colin Windell

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 17 Mar, 2022



The latest iteration of the 208 has garnered a bag full of awards from all corners of the globe including European Car of the Year 2020 and the Best City Car title in the Women’s World Car of the Year 2021, so its appeal covers most aspects of the needs of car buyers.

There is an undeniable adrenalin rush and sense of excitement racing around a kart circuit – even the slowish speed indoor tracks with their soap-slicked surfaces – where the proximity of the driver to the ground helps boost the feeling of speed.

Part of the thrill is down to the very direct steering of the kart; the instant response to even the slightest movement of the wheel.

Scale that up to a real car on a real road and you are starting to describe the Peugeot 208. Albeit with just 74 kW available, it is not the most potent beast out there – but it handles just like a go-kart, making it huge fun to drive.

The latest iteration of the 208 has garnered a bag full of awards from all corners of the globe including European Car of the Year 2020 and the Best City Car title in the Women’s World Car of the Year 2021, so its appeal covers most aspects of the needs of car buyers.

With the new car, Peugeot re-imagined the sculpted bonnet and three-claw LED light designs to give the car a truly distinctive look – this also taking place on the inside and much concentrated around the 7-inch touchscreen infotaintment system and a general step-up in quality for the i-Cockpit dashboard design.

Space is more of an issue with plenty of adult room in the front seats, where the driver has plenty of seat movements options for optimum driving comfort. However, adults in the rear seats are likely to have their knees knocking on the front seat backs.

That said, the 208 offers a luggage volume from 311-litres to 1 106-litres depending on the configuration of the 60:40 split rear seats but does mean there is a space-saver spare wheel.

Motive power comes from a three-cylinder, turbo-charged 1,2-litre PureTech engine producing 74 kW at 5 500 r/min and 205 Nm at 1 750 r/min. CO2 emissions are 130 g/km and for normal usage a range of around 750 kilometres can be expected from the 44-litre fuel tank.

Overall average fuel consumption is 5,8 l/100km and the top speed of the car is around the 180 km/h mark, taking just more than nine seconds to amble up to 100 km/h mark.

Those are merely numbers. While designed as a practical and comfortable city car, the Peugeot is something of a ‘go-er’. In short, it has sublime handling and practically begs the driver to hurl it into corners, stretching the limits of adhesion as far as they can go.

The i-Cockpit concept, which essentially saw the steering shrink in size so it could sit below the instruments cluster has had a mixed reaction largely determined by the size of the driver. As one that is a tad vertically challenged, I am a huge fan of the grippy little steering that simply feels perfect for wheel-twirling antics on switchback roads.

The car is finely balanced and the suspension setup works in close harmony to provide a stable, solid and firmly planted feel even as the 195/55 R16 strain to keep their tread claws in touch with the tarmac.

Of particular note is the comfort of the front seats and, while the additional thickness and support may have been a factor in limiting the rear legroom, they are a boon for drivers spending long hours in the car.

In addition to recognition of Speed Limit and End of Speed Limit, the Peugeot system recognises Stop, One Way Street, No Overtaking and End of No Overtaking.

Driver aids include lane keeping assist, driver attention alert, hill start assist and active safety brake that kicks in when a driver fails to react to an impending forward collision with another vehicle, a pedestrian or an animal, Automatic Emergency Braking is triggered, limiting, or avoiding any damage.

The Peugeot 208 features a 180-degree video camera on the boot hatch, while Park Assist sensors provide information including an overhead view of the vehicle. 

In terms of direct opposition, the 208 plays in the same sandpit as the Kia Rio 1.4 LX, the Opel Corsa 1.2T Edition and the Nissan Micra Acenta – and outclasses all of them in terms of standard specification items but is, admittedly, R30 000 – R35 000 more expensive.

Still, I cannot think of a single reason why, if I was in the market, I would not buy one.


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Peugeot 208





2015 1.2 VTi Active 5 Door

R 99,900

2014 1.6 GTI 3 Door

R 159,900

2016 1.2 VTi Access 5 Door

R 139,990

2016 1.2 VTi Active 5 Door

R 139,990

2021 1.2 Active

R 184,900

2021 1.2 Active

R 184,900


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