Peugeot 208 Road Test (2012)

Peugeot 208 (Interior) (2012)

Peugeot 208 Review

Peugeot 208 ReviewPeugeot 208 Review  | Part Two

Comfort is strictly limited. There is a roof overhead, but apart from that you are pretty much exposed to the elements.

Comfort and Refinement

A fresh sheet has been taken to the cabin design and it is more modern and better quality than the interior of the 207 that this car replaces. The 208 has a generally pleasing ambience, and includes soft-touch surfaces for the first time in a small Peugeot. But interior design is a current focus point across the motor industry, and other manufacturers are upping their game too, so the 208’s minimal areas of squidgy plastic on the doors and on a small portion of the dash are not as generous as in some rival models.

Overall the car’s refinement is generally good. Engine noise is mostly pretty well suppressed and does not trouble the interior. There is just a slight wind ruffle at motorway speed, but only a slight rumble permeates the 208’s cabin from its tyres and suspension.

Seat comfort is good, though not exceptionally so. Peugeot has upped its game with this car on the comfort and refinement front, but so have other small car makers, and while the 208 is noticeably better than its predecessor and has caught up with the pack, it has not sped ahead.

The smaller steering wheel, sitting behind an elevated instrument cluster that must be viewed from above the wheel and not through it as in most other cars is a bit odd. On the 208’s launch Peugeot people admitted that this means the bottoms of the dials are slightly obscured for some drivers, but their reasoning is that nothing too important is located on those lower edges. We don’t entirely agree with that judgment. Frankly, this dashboard architecture is a bit Marmite.

Safety and Security

Standard kit on all versions of the 208 includes electronic brake force distribution and brake assist, plus automatic hazard light activation in an emergency. It has a Thatcham approved immobilizer and deadlocks. An ultrasonic alarm is optional. The car has already been given a top-notch 5-star Euro NCAP crash test rating.


Sound quality from the standard audio system in the 208 is pretty good. Most versions of the car are equipped with a seven-inch colour touch-screen monitor. The rearrangement of the instrument panel has meant a shift in the position of this monitor, which is closer to the driver in the 208 than in some of its rivals. This makes it look better integrated than in some of them and in the old 207, when it was when set further away. If you want satellite navigation, it can be added as a £400 option. A series of smart phone-style 'Connect Apps' is being made available by Peugeot, comprising motoring and travel aids. An additional feature is Connect SOS that enables the car to summon help in a breakdown or emergency.

  • Citroen C3
  • Ford Fiesta
  • Vauxhall Corsa
  • Volkswagen Polo
  • Renault Clio
  • Kia Rio
What We Liked
  • Stylish exterior
  • Upgraded cabin
  • Clear instruments
  • Added rear legroom
  • Bigger boot
  • Strong performance
  • Sound and character of the three-cylinder petrol engine in another version
What We Disliked
  • Having to view the instruments over the steering wheel
  • Small diameter steering wheel
  • Closely spaced pedals
What We Would Like To See
  • A hot hatch version as charismatic as the Peugeot 205 GTI

Peugeot had some catching up to do with its replacement for the 207, and the French company has succeeded in making the 208 just a little less bulky outside but roomier inside, as well as tauter and more nimble to drive. It is a worthwhile step forward for a car that is crucial to Peugeot’s future success. Will it be as well-loved as the old 205 was in its day, and will it recapture some of that small car sparkle? That is debatable, in a toughly-fought chunk of the car market where key rivals have also made significant progress. We can say, though, that the 208 has moved much nearer to the top of the class.

3 July 2012 Sue Baker
Peugeot 208 ReviewPeugeot 208 Review  | Part Two
Peugeot 208 Road Test Data
Model ReviewedPeugeot 208 Feline 1.6 e-HDi 115 6sp man
Body Type5-door Hatchback
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph9.7 Seconds
Top Speed 118 mph
Transmission6-Speed Manual
Fuel TypeDiesel
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban61.4 mpg
Extra Urban83.1 mpg
Combined74.3 mpg
Insurance Group20
Euro NCAP Rating5-Stars
Warranty3 years / 60,000 miles
Price (when tested on the 03/07/12)£17,845

The information contained within this Peugeot 208 review may have changed since publication on the 3 July 2012. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Peugeot dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2019