Peugeot rings changes with new 208
The supermini market just got bigger and more competitive. That follows the arrival here last week of Peugeot's new 208.
Peugeot expects the new hatchback, driven by Cork Independent Motoring and to be fully reviewed here shortly, to match and outstrip, in terms of sales here, the achievements of the iconic 205, the 206 and the European best-selling 207.
It will retail in Ireland from €14,495, plus dealer delivery-related charges for the new 1.0 petrol 68bhp 3-door version.
The 208 adopts the new Peugeot style lines seen on the new Peugeot 508 and facelifted 308. A floating grille, newly sculpted lights and boomerang rear lamps, gives the car a more sporty look.
Smaller on the outside than 207 (7cm shorter and 1cm lower), the 208 offers more room inside for rear passengers (+5cm at the knees) and a more generous boot (+15dm3 in volume). It weighs on average 110kg less than 207, lowering CO2 emissions and fuel consumption.
It is in the cabin that the new car really rings the changes.
It is clutter-free and spacious with an elevated instrument panel positioned directly in front of the driver providing information at a glance. While there is an abundance of hard plastics in evidence, there's nothing tacky about the overall interior 'furniture'.
Controversially, though, it features a small steering wheel with opinion widely divided on its appearance and efficiency. We found it satisfactory and assumed that it will be welcomed, in particular, by female drivers, who Peugeot feels, have drifted away from the marque in recent times.
Available in a 3-door and 5-door hatchback, the 208 will be available with a choice of three trims, Access, Active and Allure.
The entry level Access model will include as standard, ESP, six airbags, cruise control with speed limiter, electric front windows, a full-size spare wheel, child safety locks, seat belt alarm, 2 child seat ISOFIX fixtures, driver's seat height adjustment, radio and CD player with 3.5mm jack for external audio device, steering column remote controls and daytime running lights with follow-me-home function.
The level two Active model adds front electric windows, multi-function colour touchscreen with 3.5mm jack, USB connection, bluetooth, 15" alloy wheels, front fog lamps with chrome surround and air conditioning.
The level three, the Allure model, driven on launch, features in addition, LED daytime running lights, a leather trimmed steering wheel, leather and chrome gear knob, auto lights and wipers, electrochrome rearview mirror, tinted rear windows, 16" alloy wheels with anti-theft nuts and a full size alloy spare wheel.
The 208 engine range for Ireland will include a 1.0 litre 68bhp petrol model (99g/CO2), a 1.2 litre 82bhp petrol model (104g/CO2), a 1.4 litre 68bhp HDi diesel model (98g/CO2) and a 1.4 litre 68bhp eHDi diesel model (87g/CO2) with Stop Start technology.
Achieving average CO2 emissions of 34g/km lower than the 207, the 208 will take the lead in its segment for lowest CO2 emissions. All engine variants qualify for Band A road tax.
The new Peugeot 208 has been awarded 5 stars by Euro NCAP.
Peugeot says it has entered a new era in terms of eco-design with the 208, and 25pc of the materials used to construct the new car will be sourced from recycled materials.
The the 208's rear bumper and its fan assembly will be made using recycled materials, permitting a saving in manufacturing of 1600 tonnes of fuel a year.
The 208 has just arrived in showrooms around the country and, with it, Peugeot aims to reclaim leadership of the competitive small car market in Europe next year, to register 1000 units here and to boost its market share to 4 per cent.