4.5 out of 5 4.5
Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

Smart looks - even smarter tech and engineering

Peugeot 208 Hatchback (19 on) - rated 4.5 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £16,670 - £23,600
Lease from new From £200 p/m View lease deals
Used price £10,320 - £19,645
Used monthly cost £258 - £490
Fuel Economy 44.3 - 70.0 mpg
Insurance group 12 - 25 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Looks great
  • Up-to-date tech
  • Lively engines
  • Fun to drive

CONS

  • Iffy ride
  • Boring diesel
  • Cramped rear
  • No GTi - yet

Peugeot 208 Hatchback rivals

Written by Tom Wiltshire on

Peugeot has been selling two-oh-something models since the hugely successful 205 in the 1980s, and with each generation has come a new model number until that progression halted with the previous 208. There are presumably official reasons for this but the working theory here is that the middling pair of 206 and 207 never quite lived up to the original car’s appeal.

That’s not to say this model series hasn’t been a success – 22 million sales attest to that – and that will no doubt continue now the current 208 has been voted the European Car of The Year 2020.

But when the previous 208 debuted in 2012, it recaptured something of the boxy 80s hatchback both in terms of style and joy of use. It was exciting to look at and drive, with the best GTi variant Peugeot had produced in years. The fact its replacement shares the 208 name suggests it will be a continuation away from the dark old days of boring Peugeot hatchbacks.

What’s new with this Peugeot 208?

Much – as we’ll get onto, but the headlines are a complete restyle inside and out, a segment-first eight-speed automatic gearbox, and the availability of petrol, diesel and electric models all under the same badge. We’ve covered the latter in a separate Peugeot e-208 review.

That means as well as the VW Polo that Peugeot says it’s targeting, the 208 competes with the Ford Fiesta, the Renault Clio and SEAT Ibiza – plus electric-only models like the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe. A tough crowd.

Helping matters are a collection of exciting petrol engines and some eye-catching tech, like the multi-layered 3D i-Cockpit dials.

Futuristic interior suits sharply styled exterior

Inside the 208 there’s a wide 7.0-inch main screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto optionally upgradable to 10.0-inches, and a set of satin chrome piano style switches to help navigate its various menus.

2020 Peugeot 208 interior

Only the base-spec model gets a set of analogue dials, every other car gets the new 3D digital display, which projects more important information like your speed on a screen closer to the driver, and less vital stats on one set further back. It looks brilliant.

The cabin has been given a big uplift in the quality of materials used with scratchy plastic resigned to the lower reaches of the dash, and a load of soft-touch stuff higher up, including a swathe of carbon fibre-effect material that is bound to divide opinion.

Three petrol and one diesel engine

Let’s talk drivetrains - there are four conventionally-powered 208s are available from launch, using a 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engine.

Your choices are 75, 100 and 130hp from the former and 100hp from the latter, with a mix of five- and six-speed manual gearboxes and the aforementioned eight-speed auto.

The mid-powered petrol is expected to be the best seller and from our extensive early road testing it’s easy to see why – read our comprehensive findings in the Performance section of this review for more.

Read on to find out why we think the Peugeot 208 is a serious contender in an increasingly competitive area of the market.

Peugeot 208 Hatchback rivals

Other Peugeot 208 models: