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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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PROS

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

CONS

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

At a glance

New price £16,120 - £23,220
Lease from new From £193 per month
Road tax cost £145
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

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. But 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 – but none since have been as memorable as what our colleagues at CAR magazine called the “car of the decade”.

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 tall 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.

2019 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.

Introductory finance offer

From launch the Peugeot 208 in Active trim with a 75hp petrol engine is available for 48 monthly payments of £229, with a payment of £6,138.**

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

** This deal is an indicative example of packages available as at 10 October 2019, but is subject to change without prior notice. Everyone's financial circumstances are different and the availability of credit is subject to status. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Parkers cannot recommend a deal for you specifically.

Peugeot 208 Hatchback rivals

Other Peugeot 208 models: