Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4

Verdict Should you buy a Peugeot 208?

Yes – it's stylish and efficient. It's more expensive and arguably not as complete an all-rounder as our current favourite, the Renaut Clio, though, and it is not as good to drive as the Ford Fiesta, but the Peugeot 208 has bags of charm and character, which makes up for its firm ride and lack of rear room.

The Peugeot 208 offers a wide range of performance from a compact set of engines (plus an electric version), and an enhanced tech and driver assistance package to bring the Peugeot in line with its rivals. Useful aids like lane assist and adaptive cruise control give this small hatchback access to big-car tech, while the 3D i-Cockpit display in particular is a genuine highlight – and the fact its effect is mostly cosmetic doesn’t diminish how impressive it is to use.

There’s also the benefit of a responsive and quick-shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox alongside easy-to-use manual options with a light clutch and shift action that’ll make you wonder whether the auto is worth it.

Arguably the most important improvement of all is in the styling department – the 208 looks fantastic even in its most basic trim. The looks are certainly less eccentric than before, but the 208 still manages to stand out in a world where car design seems to be rapidly converging.

On that note we’d recommend the 75hp 208 in basic Active trim if you’re on a budget, as it offers a great combination of low ticket price and diesel-aping economy. It’s also easy to live with thanks to big squashy tyres that promise the best ride comfort in the range.

It’s also not a bad choice for a company car driver, although the 1.5-litre diesel will be a more satisfying motorway tool. The 100hp petrol is also a great all-rounder, with the lowest CO2 coming from the manual gearbox version. The high-performance 208 (for now) is the 130hp petrol with the eight-speed automatic gearbox, offering boosty acceleration and snappy shifts.