Peugeot 108 Allure 1.2 5 door.
The ‘city car’ sector has really taken off in the last couple of years with the launch of the Volkswagen up!, Skoda Citigo, Seat Mii & Hyundai i10 all adding a bit of class to what had been seen previously as a sector for cheap low specced vehicles. One of these old school cars Peugeots 107, has just been updated & is now the 108 & along with Toyotas Aygo & Citroens C1, Peugeot have upgraded the 108 quite considerably, primarily to take into account the burgeoning desire for young drivers to have touch screen & hands free technology literally at their fingertips.
Back in 1989, I was lucky enough to be given a second hand Fiat Uno 55 S as a company car, which cost my boss the princely sum of £1100. It had two goodies ; an AM/LW radio & an ashtray that moved left & right across the dashboard & that was it. In 1989 that was fine, because no one had mobile phones or iPads. However, fast forward to 2014 & young drivers equipped with mobiles & tablets expect an awful lot more for their money when it comes to goodies on their first car & the new 108 has been designed to appeal to these customers.
To begin with the 108 looks good. A number of friends commented on how it looks good when they saw me driving it, so Peugeot are off to a good start. Its ‘floating’ chrome grille and narrow headlights are both borrowed from the newest products in Peugeot’s line-up. Even the rear-mounted boot hinges clearly visible on the of 107 are now hidden by a spoiler that’s standard on all models. There’s even a set of claw print lights at the back. The 108 is available in four trims; Access, Active, Allure & Feline. My test model Allure, came with 15″Thorren alloys, front fog lights & tinted rear windows. Following on from the success of the MINI & Citroen DS3, twenty-first-century buyers want to make their car their own, so Peugeot is offering new levels of customization, with bold paint colours, decals and alloy wheel choices to customize your 108.
The cabin is a big improvement over the old 107. The build quality and design are pretty good, with finishes in a mix of different materials & colours, including white, black & bronze. Apart from the entry-level Access model, all models come with a seven-inch colour touchscreen & a multi-function steering wheel. The central touch screen was simple to use as I switched between my iPod, iPhone, Six Music & 5 Live. I really liked the clutter-free dashboard & it certainly stands out much like those found in the 208 & 308.
I was testing the 5 door 108 with the larger 1.2 engine . Inside space wasn’t bad & with two teenagers, a wife & a dog I found the 5 door more than adequate for us all on a round trip of 60 miles or so, but would not want to go a lot further with a fully laden car. Front passengers get plenty of space & with the passenger seat pushed partially back, there is room for a medium sized dog in the footwell. However, legroom in the back isn’t great & if you are six foot plus you will really struggle to get comfy. The boot too is small, just 186 litres, enough for a few shopping bags or two small suitcases, although in all models bar Access you can fold both rear seats down to create more room. The boot loading lip is also high making loading & unloading a little tricky.
I spent much of the week driving the 108 on my own & found the 1.2 quite nippy around town & on the motorway it happily ticked along at 70 mph. Add in 3 passengers though & it’s a different story. On any small incline the 108 struggled to impose itself & I hate to think how slow the 1 litre version would be if fully laden ! Still, the engine noise doesn’t intrude into the cabin, whilst the wind & road noise is also kept to a minimum. Performance is a claimed 0-62 mph in 11 seconds with a top speed of 106 mph, neither of which will happen unless your alone in the car. Fuel economy is an impressive 65.7 mpg on the combined with CO2 emissions of 99g/km.
What’s most impressive about the 108 is it’s price, with the entry level Access 3 door costing just £8245. This comes with ESP, LED daytime running lights, tyre pressure sensors, remote central locking, electric front windows, curtain air bags & a trip computer. Compare this to the VW Take up! which is £20 more but only offers a CD player, rear head restraints & a rev counter & you can see that the 108 is really well priced. My test model the 5 door Allure retails at £11,395 & this adds in manual air con with the 7″ touchscreen DAB, rear reversing camera, cruise control, rev counter, electric & heated door mirrors, Bluetooth & Peugeots Open & Go system.
Although the 108 is Peugeots smallest & cheapest car, it continues the evolution within the Peugeot range which first began with the 508 & has continued through all of their new model launches in the past 3 years. If you need a small city car for your employees, that’s exceedingly well equipped, looks good, is cheap to buy, own & run then the new Peugeot 108 will tick all your boxes. It’s certainly a vast improvemnet on what came before including my Uno from the 1980’s.
Small but feisty. 3.5/5.