Peugeot 108 review

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The Peugeot 108 is the French car firm’s rival to the Volkswagen Up and Hyundai i10

Prices start from £8,345 rising to £12,495

Peugeot 108 measures 3.5m long and is 40mm longer than the 107 it replaces

Entry-level 108 1.0-litre Access weighs just 855kg

The Peugeot 108 is available in three and five-door body styles

Peugeot aimed to give the cabin a more premium and sophisticated feel

The driver’s seat is height-adjustable on all but the entry level variant

Peugeot says it has improved seat quality, comfort and support compared with the 107

The rear seats offer a 50:50 split; handles for lowering seats are only part carried over from Peugeot 107

Boot offers a maximum of 196 litres; the sill has been lowered by 20mm

All variants apart from entry-level Access trim get the 7.0in touchscreen on the central stack

Both engine variants come harnessed to a five-speed manual transmission

Instrument binnacle is attached to the top of the rake-adjustable steering wheel

Interior design was determined by Peugeot after an internal competition at Vélizy

The car is available in four trim levels – Access, Active, Allure and Feline

Peugeot emphasises the personalisation options offered on this new city car

The personalisation options include themed carpets

Engine choice comprises of 1.0-litre and 1.2-litre three cylinder motors

Peugeot’s city car shares technology with the Citroën C1 and Toyota Aygo

The 108 shares the roots of its 107 predecessor, but most parts are new

Close by Richard Bremner 28 August 2014 Share

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Having been on sale for almost a decade and shifting more than 740,000 examples worldwide in the process, Peugeot has seen fit to replace its 107 city car with this – the new 108.

Like its predecessor, the 108 is once again a three-way collaboration between the French car firm, its PSA sibling Citroën and Toyota, with the Citroen C1 and Aygo, respectively.

That the Peugeot rolls a bit matters little, its willingness to slice through curves is enhanced by steering that’s accurate and of decently consistent feelRichard BremnerSenior contributing editor

Those first generation cars were the result of the ‘B-Zero’ project – to develop a small city car that meets the demands of European urbanites, that’s fun to drive and affordable to buy.

There are few surprises in store in the new 108 just after you’ve sampled the near-identical second-generation Toyota Aygo and Citroen C1 city cars, which continue to be made in the same factory in the Czech Republic and have been for the past nine years.

Apart from prices, some dealer differences, your own brand prejudices and some nose-tail styling variations, this is the same car we’ve recently tested under two different badges. 

Only details of the deal — perhaps PCP prices or Peugeot’s ‘Just Add Fuel’ deal make a real difference between this and the rest.

The 108 is now a little more sophisticated, better equipped and about 55kg heavier than the outgoing Peugeot 107. However, its drag coefficient falls from 0.34 to an impressive 0.29, and this, along with the availability of stop-start technology and a fuel-saving automated manual gearbox, means CO2 emissions drop to as low as 88g/km.

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All models come in at 99g/km or below to qualify for zero road tax. That includes the new three-cylinder, normally aspirated 1.2-litre Peugeot Puretech engine now offered, in addition to the Toyota 1.0-litre triple carried over from the 107. This same option is also provided for in the Toyota Aygo and Citroen C1 versions.

The 108 itself is little changed dimensionally compared to the 107. At just 3.5 metres long, it’s now 40mm longer, slightly lower and shares an identical width, but its proportioning has changed in that it has less of a cab-forward look, with the result that it has a longer bonnet. Wearing its maker’s rather traditional corporate façade gives the 108 the most conventional face of the Peugeot/Citroën/Toyota trio.

With the Toyota-sourced 1.0-litre three cylinder motor under the hood, the 108 makes a decent little city car. The unit is smooth when spinning, and for a petrol-burner its fuel consumption is very impressive — almost in the diesel class.

The drawback is a lack of mid-range oomph and slow acceleration between 30 and 60mph. There is a remedy — the 20 per cent more powerful Peugeot-sourced 1.2-litre triple.

Its extra capacity gets you 81bhp instead of 67bhp and, more importantly, 86lb ft as opposed to 71lb ft. It appears usefully earlier, too, at 2750rpm rather than a late-in-the-day 4800rpm, the result being a 0-62mph time of 11.0sec rather than 14.3sec.

However, unless you’re especially delicate with both clutch and throttle, urban stop-go progress threatens to be anything but smooth. The culprits are a late-clamping clutch that only fully engages as the pedal nears the top of its travel and an engine mounting system that allows a surprising amount of driveline shunt.

Factor in the triple’s shortage of very low-end torque – you need to feed in more power as the clutch bites if the engine isn’t to falter – and you’ll be reminding yourself of what it was like to be a learner driver. 

This is a flaw that Peugeot and its co-conspirators need to sort now, because it significantly undermines your enjoyment of a car that will se a lot of urban clutch action. It’s all the more a shame when you discover how enjoyable the 108 can be once on the move.

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