Peugeot 108 review
The Peugeot 108 is a small city car with plenty of equipment and a comfortable ride
If you’re familiar with the Toyota Aygo and Citroen C1, you’ll know about the Peugeot 108, too. All three of these cars have been developed as part of a partnership between PSA and Toyota so they all share the same platform and most powertrains.
Sharing parts in this way has allowed the firms to make the cars particularly cheap, so even spending about £11,000 on a car will get you things like air-con, keyless go, a reversing camera, a seven-inch touchscreen and a leather steering wheel.
Is it the best city car we can think of? Not quite. We still rate the Skoda Citigo and Hyundai i10 for their superior refinement and general grown-up feeling but the 108 is certainly a great contender. As for the Toyota-Citroen-Peugeot choice, there’s really not much in it. Go for whichever one you like the look of most.
Our choice: 108 PureTech 1.2 VTi Allure
You certainly can’t criticize Peugeot for being conservative with the 108’s styling. Its bold ‘floating’ chrome grille and narrow headlights are both borrowed from the newest products in Peugeot’s line-up. It’s aiming to be a more premium product so the rear-mounted boot hinges of the 107 are now hidden by a spoiler that’s standard on all models. There’s a set of claw print lights at the back as well. More and more buyers want to make the car their own so Peugeot is offering new levels of customization, with paint colours, decals and alloy wheel choices all available.
The cabin has been smartened up compared with the 107, too. The build quality and design aren’t quite up there with the Volkswagen up! but it is a definite improvement. Depending on spec you’ll get a mix of different materials and colours, including white, black and bronze. Boosting the hi-tech feel is a seven-inch colour touchscreen that comes as standard on all 108 variants apart from the entry-level Access cars. The same is true of a multi-function steering wheel.
If you’re going to be doing mainly town driving then we’d say the 1.0-litre engine is probably all you’ll ever need. If, however, you plan on doing a lot of driving at higher speeds and on motorways, you’ll want the 1.2. Here’s a quick explanation of why: the small unit takes 29.8 seconds to get from 50-70mph in top gear, while the larger engine takes 15.9 seconds.
Both engines sound pretty much the same and both are roughly as fuel efficient as each other so it really is down to what kind of power you need. It’s worth remembering, though, that the engine you get is dependent on trim level. Higher specs get the big engine and lower specs get the smaller one.
The 108 is now more comfortable and more refined than the old 107 that it replaces. That car was almost unbearably loud on the motorway and it used to crash and thud noisily in to potholes. This one feels a lot better engineered. The handling is short on fun but you do get nice, light steering which is probably most important for city driving anyway.
Peugeot may be tagging this car as ‘new’ but many of its components are simply carried over from the 107. The 1.0-litre engine, in particular, has been used in Peugeot, Citroen and Toyota city cars for years. That bodes well for its reliability as we’ve heard of very few problems from owners of the old car. As for the 1.2-litre PureTech, it’s a bit more difficult to tell but it’s rare to find unreliable engines these days simply because they’re put through such a strenuous testing process before making production.
As of June 2014, we put the question to Peugeot as to what Euro NCAP score they thought the 108 would achieve and the firm refused to answer. We’ll have to wait and see what the result is but it does at least come with six airbags and traction control.
Never a city car strong suit but the 108 does perform pretty well in this category. The boot has 196 litres of space and Peugeot has managed to lower the lip by 20mm compared with the old car so it’s a bit easier to load and unload heavy items. During our early drive we managed to store two weekend bags and a load of camera gear in the boot. Should you need a bit more space all versions come with seats that fold 50:50 – they don’t fold completely flat though.
It’s also possibly to get adults in the back seats of the 108, but no one will thank you for making them spend a long journey back there. If you do planning on taking lots of passengers then do at least go for the five-door version – it can be pretty ungraceful getting out of the back of the three-door.
The Peugeot 108 is available with two basic engines: a 1.0-litre and a 1.2-litre. The smaller unit is also available in a more fuel-efficient version badged e-VTi rather than just VTi. This particular engine is the cleanest in the range, boasting CO2 emissions of 88g/km and fuel economy of 74.3mpg.
The standard 1.0-litre isn’t that far behind, emitting 95g/km with the five-speed manual and 99g/km with the automatic gearbox. If you want the more powerful 1.2-litre unit – which has 82bhp to the 1.0-litre’s 68bhp – then you’ll get 99g/km and 65.7mpg. Still not bad, by any means.
As with any city car the associated repair and insurance costs are also nice and low. If you want to run it as a company car then the 108’s low CO2 emissions will help matters – the fact that they’re all petrols saves on the 3 per cent diesel surcharge, too.