Best Supermini: Peugeot 208
Peugeot has rediscovered its touch. The RCZ coupe has been winning awards and turning heads for the last couple of years
Why it won...
Peugeot has rediscovered its touch. The RCZ coupe has been winning awards and turning heads for the last couple of years, but until now it has been the only model in the range to catch the eyes of our judges.
The Peugeot’s smart looks and neat proportions strike just the right balance between sportiness and style, but you also get a classy interior, lots of space and a decent haul of standard equipment. Competitive prices and low running costs take care of your wallet, and the 208 drives like a Peugeot of old, mixing comfort and refinement in equal measure.
Pick of the range has to be the three-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol engine, which is smooth, willing and economical. It’s a fine all-rounder and it gets our vote over the larger engines in the line-up thanks to its low CO2 emissions of 104g/km and lively character. With 82bhp on tap, it punches well above its weight.
So the 208 is the car Peugeot customers have been crying out for. After years of firing supermini blanks, it has hit the bullseye and recaptured some of the spirit of the legendary 205. The wait has been worth it, but with a revised Ford Fiesta on the horizon, the 208 will have a job on its hands to retain the trophy in 12 months’ time.
Our choice: 1.2 Active
Picking the finest 208 in the line-up is simple, as the 1.2- litre engine provides the ideal combination of performance, economy and value. Active trim also covers all of the essentials, so if you want the best 208, this is it.
If you prefer your superminis with a more luxurious feel, the Audi A1 is the one to go for. The range is better than ever this year thanks to the addition of the practical Sportback five-door, but the stylish three-door gets our vote. It makes some of its trendy rivals look poorly equipped, uncomfortable and costly.
The Fiesta has towered over the supermini skyline since its Car of the Year winning debut in 2008. It’s still a safe bet, especially in 1.25-litre Zetec trim, but it’s not as cheap or clean as it should be. A revised engine line-up arrives later this year, so the best Fiesta could be yet to come.
- 1IntroductionThe awards everyone wants to win are back as we name the finest models in 18 categories and crown our Car of the Year for 2012
- 2Best City Car
- 3Best Supermini - currently readingPeugeot has rediscovered its touch. The RCZ coupe has been winning awards and turning heads for the last couple of years
- 4Best Compact Family CarIt was always going to take something special to beat the Volkswagen Golf, and the new BMW 1 Series is exactly that.
- 5Best Family Car
- 6Best Five-Seat MPVThe C-MAX has emerged from the shadow of the big-selling Ford Focus, and it deserves to take centre stage.
- 7Best Seven-Seat MPVThe SEAT Alhambra has made the MPV sector its own and after scooping the top prize last year, nothing in the past 12 months has been able to dislodge it from the top of the class
- 8Best Estate CarThe Skoda Superb Estate has scored a hat-trick of wins in the Estate Car category at our annual awards, and it’s going to take something seriously talented to knock it off the top step of the podium next time around.
- 9Best Crossover
- 10Best Compact SUV
- 11Best Large SUVIf the Discovery carries on at this rate, it will deserve an outstanding achievement award at our next New Car Awards.
- 12Best Hot HatchA fast Ford is back on top of the hot hatch pile, and having met the people behind the new Focus ST, we’re not surprised.
- 13Best ConvertibleThe best convertibles need to be as good with their roofs up as they are with them folded, and the Golf Cabriolet is exactly that.
- 14Best CoupePeugeot is back with a bang this year – although it never really went away.
- 15Best Roadster
- 16Best Pick-upWhen the Amarok arrived last year, it redefined what buyers can expect from a hard-working and durable pick-up truck.
- 17Best Compact Executive
- 18Best Executive CarThe BMW 5 Series has returned to the top of the executive class, and it’s all down to one model.
- 19Best Luxury Car
- 20Performance Car of the Year
- 21Green Award
- 22Design Award
- 23Driver Power Award
- 24Safety Award
- 25Hall of Fame
- 26Car of the Year