Peugeot 208 - Interior, design and technology
The Peugeot 208 looks great and includes lots of tech, but you’ll certainly pay for it
The Peugeot 208 has been designed to charm a new generation of customers. Inside and out, the approach is eye-catching and the quality of the interior is equally impressive.
Aside from some hard plastics across the doors and glovebox lid, and the piano black plastic that seems to highlight every fingerprint and light scratch, there are plenty of soft-touch materials across the dashboard, and it feels well put together. There are lots of nice design details too, like contrast stitching and configurable ambient lighting.
The latest generation of Peugeot’s i-Cockpit set-up debuted on the 208, and it doesn’t suit everyone. Rather than looking through the steering wheel, the 208 has a much smaller wheel that you have to look over to see vital information, like your speed. We recommend you try the set-up for yourself to ensure you can find a comfortable driving position and still see all the info on the dash.
It’s also worth noting that entry-level Active models get an ordinary screen for the driver’s display, but GT models add a 3D instrument panel. It works well, and on the move you find your eyes don’t have to adjust as much as they do with the regular i-Cockpit. The latter version is configurable in that you can change the layout from traditional dials to displaying various trip or driving assistance screens, or - something we think is rather handy when navigating somewhere new - display sat-nav directions on a map.
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This digital display is similar (in theory) to Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, which is available in the Audi A1. Switching between screens in the 208 isn’t as easy as in an Audi, and some people may find the layout takes a bit of getting used to.
The cheapest Active specification includes 16-inch steel wheels with covers, an alarm, automatic lights and wipers, climate control, Bluetooth, a DAB radio, rear parking sensors, and a basic driver instrument cluster.
Upgrading to mid-range Allure trim adds a 10-inch central touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, front parking sensors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, privacy glass and an acoustic windscreen to reduce noise.
Finally, the top-of-the-range GT spec includes 17-inch alloy wheels, upgraded LED headlights, eight-colour ambient lighting, plus a 180-degree colour reversing camera. Optional extras offered on GT models include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and a panoramic glass roof.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
All models receive Bluetooth, a DAB radio, a 10-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system. Move up to mid-range Allure, and you can choose a wireless phone charging pad (that comes as standard on the GT model) as an option. The top-of-the-range GT gets an HD screen that looks especially snazzy but doesn’t improve its useability. Like the rest of the range, it can be fiddly to use, and is nowhere near as simple to navigate, or as quick to load as the systems in rivals like the Ibiza and Polo.
No version of 208 or E-208 comes with sat-nav as standard; that’ll need to be added as an option. Even then, you only get a six-month trial of live traffic information, speed camera locations, weather conditions, fueling stations, and points of interest. You’ll need to take out a subscription if you want to keep it after the trial period expires.
In this review
- 1Peugeot 208 reviewThe Peugeot 208 has eye-catching looks and is pleasant to drive, but rivals are more practical and offer better value
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Peugeot 208 is good to drive, while the all-electric e-208 feels pretty punchy
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsThe Peugeot 208 is relatively expensive to buy and insure, but is available with a choice of petrol, mild-hybrid, and electric power
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingThe Peugeot 208 looks great and includes lots of tech, but you’ll certainly pay for it
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe design-led Peugeot 208 offers a quirky driving position, but can’t compete on the basics of practicality
- 6Reliability and safetyThe Peugeot 208 misses out on a top safety rating, and slips down the Driver Power rankings