Peugeot 208 Review
The Peugeot 208 is one of the most eye-catching small cars around and has a pleasant interior too
Strengths & weaknesses
The Peugeot 208 is a small car with a very bold and dramatic exterior look, so you’re bound to take notice when you see one. It’s easy to spot the really distinctive sabre-tooth lights at the front, along with the big grille and rounded rear-end.
It’s a supermini, which means it’s about the same size and shape as a Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo or a Vauxhall Corsa. In fact, the 208 has rather a lot in common with the Corsa, as these cars share a lot of parts including engines and lots of technology.
There’s a 1.2-litre petrol engine, a 1.5-litre diesel and even an electric version, although we’ve got a separate review for that version so we’ll focus only on the normal petrol and diesel models in this buying guide.
The current Peugeot 208 arrived in 2019, replacing the previous version that came out in 2012. The ethos of both versions of the 208 is similar: it’s a stylish small car that’s aimed at buyers who want to stand out but still have all the latest equipment and enjoy low running costs as well.
It’s good-looking inside and out, plus the 208 is even quite good to drive. It’s available as a five-door model only, so it’s relatively practical for a small car, though some rivals have more space inside. The 208 is also quite closely related to the Peugeot 2008, which is an SUV version that uses the same engines and mechanical parts.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the petrol and diesel versions of the Peugeot 208, or click here to read about the electric e-208 model.
Should I get a Peugeot 208?
✔ Stylish looks
✔ Good to drive
✔ Great interior
✘ A bit expensive
✘ Not as practical as rivals
✘ Doesn’t excel in any area
If you love how the Peugeot 208 looks, it’s a good option. It drives well and is comfortable enough, has a decent range of engines and the interior is excellent. It’s also well-equipped, easy to drive and should bring low running costs.
However, there are options that are better in many key areas. The Ford Fiesta is more fun, the Skoda Fabia is more practical, the Renault Clio is more comfortable and the Toyota Yaris costs less to run. These are just some examples, but they demonstrate that while the 208 is a good all-round car, it doesn’t really beat its rivals in the really important areas.
- Models explained
- Trim levels
- Best 208 for
- Boot space
- Should I buy used?
BuyaCar prices Limited stock
The Peugeot 208 is a supermini, which means it’s a similar size to a Volkswagen Polo or Ford Fiesta. It’s available in four trim levels: Active Premium, Allure Premium, GT and GT Premium. The normal version of the 208 has either a 1.2-litre petrol engine or a 1.5-litre diesel. The diesel is manual-only but there’s an automatic gearbox for the petrol.
There are three versions of the petrol engine: a 75hp entry-level model, a 100hp mid-spec car and a 130hp top-spec model. All are quite similar to drive, with just a little extra acceleration in the higher-power models. The diesel model is a little louder and isn’t as pleasant to use, but it’s very economical.
There’s also an electric model called the e-208. We won’t cover it in detail here as we have a separate buying guide on this version. It uses a 50kWh battery and a 136hp electric motor, so it’s able to travel for around 225 miles on a single charge and it’s enjoyable to drive, super-quiet and great for driving in cities.
|Active Premium||From £6,250: The entry-level Peugeot 208 comes with a seven-inch touchscreen, a digital dash, smartphone connectivity, digital radio, auto lights and 16-inch alloy wheels. It also comes with air-conditioning, parking sensors, a leather steering wheel and LED lights.|
|Allure Premium||From £6,495: Allure Premium trim brings different alloys, a reversing camera, climate control, an electronic parking brake, auto windscreen wipers and leather-effect seats.|
|GT||From £14,990: GT is a sporty-looking trim level with 17-inch alloy wheels and black wheel arches, plus a black roof and full LED headlights. Inside, there’s a 10-inch touchscreen display, sat-nav, blind spot monitoring, autonomous emergency braking, ambient lighting and upgraded upholstery.|
|GT Premium||Limited stock: The top-spec GT Premium model comes with different alloys (at 17 inches), keyless entry and start, adaptive cruise control, lane position assist and Alcantara (suede) seats.|
The 1.5-litre diesel isn’t a bad option if you are planning on doing lots of long trips, but the 208 doesn’t excel in that area, so we expect most owners to stick to local trips and the occasional longer one. This means the best engine for most people is one of the 1.2-litre PureTech petrol units.
The 100hp model makes the most sense overall, as it’s more powerful than the 75hp version but doesn’t cost much more. The 130hp model is great as well, but for most normal driving it feels really similar to the mid-spec model, so there’s not much reason to upgrade.
There’s a decent amount of choice in the Peugeot 208 range, so it might be a little tough to choose which model is right for you. To help you decide we’ve put some examples below of some models that might work best for a range of situations.
|Peugeot 208 1.2 PureTech 100 Allure Premium: The entry-level version of the 208 is well-equipped, but we’d pay a little more for the Allure Premium model with the 100hp engine. It gets a few more creature comforts that make a new car more appealing to drive, and this is our favourite engine as well.|
|Peugeot 208 1.2 PureTech 100 GT automatic: Driving to school in traffic can be a pain, so if you want an automatic family car then choose this version. GT trim is good-looking and comes with loads of modern tech, although it’s not the best value for money. There’s a manual version of this too that will save a bit of cash over the auto model.|
|Peugeot 208 1.2 PureTech 130 GT Premium automatic: The most powerful model you can buy is the 130hp version of the 1.2-litre petrol. This model is auto-only, so it’s not as much fun as the manual versions with less power, but it’s the best version for performance.|
|Peugeot 208 1.2 PureTech 130 Allure Premium automatic: There’s no reason to choose the top-spec engine with this mid-spec trim level. We’d go for the 100hp car and save some cash, or move up to a higher spec for the same money.|
There are loads of cars that compete with the Peugeot 208 - superminis are among the most popular types of cars in the UK. The Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo are the ones you’ve surely heard of, along with other long-running models such as the Renault Clio and Nissan Micra.
Other superminis that compete with the 208 include the Honda Jazz, Toyota Yaris, Seat Ibiza, Skoda Fabia and Mazda 2. There really is something for everyone in this class, from sportier models like the Ford Fiesta to more comfort-focused cars like the Honda Jazz.
The 208 sits somewhere in the middle of the pack. It’s a good all-rounder and is well-equipped, good-looking and comfy enough, but it’s not the most fun, practical or economical model you could choose.
Peugeot 208 practicality: dimensions and boot space
The Peugeot 208 is 4.1m long, 1.8m wide and 1.4m tall, which is longer than a Mini Hatchback but the same width and height. Since modern superminis are no longer tiny cars for commuting, it’s big enough to work as a family car for many people.
There’s not as much space in the rear seats as in a Skoda Fabia or Honda Jazz, but the 208 has a decent amount of space and kids will be fine in the back. There’s plenty of headroom even for adults, although legroom for tall teenagers might be a bit tight.
|Length 4,055mm||Width 1,745mm|
|Height 1,430mm||Weight 980kg - 1,158kg|
The 208 does have a useful boot, though - it’s 311 litres with the rear seats in place and 1,106 litres with them folded down. This is quite a bit more than many other superminis and even trumps the particularly practical Honda Jazz, which has 304 litres of space. The Renault Clio has a better boot, though, at 391 litres.
We still rate the Honda Jazz higher for practicality because of the clever seating arrangement that allows you to fold the seats more neatly, but it’s good to know that the 208 has a big enough boot for daily life and will be more than good enough for shopping and holiday trips.
|Seats up 311 litres||Seats down 1,106 litres|
The Peugeot 208 came in 37th place in the 2022 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, one place ahead of the Toyota Corolla, so it should be a pretty reliable small car. It’s based on the same technology as the latest Vauxhall Corsa as well as many other models including the Peugeot 2008 SUV, plus the engines it uses have been around for quite a long time so there should be no issues with repairing it in the future, either.
The Peugeot 208 comes with a warranty of three years or 60,000 miles, so it’s on par with many other models. This type of warranty is the industry standard and is the bare minimum we would expect of any new car. The Toyota Yaris comes with up to ten years of cover, and the Kia Rio has seven years, so the Peugeot isn’t exactly outstanding when it comes to peace-of-mind cover, but it’s no worse than most of its rivals either. You can extend the warranty from the manufacturer by paying extra.
|3 years||60,000 miles|
AVERAGE REPAIR COST PAID BY WARRANTYWISE: £406
The Peugeot 208 is one of the most eye-catching small cars around, so if you love how it looks then it makes a fine choice as a used car. It’s easy to drive, the engines are good and it should be fairly cheap to run no matter which version you pick. Plus, it’s well-equipped and the interior looks almost as good as the exterior.
There are better options depending on what you want from a car, though. There are more practical models, ones that are better to drive and also more efficient small cars as well. The 208 doesn’t excel at these things, but does a good job of being just about good enough in each way to be worth a look. It should be reasonably reliable, so we’d have no issue choosing one as a used car even at a few years old.
The 1.2-litre petrol engine in the 208 is at its best in terms of value for money in 100hp form. Combined with this Allure Premium trim level it’s probably the best bang for your buck in the 208 range, as it’s well-equipped and good to drive.
Choose the 1.5-litre diesel model if you do a lot of longer trips. The engine is most efficient on the motorway, and while the 208 isn’t ideal for longer trips, it’s quiet enough at speed to keep things relaxed and even the diesel motor isn’t too intrusive. It’s the most efficient non-electric version of the 208.
The higher-spec GT model is where the 208 is at its best in terms of looks, as the bold sabre-tooth LED lights at the front and the black wheel arches give it a sporty look that really stands out. This trim level is really well equipped as well, although it’s not as good value as some of the lower specifications.
*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:
|PCP representative example||APR rates available|
|Cash price £12,000||APR 7.90%||Value of loan||From|
|Fixed monthly payment £218.12||Annual mileage of 8,000pa||£25,000+||6.9%|
|Total cost of credit £2,755.55||Term 48 months||£12,000-£24,999||7.9%|
|Optional final payment £4,285.79||Loan value £12,000||£8,000-£11,999||8.9%|
|Total amount payable £14,755.55||Deposit £0||<8,000||9.9%|
BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.