First Drive: Peugeot 108

The Peugeot 108 disguises its shared Citroen C1/Toyota Aygo underpinnings well
The Peugeot 108 disguises its shared Citroen C1/Toyota Aygo underpinnings well
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The original Peugeot 108 was a joint project with sister company Citroen and also Toyota, creating three new city cars. Now it’s time for the second-generation version.

The basic underpinnings remain the same, although the 108 is now a little longer overall, while under the bonnet there is now the option of a more powerful 1.2-litre engine alongside the previous 1.0-litre.

On the inside there’s a new dashboard with smarter materials plus a touchscreen system on all bar the entry-level model.

Peugeot has done a good job of giving the little 108 some character. It manages to wear the new family grille with ease and with standard 15-inch alloy wheels and tinted windows on Allure models looks smarter than you might expect of a humble city car.

It feels more classy inside too, and, although there’s the odd flash of body colour, it all hangs together well. There’s also a stack of personalisation options inside and out.

The 108 is less than 3.5 metres long but offers respectable space inside. Up front it’s nice and airy, with comfortable front seats and plenty of space. In the rear it’s a bit tighter – adults sitting behind big front seat passengers might grumble – but kids will be happy. The boot now offers 196 litres too, and as long as you pack sensibly you can fit a decent week’s shopping in.

The view out from the driver’s seat is excellent thanks to the big windows and the dashboard layout is clear and attractive. The 1.2-litre three-cylinder fires up with an enthusiastic thrum, and while it’s not the quietest engine at low speed, it is smooth and the sound is pleasant enough. It’s also quite a perky unit and, although it needs some revs to get going, it does so happily.

The steering is faithful and accurate while remaining light at low speeds and the ride is good for such a small car. The only demerit is that pulling away smoothly requires a delicate left foot.

An Allure with the 1.2-litre engine checks in at £10,995 and for that you get a good spec: a reversing camera is still quite unusual for a car in this class, and there’s a leather-clad steering wheel as well as air-conditioning. The seven-inch touchscreen uses phone mirroring so you can use your smartphone’s connectivity, although you do need to download some new apps to get features like sat-nav.

The 108 would suit a range of buyers; newly-qualified drivers can get behind the wheel of the 1.0-litre Access model for just £8,245, while older buyers can enjoy the low running costs and small-car convenience with high equipment levels on the top spec models. Families might find it a bit too small for holidays but it could handle the school run.

VITAL STATS

Car Peugeot 108 1.2 Allure

Price £10,995

Engine 1.2-litre, 3cyl, petrol, 82bhp, 86lb/ft

Performance Top speed 106mph, 0-62mph 11secs

Economy 65.7mpg combined

CO2 emissions 99g/km