Our cars: Peugeot 208 - January
Week ending January 25
Driven this week 400 miles
I'm not a great fan of the infotainment system in the Peugeot 208. You have to hit a lot of buttons on the touch-screen to eventually find the feature you want to change. It's all a bit too fiddly for my liking.
However, after a long search, you can find the right screen. You get 15 preset radio stations, including a mix of FM and AM stations, all on one screen! I love this.
Tom Webster, who runs the 208, says setting this up was a bit of a faff, which doesn't surprise me. His prediliction for numerous Kiss FM stations is a worry, too.
Week ending January 18
Driven this week: 153
Modern car heaters and air-conditioning systems have become so good that I can now get into a car, of any size and category, and pretty much expect that the windscreen will be demisted within about five minutes at most.
Several What Car? colleagues have commented on the 208's rather weedy heater, and I got to experience it myself in the sub-zero temperatures this morning. Naturally it steamed up as soon as we got in to drive to work, but the heater made very little difference to the visibility.
In fact, it got worse, and I ended up having to pull over to the side of the road to wait for it to clear. Even by the time I got to work an hour later, there were still traces of condensation at the edge of the windscreen.
Perhaps the air-con cuts out in low temperatures to protect the system, but I thought the warm air would have done the job.
By Tom Webster
Week ending January 11
Driven this week: 159
I needed to pick up my toddler from nursery this week, but found myself without my usual family car. Walking wasn't an option, and thankfully, the long-term 208 was available - as was an Isofix car seat for my boy to travel in safety.
It took a little while to find the Isofix mounting points, but once they'd been located, the seat clipped in and tightened with ease.
My son is only two, so couldn't tell me about rear-seat ride comfort, but he did like the lights from the infotainment screen. Syncing my phone and playing music wirelessly through the Bluetooth system was easy, even if navigating the menus was a bit of a chore.
I can't say I enjoyed the drive, though. The engine and gearbox are not paired well for commuter traffic, and the soft suspension wallows without providing enough comfort in the driver's seat. Mustn't grumble - we got home on time, safely, and without any tears.
Week ending January 4?
Driven this week: 498
The 208 has been on an extended run over the past few weeks, where I shared the driving with my much shorter other half.
This allowed me to fully appreciate exactly why some of my colleagues have been grumbling about one part of the Peugeot's cabin – the steering wheel.
Personally, I love that the wheel is so small. It makes it feel like you are steering a small car, and this makes it feel that little bit nippier. However, the position of the instrument dials is beyond infuriating.
I like a wheel pulled all the way out, up nice and high, so there is lots of room for my legs. If I do this, then I can't see the speedo – either the digital or the needle option.
As a result, I have to position the wheel lower than I would like. Oddly, my girlfriend is able to have the wheel that bit higher and still see the dash. This means there was plenty of adjusting the wheel every time we switched places.
By Tom Webster
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