Our cars: Peugeot 208 - May
Week ending May 31
Driven this week 67 miles
One oddity of the upgraded stereo and satellite-navigation system in the Peugeot 208 is the USB slots for connecting your phone or music player. In themselves they are not that strange, but the odd thing is that you refer to them in the plural – there are two of them.
It's not even as if they are for different passengers either, because they sit right next to one another in the console in front of the gearlever.
However, I had a chat with Peugeot recently that exposed exactly why there are two seemingly identical sockets. There are a couple of reasons. First, it allows you to play music or display photos from one device through one slot, while simultaneously charging your phone on the other.
Also, Peugeot is planning an enhanced 'apps' service, which may require a dongle for extra connectivity. This is still a couple of months away from being launched in the UK, but I'll certainly be sampling them on my 208 if they arrive in time.
By Tom Webster
Week ending May 24
Driven this week 61 miles
A lot has been said about the long term 208, and in the most part I agree. One thing we haven't spoken about lots is the brakes, and my experience of them this week was less than pleasant.
Every car manufacturer calibrates their braking systems differently, and it can sometimes take a few minutes to get familiar. In the 208 this week, I didn’t.
I quickly learned that there is almost no initial bite, with the pedal requiring a good strong push to the floor to get the pads and discs working. However, somehow this never became natural, which made me a little uneasy in frantic city traffic.
The basic stop and go functions in a supermini like this may lack feedback these days, but I would at least expect them to be predictable and offer a linear response.
Aside from that, the seats were spot on and I’m a big fan of the styling – inside and out.
By Tom Langan
Week ending May 17
Driven this week 21 miles
One of the best things about my Peugeot 208 is also something that you come into contact with most often – the front seats.
Allure trim comes with Sports seats finished in Eclipse Premium trim – a sort of posh-feeling material on the bolsters that is not leather but is wipe clean. Thankfully I've not had spilt anything over the seats so far, but they have not shown any sign of stains or marking over the six months it's been in my care.
Better than their ability to repel marks from dropped sandwich fillings is how comfortable they are. I have done several long drives in the 208 and got out feeling fresh and ache-free at the end, despite my appalling posture. They hug just enough to feel like they are holding you in place.
My only major gripe is that you adjust the seat back with a lever, rather than a wheel. Minor tweaks to seat angle take concentration and precision rather than a simple twist of a dial.
By Tom Webster
Week ending May 10
Driven this week 51 miles
I had an interesting chat with a car manufacturer recently who was telling me about preferences for fuel-filler caps in different parts of the world.
Apparently in Japan they like a release inside the cabin, while in the UK we like it to be connected to the central locking.
My Peugeot 208 uses neither of these systems – instead the cover is permanently unlocked and flips open manually. The cap itself is opened with the key and comes away from the car entirely, which feels a trifle old-fashioned these days. Many rivals have a loop that keeps the cap attached to the car, or an obvious slot for it to sit in while you wait for the tank to fill.
For a while I found it most frustrating, as I stood there with the key and cap combo in hand while refuelling. That was until I noticed the little loop on the bottom of the cap, and the hook on the bottom of the flap. Grumpiness rescinded.
By Tom Webster
Week ending May 3
Driven this week 92 miles
The 208's engine has been settling down and the fuel economy seems to be creeping up, thanks partly to it getting more miles under its wheels and partly due to a few longer runs recently. One recent long run was with our TrueMPG testers. Tester Joel Vermiglio passed on his thoughts:
Joel said: 'Considering the 208 would probably spend most of its time in the city, the first thing that struck me was how unfriendly it felt in traffic – the unresponsive throttle combined with a sensitive clutch and imprecise gearchange made it quite tiresome in stop-go queues.
'When I got out on the open road, however, I was pleasantly surprised. The three-cylinder engine provided enough zip to happily cruise at 70mph, it was comfortable and quiet in the cabin, too, and the infotainment system sounded great (when I eventually found how to pair my phone and select Bluetooth audio – the system was not as intuitive as most).'
By Tom Webster