Our cars: Peugeot 208 - November
Week ending November 30
Driven this week: 137
Our choice of Allure trim means that my Peugeot 208 comes with the Visibility pack, which includes, among other things, automatic windscreen wipers.
The wipers are not adjustable, however, so you have to trust that the sensors can accurately judge how much rain there is and operate at the appropriate speed – happily they are very adept at this. They also start pleasingly early, which is something that couldn’t be said for my previous long-term test car, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
However, there is one quirk. To turn on the automatic function, you push the wiper stalk down once rather than twisting it as you do with many other systems. This action is often used for a single-wipe operation of the wipers – something that's not available on the 208.
This means that if the screen gets a little water on it but doesn’t set off the sensor, you often have to push the lever twice. If the automatic wiper system is on then pushing it once merely turns off the system, and doesn’t wipe the screen. You then have to push it a second time to turn it back on again and clear the water.
By Tom Webster
Week ending November 16
Driven this week: 314 miles
Not long after the 208 arrived, a Peugeot 5008 came in for a test. The keys for both cars were hanging up next to each other on the What Car? key board, and it struck me just what a difference there is between the two.
The 208's key is much larger than the one for the significantly bigger 5008. The only tangible reason for this is the addition of a button for turning on the lights. Given that I live on a road with plenty of street lighting, there's been no need to use it.
The 208's key also feels much nicer and much more solid than the 5008's, so I'm happy to cope with the extra size.
Week ending November 9
Driven this week: 311 miles
As the mornings are getting colder, the heating in the 208 is getting more action on the morning commute, and I've noticed a quirk.
My 208 Allure has dual-zone air-conditioning, meaning I can set a slightly lower temperature than the full-intensity heat my girlfriend prefers on a cold morning.
However, there is no way of controlling both sides' heat simultaneously, so once I am alone in the car again, I have to manually raise and lower the levels of warmth individually.
It's not a problem, and I'd rather have the two zones than not, but it seems a strange omission.
By Tom Webster
Week ending November 2
Driven this week: 186
I had something of a surprise in the 208 this week. On trying to insert a CD into its stereo system I realised there was no slot to put it in. No changer in the glovebox, either.
It turns out that Access and Access+ - the two cheapest trim levels in the range - have a CD player and 3.5mm auxiliary input socket as standard. Higher trim levels - including Allure - have a more sophisticated touch-screen system and a USB input socket, but no CD player.
That's progress, I suppose, but not all of my music collection is in an MP3 format, and I don't think I'm alone in that. It would be nice to have the choice of both formats.
When I did connect my iPhone I was in for another shock - despite my best efforts I could select music by genre or playlist, but not by artist. Admittedly, my commute is short, so I didn't have a lot of time to get to grips with the system, but having to resort to the handbook suggests that it's overly complicated.
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