Pushing the engine exposes one of the 108’s weakest areas: its refinement. There’s a considerable amount of engine noise in the cabin, and as the revs rise so does the vibration felt through the steering wheel and pedals. There’s also noticeable transmission whine as you come off the throttle, and the thrum of the exhaust beneath the rear seats is a constant nuisance.
We’d avoid the 108 ‘ETG’ if at all possible. It’s actually a robotised manual gearbox and like almost all transmissions of that type, it’s slow and clunky. It often gets caught out when pulling away from the lights, or when you require a burst of speed – but it does at least have only a small impact on the official economy figures.
It’s hard to relax at a constant motorway cruise, too, because there’s non-stop wind noise around the front windows and road noise inside the cabin.
Pull back the large fabric roof on top-line versions and there’s a lot of buffeting and wind noise, and even at moderate speeds we reckon you’ll find yourself shutting the roof again to allow conversation inside the vehicle to continue at a normal level.
Having said all this, the 108 is the most refined of the cars with which it shares its engines and chassis with - the Citroën C1 and Toyota Aygo. If you are determined to choose from just these three cars (and you really should be thinking beyond them), you’ll find the Peugeot has the slightly slicker gear change and generates less engine noise and vibration overall.
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