The latest Peugeot 208 marks the end of an identity crisis for Peugeot’s small car, the previous generation of which also went by the 208 moniker after its predecessors evolved through 205, 206 and then 207.
So, this is the first time Peugeot’s small car has been reimagined without changing its name. You can understand the thinking; in a class full of established names such as the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo and Seat Ibiza, a bit of familiarity can’t be a bad thing.
But while its name hasn’t changed, the differences between it and the previous 208 are far-reaching – the most noticeable being an overhauled design that will certainly turn some heads at the small car catwalk. Inside, too, there are liberal helpings of French style to please the eye and to help the car stand out from its rivals, many of which suddenly look pretty drab by comparison.
There are just three trim levels – Active, Allure and GT Line – and a choice of three petrol engines and a diesel. A real headline-grabber for the 208, though, is the fact that there’s an electric model, the e208, which we’ve reviewed separately.
The all-important question is whether the 208 can offer as impressive a blend of practicality and joyous handling as the class leaders. Read on to find out, as well as for our verdict on which is the best version to pick if you decide it’s the right car for you.
And, whichever car you choose, head over to our New Car Buying pages to see how much you could save without any tedious haggling.