Wow, our second French model this month; interesting. It’s clear to see that the European brands are making big impact on our market and, from a price stand point; it all makes total cents (sense).
Take this 1.2 208 we have here. It’s affordable, rather spacious and with a decent ride quality, I can’t see the average owner wanting anything more from a car. Maybe that’s just it. Maybe the average owner wants something different, you know, to move away from the main stream of VW’s and Toyota’s.
Then what we have here is a great contender. You see, this middle range model, dubbed the “Active”, features a tiny little 1.2l three cylinder engine, making a rather healthy 60kw and 118nm of torque. Not much you say, but think of it this way. Less cylinders, similar power to that of its 4 cylinder counterparts and that also means good fuel consumption. While we are on that subject, the 208 is pretty frugal when our average consumption measured over 500km ended up at 5.5l/100km. Throw in a healthy sized 50l tank and your fuel stops suddenly become a little less and farther in-between. The 208 also puts out a very low 104 g C02, just in case you were wondering.
The Active is the fence-sitting model and, by ‘fence’, I mean it’s the somewhere between entry level and top of the range, but not quite there yet in terms of all the extra goodies. This is where the little Active really surprised us with its modern interior of gloss plastic inserts and the sporty and slightly smaller multifunction steering wheel. If that’s not enough, the entertainment system, which features Bluetooth calling and streaming, also supports USB / IPod playback through 6 speakers. The interface is easy to use and also reports back on things like current consumption, distance driven and tank range. Setting up your phone for hands free is also a 1 minute job.
Driving the little 1.2 is an interesting affair. In your mind you constantly think about the 3 cylinder firing away, but then with the pokey nature of the motor it sort of fades away. 0-100kph comes up in a claimed 12.2seconds. The 1.2 also offers good city drivability with a very light clutch and steering feel. The suspension is also comfortable and soaks up country roads with ease. If you like driving the open road, you will be pleased to find out that it indeed has cruise control fitted.
Peugeot has not skimped out on the safety equipment and I was pleased to see that we had 4 airbags; 2 in the front, 2 within the side of the seats available and also featured ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution. An anti-theft system with central locking is also a standard feature. ISOFIX anchor points are fitted, so mounting a young one’s seat won’t be a problem.
The 208 is a solid car that has some unique feeling points which you don’t come across in other models. The interiors are uniquely French, and offer a form of freshness. If you feel like you want to move away from the mainstream crowd and want something different, check out the 208; it will surprise you.
The 208 comes standard with a 3 year 100 000 warranty and a 5 year 60 000 premium service plan. Prices start from R159 900. For more info check out www.peugeot.co.za.