Peugeot 108 Lion Cub of Cuteness.

In times of obesity where the world is getting fatter it’s quite refreshing to see a manufacture continue to make its small car just that; small. Parked next to the last of the 106 generation it is noticeably smaller. Now in its next incarnation, has the Peugeot 108 retained the same cheeky charm of a shopper express of the old 107 or grown to old before its time?

To answer this you need to look at the options Peugeot gave me. Smart alloys, huge amounts of front cabin space with supportive seats in a tartan type material and reflective edging around the floor mats that make them look electric. All quite funky and up to date for a city car with good Euro Ncap ratings, low emissions and an zippy little engine. They even give this Allure model a 2 tone laser red and raven black paint job with decals. l don’t like that. For the asking price of £285 I’d rather pay the extra for the sunroof, a single colour and keep the change. The problem the Peugeot has over its platform shared Toyota and Citroen siblings is that it is the best looking of the 3 with a hint of maturity and because of this the 2 tone paint job doesn’t work. Where as the others are all ripped jeans and dossing around the park in dirty shoes, the 108 wouldn’t look out of place parked outside the Waldorf hotel in that swanky part of London.

So overall l am impressed. More so with the fit and finish and build quality. The French have a wonderful reputation of making even the most solid tin can sound flimsy. The 108 was as tightly put together as a solid oak sideboard. The one touch entry and start system was an added bonus too. It’s quite nice not having to scrabble for keys to get in and get away. Even after stalling it at traffic lights the start up was easy. Clutch, button and away you go. It all goes someway to make the little car very easy to drive. The reverse camera (standard on this model) allowed for tight parking.

Speaking of buttons, the ergonomics of it all but perfect for my lanky frame. Everything fell to hand with ease except the door mirror controls that were too far down on the dashboard and the mirrors themselves were situated too far forward to fold them in without pulling myself far forward from the drivers seat. Being heated, you want to look after them. Door mirrors can be very costly. That said a new unit from Peugeot will cost you £125 plus paint it’s not thee most expensive door mirror to replace if you do get it knocked off.

Up front there is an abundance of room for you to move around. Despite the dashboards massive intrusion into the cabin there is plenty of leg room around it. Some 9 inches between my knee and the panel. In such a small car that is an impressive figure. What are not so impressive is the sizes for the rear seats. It’s tight in the back. l wouldn’t want to sit behind me. The dash also houses the infotainment system. No satnav on this model which would have been nice. That said it connected to my phone and the music on my android was accessible from the screen. l always thought it was my old phone being the problem however this system worked 100% better than any other. Even those from the Peugeot range have had trouble.

This small space doesn’t mean a useless boot though. Admittedly it isn’t above the class norm and there is an almighty lip between opening and boot floor. This however is needed to stop items knocking against the all glass tailgate and smashing it to a thousand pieces. Glass tailgates are now quite common. Folding down the rear seat does increase the load some what though you’ll struggle with long items. The sunroof option allows for items to be poked through it. It also opens up the cabin. This model didn’t have the sunroof. My sister has one with it and it is an excellent option. Worth every penny.

On the move it reveals itself to be a city car with a big attitude. The little 1200cc boasts only 85bhp from 3 cylinders that spin readily until the rev limiter cuts off power abruptly at 6000rpm. Despite that it will give its best to you and its reward you not bad fuel displayed fuel figures for a “spirited” driving style. It doesn’t feel like flogging a dead donkey that is for sure with its wonderful buzzy engine. It won’t win a grand prix but it will make drivers of other cars sweat a little.

This spirit transfers nicely into a whizzy little car. Push it hard and it’ll over steer when the little 165 section tyres scrabble for traction but the back end won’t let go. Even lifting off mid corner didn’t result in untidy handling. It’s pretty safe and very predictable. And all this is before the traction control has taken over.

This model was fitted with the crash prevention system. A loud rapid beep emits if it thinks you are going to crash into something in front. Sometimes hit and miss and mostly it alerted me down narrow roads. And if it thinks you really are going to hit something it’ll apply the brakes or even stop. Very handy in a city car at this price. What it does have that is quite useless is lane assist. It does nothing but beep at you. Thankfully you can switch it off permanently.
As a first car, only car, city car, second car or whatever you want it for, the 108 in its higher spec will fit the bill. Aim high with the 108, have greater aspirations and opt for the highest model as you can like this one. Just add that sunroof to make it a more usable little car. I’d happily have it parked among the Bird fleet of motors.

Road tax exempt
Nice facia layout
Keyless entry

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Rear seat space
2 tone paint theme
Lane assist

The Lowdown
Car – Peugeot 108 Allure 5door
Price – £11,985 (as tested)
MPG – 65.7mpg (combined)
Power – 82 bhp 5750 rpm
0-62mph – 10.9 seconds
Top Speed – 106 mph
Co2 – 99 (g/km)


About the author: Stuart M Bird

Motoring nurse or medical motorist? It's a difficult one. By day l nurse and by night l drive.
Fingers have always been grease deep in attending the motoring of an ageing fleet. And now l write about new and old.
If you have a car or motoring product you would like reviewed here for TGUK please e mail me:

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Member of the Southern Group of Motoring Writers. (SGMW)

Twitter: @t2stu

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