Peugeot packs

performance into 208

Peugeot 208, 66 plate, front
Peugeot 208, front
Peugeot 208, front
Peugeot 208, 66 plate, rear
Peugeot 208, 2016, interior, woman driver
Peugeot 208, side
Peugeot 208, rear

WITHOUT resorting to the GTi from the range, the best performing Peugeot 208 is the sweet revving and decently fast PureTech 110.

This is a supermini that weighs less than the 207 it replaced and yet offers more space inside.

I recently drove the 1.2 PureTech petrol with the latest 110bhp power output and it's a cracker.

It brings loads of fun and has such excellent economy that the diesel models in the range take nearly nine years to break even when all costs are taken into consideration.

Petrol really is catching up with diesel, isn't it?

The PureTech engine is a three cylinder turbo and it produces only a little less power than the original 205 GTi in 1986.

That equates to very similar performance too, with 0 to 60mph coming up in a shade over nine seconds and a top speed of 118 miles per hour.

It's smooth and very willing, pulling happily from low revs and then all the way to the red line.

But actually, there's no need to push it that hard, because the performance is very nearly as good when changes are made lower down the rev range.

Obviously, it doesn't have the stiff, sporting suspension of the original 205 GTi, but nonetheless, I found that road holding and handing were both pretty good and the ride was excellent on 16 inch wheels.

Other models I've driven had the optional 17 inch rubber, but this really compromises comfort, and adds very little to the dynamics.

In 2015, the 208 range was facelifted with new bumpers, a larger grille and new lights. The interior was left much the same because it really is a great place to be.

Fit and finish are excellent and the good looking design is modern and practical.

The small steering wheel and raised instrument binnacle can take some getting used to, but it works well once you do.

A big touch screen at the top of the centre console takes care of many functions including the trip computer, optional sat nav, Bluetoothand reversing camera.

FAST FACTS

Price: £17,000

Mechanical: 108bhp, 1,199cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 118mph

0-62mph: 9.6 seconds

Combined MPG: 65

Insurance Group: 15

C02 emissions: 99g/km

Bik rating: 16%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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