THE Peugeot 208 is perfect when it comes to first impressions.
With supermini fans spoilt for choice in a marketplace boasting an abundance of top talent, catching a potential customer's attention is a vital prerequisite in the battle for sales.
And thanks to an exterior boasting plenty of joie de vivre the French company's latest offering gains a head start with good looks a given.
The 208 upholds Peugeot's pedigree for producing stylish superminis as silky smooth lines and lion's claw lights, aided and abetted by a natty grille plus nifty alloy wheels, give this supermini plenty of kerb appeal.
The modern interior is similarly well designed with figure-hugging seats boasting neat contrast stitching that is also used on the multi-function steering wheel.
The black door panels and dashboard feature carbon effect shiny inserts to lift proceedings while an armrest between driver and front seat passenger hides a box that is just one of a number of storage solutions for your odds and sods. The use of an electric parking brake releases space for two cup holders that sit in front of a glamorous gear changer accessing the eight-speed automatic transmission on the GT Line 1.2-litre petrol-powered model featured here.
There is plenty of hi-tech gadgetry fitted as standard but for an extra £650 you can experience the 10-inch colour touchscreen with sat nav that I made good use of. Your extra cash also secures a three-year live-navigation subscription providing traffic updates and possible alternative routes.
As well as adding gloss black wheel arches, chrome exhaust pipes and a diamond black roof, the 208 GT Line - second from top in a six-model line-up - accesses the latest generation of Peugeot's i-Cockpit technology.
This includes a seven-inch colour 3D instrument panel - viewed above the low-mounted steering wheel - which can be configured to individual requirements regarding information displayed.
A pleasant atmosphere is maintained in the cabin thanks to dual-zone climate control and configurable ambient lighting, while an extra £500 secures a panoramic glass roof. Front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera are included as are tinted rear side and tailgate windows plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The five-door motor can handle four adults although taller passengers will find legroom a little tight in the back seats.
The boot is adequate providing 311 litres for shopping or luggage for a weekend away and the rear seats split and fold when not in use providing more space.
Driving to your destination will be anything but dull judging by the gem of a three-pot 129bhp turbocharged engine on show here which, partnered with the automatic transmission, propels the 208 from 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds on its way to a top speed of 129mph.
It is reasonably frugal when it comes to fuel consumption with a claimed average economy figure just north of 50mpg with emissions of 128g/km.
Engine options available include two other versions of the 1.2-litre petrol power unit as well as a 1.5-litre diesel and a full-electric version.
Twisting country lanes are handled with aplomb while the 208 also proves itself adept on motorway journeys thanks to a smooth ride and good soundproofing.
There are lots of driver aids such as stability control, lane keeping assist as well as speed limit recognition and tyre pressure monitors, while six airbags provide reassurance should an accident be unavoidable.